Tihomir Mijailović: 10 000 Enthusiasts Share Their Thoughts
23. 1. 2018 +Rozhovory
Yes, such a high number fits KPIs of the young, aspiring entrepreneur from Serbia, who is starting a global think-tank from the heart of Europe – Prague. Tihomir Mijailović got an idea to develop a startup platform, where people can think differently and challenge the status quo by creating opportunities for each other. Small cluster of people exchange their experience, knowledge and thoughts on different topics related to business and self development such as Economy 4.0 or Smarketing. Every business meetup, takes place in SEMrush offices once or twice a month. But they will be not satisfied with just one city, the plan is to extend similar activities to capitals abroad.
- Tihomir Mijailović, 23 years old
- Co-founder of iDeas Worth Sharing business meet ups
- “I live in Prague for about 8 years and I like its vibrant atmosphere with great variety of people from all around the world. Therefore, I started this project here with Katharina Freidinger, my Austrian colleague from work.”
The first meet up took place in Prague 3 in the end of July 2017. Since then, Tihomir and Katharina are organizing meet ups in the offices of SEMrush, their chief business partner.
SEMrush has offices in 4 different countries – USA, Russia, Czech Republic and Cyprus. According to the corporate speaker Alina Iordache, ” SEMrush brings know-how and expertise to the Czech digital marketing community relying on solid data and market research studies.”SEMrush brings innovations and latest marketing strategies via networking/ educational events and one of the best marketing toolkit worldwide.
Glossary of Terms
Expats/ Expatriates – A person who holds a citizenship in at least one country but who lives and works in another country.
InterNations – the world’s largest network for expatriates, freelancers and global minds, the online platform connects fellow expats around the world and allows them to join exciting events with international people in 390 cities across the globe
Meetup.com – a social network linking people on a local level, helping them organize meetings according to their interests, you are also provided with the notifier of events in your location
Meritocracy environment – concept coined by sociologist Michael Young and used in high performance organizations, where everyone has the right to openly express their opinions, but only the outstanding ideas are preferred
SME – small and medium sized enterprises
The name suits us well
Is it a coincidence that the name of your project is similar to the motto of TED talks (Ideas Worth Spreading)?
Haha, I must admit no, it isn’t. I really love TED talks. I watch its content on a daily basis for 5 years already. What we have in common is sharing ideas within the community of ambitious, inspiring people. So, the name suits us well.
So, can you tell me briefly more about the project? What is your vision?
We believe in challenging status quo. The aim of iDeas Worth Sharing is to provide people with knowledge hand in hand with tools to be successful. We want to inspire people to do more and to create something bigger than ourselves. We firmly believe that knowledge should be shared and ideas should be heard. We have organised 8-10 meetups since the first one in the end of July 2017. In this year we intend to continue by throwing 1-2 business events every month and by starting new concepts.
We started on the platform called meetup.com
Where did the idea come from?
I came up with the idea when I visited a meet up about cryptocurrency. It was very good one with great variety of participants such as a journalist from London or an IT guy from a big company, despite the fact that the event management didn’t go well. The speaker didn’t come, and lot of other stuff went south. However, in the end there were 6 or 7 of us sitting around the table and discussing business, marketing, economy and other interesting matters. Next day I enthusiastically told my colleague (co-founder of iDeas Worth Sharing) about my experience, how I liked the ideas and opinions of different participants, how I liked the style of discussion and atmosphere of trust in a small number of people. I told her “Why don’t we create similar meet ups with topics of our own choosing?”. Currently, most of the meetups are focused on IT, programming etc., so we wanted events focused more on other matters. The main idea of the project is to extend the base of topics, to share your ideas and to connect amazing people.
Where does your project stand today? You have mentioned (via phone) that your meet up network has almost 500 active members.
Yes the group is growing every day. It is consisted mostly of SME owners. However, there are also lot of expats, freelancers, marketers, programmers and also students from all around the world. We are glad, because we did not expect it to be that popular. We have received a great deal of positive feedback and that is very important to us. We didn’t even invest much in marketing yet (just one Facebook campaign last year). The main part is done by our community. Word of mouth is a very powerful tool as is our main online platform meetup.com, gathering more than 300 members under one roof. We manage the rest of community on other platforms such as InterNations and Facebook.
And what are typical topics of your business meetups?
So far there were discussions focused on Internet of Things (IoT), shared economy, smart marketing, management, how to start your own entrepreneurship and many more. Last time we’ve discussed optimization/ maximization in business and before that we had “David vs. Goliath – How Small Companies Make It Big” topic. There is a big engagement between the participants, everyone has a sense of contribution.
We were curious about Tihomir’s plans with iDeas Worth Sharing in the year 2018:
1) 10 000 engaged members
As we said, the network is growing rapidly fast and with the support of SEMrush we will address more ambitious individuals. We will organize current activities (business meetups, Project Presentation Day) more often and provide our members with onward support.
2) Project Presentation Day
This year we want to introduce new concept within iDeas Worth Sharing. We will choose 5 aspiring projects or startups and offer them a place, where they can present their ideas in front of investors. They will get a feedback and possibility to raise funds. We are gonna apply a concept of elevator pitch and presenters will have 10 minutes to effectively present their thoughts followed by 10 minutes of feedback. Don’t worry, anybody can come and pitch their project.
3) From zero to hero
As a complement to the motivation element, we are going to do interviews with people, who have achieved great success in their fields. The main focus will be to share stories about their thorny paths to the top, so the people can see that all the successful people were once in the beginner’s shoes. People will be able to access interviews in form of video records on our platforms, afterwards. For that purpose we are looking for a capable cameraman.
4) Forging new partnerships
We are planning to bring on board new great business partners like SEMrush is. We have already closed 2 new partnerships but you will need to wait few more weeks to find out their names. We will also bring investors to “Project Presentation Day”. They will evaluate presented business ideas, ideally invest in the projects/ startups (check “Dragons’ Den” or Czech version “The D-Day” to get a hint of similar concept – Editor’s note).
What ideas are you working on? Do you need a feedback or new contacts that could be useful to your business? Then come to the next meetup!
So are you going in the direction of a startup marketplace platform?
Kinda yes, it will be an essential part of iDeas Worth Sharing. The goal is to provide our network with know how and real benefits such as possibility to raise fund or to get in touch with A-players.
Why should people join your network or attend your events?
1) Real values
2) Know how
3) Useful networking
Foto: Marek Rebroš