Edin Saracevic left his native Sarajevo in 1995 and settled in the United States, where he founded his first IT company, and three more later on. He returned to BiH in 2013, committed to establishing his first information-programming HUB (HUB387) in Sarajevo. This increasingly popular business concept involves bringing a large number of IT companies to one location. HUB 387 currently consists of 16 companies, such as: Mistral Technologies, Authority Partners, Starting Point, NEST 71, OliveBH and others.
By setting up the HUB, Edin seeks to prevent the departure of talented and valuable experts to foreign countries and cities such as Berlin, known for its HUBS, thus contributing to the development of the domestic economy, with a focus on the IT sector.
Edin considers Sarajevo his home and a place he is very emotionally attached to, which is the reason that the HUB was set up right here. He considers his stay in the USA a temporary solution, even though he spent twenty years there.
HUB 387 or as Edin calls it “Disneyland for IT” seeks to house the entire IT industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina under one roof and on an area of over 2,400 m2, provide superior education to IT specialist and allow the people of Sarajevo to work on the largest IT projects in the world. The basic advantages of doing business in HUB are opportunities for intensive cooperation, faster exchange of knowledge as well as joint activities of small and medium IT companies.
Through networking and strengthening competitiveness, this would be a way to access new and larger markets and enable the creation of new jobs. Other benefits, according to Edin, including significant savings in the cost of renting space, heating and utilities, actively participating in and attending various training courses, seminars and hackatons, etc.
There is also room there for IT freelancers NEST 71, for those who do not have already formed teams. Edin, as a co-founder, says that this concept is reminiscent of Google’s. The Nest 71 now has the incubation of eight start-up companies that will introduce new ways of doing business and will have mentors from Silicon Valley, California, as an area with the highest concentration of important high-tech companies in the world. In addition to mentoring, these companies will be provided with necessary financial and all other support infrastructure.
Edin has recognized the importance of the work and education of young people. For this reason, HUB 387 has launched some courses/trainings for high school students and also plans to work in primary schools, so as to popularise the IT industry among the younger generation. In his opinion, IT segment can become one of the major strategic, developmental pillars for the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
According to Edin, young people are reluctant through no fault of their own; instead, it is the legacy of the former system, where we were used to not taking responsibility. But in general, Edin thinks that BiH has many smart and talented young people, and that we are creative and able to improvise as people, which is highly appreciated as a quality in the IT sector.
In BiH, as in any other country, it is impossible to work and operate without problems, says Edin, but too much energy and resources are spent on time consuming administrative procedures. In Edin’s view, the key is in mutual cooperation between the diaspora and youth in BiH. Firstly, it is necessary to find out who our diaspora is and how they can contribute to our development. Next, it is necessary to develop a platform that will allow for an easier flow of financial and human resources to diaspora community in BiH through concrete pilot initiatives. If this proves useful, these initiatives should be further developed and improved.
The new digital world, especially IT, according to Edin, opens up new and incredible possibilities. In his opinion, popularization of IT should be done in a far more systematic and organised way, rather than being reduced to sporadic initiatives.