In 1996, one year after the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed, emerged a successful company in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Atlant BH, when the country had only 10 dial-up connections. It was founded by three freshmen from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo (Damir IbriSimović, Milad Cerkic and Emir Salkic), who were the first in B&H to start designing web pages.
“Like any startup, it was extremely difficult. We worked in rented apartments, half of the time we worked without a paycheck, we barely paid the costs, but absolute faith in what we do and in ourselves never allowed us to give up,” points out Milad Cerkic, CEO of AtlantBH and one of the company’s founders.
One of the first jobs they got was to build a website for the City of Sarajevo, which invested a lot to present Sarajevo side by side with other world capitals. “We received numerous praise and awards for our work, and we cared most about the comments of ordinary citizens, who came from all over the world.”
After the City of Sarajevo website come other projects: the official website of the Coca-Cola factory in Sarajevo, BIHNET, the Stability Pact Summit in Sarajevo, Bosnalijek, numerous hotels …Their work was soon recognized by The Map Network, Washington, which was headed by two Bosnians, Edin Saracevic and Tarik Kurspahic.
“We created an Interactive Map of the City of Sarajevo in 2001 and gave it free of charge to the city and all its citizens. The Map Network’s business at the time was completely based on printed maps for fairs and tourist bureaus, and they were looking for an adequate solution for the WEB and CDs. We were offered a collaboration and in the coming years, we made multiple versions of the map, covering almost all major cities in the US, Canada, but also in Australia, the UK, Spain, etc. These were our first big steps in outsourcing and we are probably the first software development company of that kind in B&H, ” recalls Cerkic.
After NAVTEQ acquired The Map Network, AtlantBH begins to work for NOKIA and Apple California
“We have leveraged the acquisition of The Map Network by NAVTEQ, a leading global provider of maps and content for navigation devices, to significantly expand our business by focusing on building large, scalable solutions using technologies that have been an absolute hit in the US market as well. , such as BIG Data, Open Source, Solr / lucene, Java, etc., “
Cerkic points out that they continue to work today for HERE Maps (part of NOKIA) and Apple California, providing consulting, software development, testing, installation and maintenance services, but also sell their software products. “There is no need to explain how proud we are and what it means for a small business in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be able to work and ‘sell wit’ to the largest IT company in the world – Apple California.”
Today, Atlantbh stands out as one of the most successful IT companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.