Start-ups in the Balkans are gaining attention for their potential to provide economic growth. With lower costs than Western Europe, the region offers a fertile ground for entrepreneurs. Serbia’s Nordeus, a gaming company, is a shining example. It’s the creator of ‘Top Eleven’, the most popular online sports game in the world, with more than 130 million users. Nordeus has achieved this success without any outside investors.

The region, however, faces challenges. It lacks a start-up culture and the necessary investment. Some entrepreneurs have left for countries with more established tech scenes. Yet, there are signs of progress. Eleven, a Bulgarian accelerator, and LAUNCHub, a seed fund, have invested in numerous start-ups. The Serbian government has also launched a $65 million fund for start-ups.

Furthermore, the Balkans’ tech talent pool is impressive. Many are self-taught or educated at local universities. Nordeus, for instance, employs 170 engineers, artists, and designers. This talent, combined with low costs and a growing support network, could make the Balkans the next big thing in tech.

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