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Inspired by the global happenings in the sector of Creative and Cultural Industries and the limited national opportunities for the creative and cultural entrepreneurs, it’s our pleasure to announce the first Creative Business Cup 2021 North Macedonia!

What is it ?

A unique competition for innovative business ideas, products or services from creative and cultural industries who have the potential to grow globally. 

Why participate?

Pitch your business in front of a jury of high-profile industry experts

The Cup offers to 10 selected creative and innovative startups from North Macedonia pitch their business in front of a jury of high-profile domestic and international industry experts and investors and get valuable feedback.

Get exposure and access to industry partners, experts and investors from 80+ countries

Since the competition will be fully online you will have a chance to pitch and showcase you product/service to many international experts, investors and industry partners as they can also attend the event.

Get access to an online pre-competition Bootcamp Academy

Finalists will be invited to a Bootcamp Academy that includes pitch training, tools to amp up your investor readiness and knowledge that will strengthen your business model.

Get a Digital marketplace to display your product

All finalists will get a space on this site to present their product or service. This will enable you to get more international exposure even after the competition ends.

The award

The winner gets a spot in the Global Creative Business Academy – an exclusive accelerator program and will represent North Macedonia at the Global Finals 2021 during the industry forum BRIGHT in Copenhagen (full pass)

Second and third place will get a pass to attend the Creative Business Cup Global Finals 2021 during the industry forum BRIGHT and have a chance to meet and connect with entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors from 80+ countries.

By representing North Macedonia at the Global Business Cup Finals 2021 you will:
  • Compete for substantial financial rewards from 3000 to 10 000 eur
  • Get the opportunity to present your business idea to an international jury and the world
  • Attract international investments and international audience 
  • Form a network with entrepreneurs, investors, experts and mentors from 80+ countries
  • Get inspired to think in new and different ways

Eligibility criteria

Who can apply?

Entrepreneurs from the creative sector:

  • have the core asset of the business based on creative competencies
  • have an idea with market potential
  • have a company/organization registered in North Macedonia
  • have not received more than 1 mil USD of external capital investment 

*There are no specific requirements for the participating company in relation to age, turnover or number of employees. 

What we are looking for?

  • Creative and innovative solutions . It doesn’t matter if you are in a stage of ideation or if you’re already making money, as long as your business model contains creative and innovative solutions – product, service, social relations, customer approach, market etc.
  • Be Commercial. Your concept must have market potential – investment potential, scalability, unique value proposition and being hard to copy. 
  • Own the rights to the idea with which you are entering the competition.

What are the steps?



Apply for the competition by filling the application form by 9th of May 2021


Info days

Have a question? Check the FAQ or the FB event page



Application form closes at 23:59 on 09.05.2021


Selection of the finalists

The jury will select 10 finalists out of all registered applicants


Bootcamp Academy 14-19 May

The finalists will be invited to an online Bootcamp Academy before the competition in May


National Cup - 21 May 2021

Pitch your idea to the jury and the international community that will follow the national cup online 


International acceleration programme

The winner will join the International 8-days Acceleration program to prepare for the Global Finals in June.


Global Business Cup Finals

The winner represents North Macedonia at the Global Finals hybrid event 28-29 June 2021 

You already have a brilliant idea that you want to grow?

Apply now!

Meet our mentors and juries

Sofija Bogeva

Innovation management, Design thinking

Olimpija H. Zaevska

Strategic investment, Finance

Aleksandar Lazovski

Partnership development, Education

Slavomir Hruska

Sales and Investment strategy

Danco Dimkov

B2B Sales, Outreach, Growing

Elena Bojadjieva

Art and applied photography

Gorast Cvetkovski

Gaming, Acting, Graphic Design

Igor Madzov

Access to funding, Business Development

Faris Zacina

Investor, StartUp Builder

Almir Mukaca

Organic food production and education, TV Chef

Resad Zacina

Leader, Investor, Startup builder

Gorazd Kenny Kitanovski


Monika Rizovska

Brand and online community building

Petter Aasa

Digital Health, MedTech, health and wellness

Ana Andonovska

Strategic foresight, Organizational Innovation

Jasna Pocek

Interplay, interconnectivity, and influence of labor markets

more coming soon…


Who can apply?

Entrepreneurs from culture and creative industries:

  • Advertising 
  • Architecture
  • Kraft & Artisan
  • Design
  • Experiences technologies 
  • Fashion 
  • Film, Video & Photography
  • Gastronomy 
  • Leisure Activities 
  • Music
  • Performing Arts 
  • Publishing
  • Radio & Television 
  • Software, Computer Games & Electronic Publishing (for creative industries) 
  • 3D Printing maker 
  • Toys & Games

Can I join as a mentor?

Yes! If you are interested in supporting the startups from the creative and cultural industries to get prepared for the National Cup get in contact with us.

How to get a media pass for the Global Finals 2021?

Creative Business Cup Media Passes are provided for journalists/editorial members of the press. If you are a communication/PR professional, blogger or non-editorial employee of a media company, get in touch with CBN network at [email protected] to discuss the possibilities.

Working language?

Main working language for the Bootcamp and the National Cup is English. However, the regular communication between the organizing team and the finalists will be on Macedonian as well some of the one on one mentorship sessions.

Criteria - How can I win the competition?

The winners of Creative Business Cup will be startups that show a high level of creativity and present a business concept with great market potential, which resulted from extraordinary business execution. 



  • Change the value chains of the Creative Industries or use creative competencies to change the value chains in other industries. Think innovation and disruption.
  • Rely on creative skills as a key to the success of the business. 
  • Engage customers or others in creative processes. 
  • Innovate in terms of their product or service, social relations, customer approach, markets or other areas. 


Market potential:

  • Investment potential. 
  • Scalability. 
  • Unique value propositions.
  • Create and impact new markets.
  • Present a strong overview of the existing market situation.
  • Present a good understanding of risks and possibilities.


Business Execution: 

  • Have a good team with complementary skills and good experience.
  • Demonstrate the presence of financial and strategic flair within the team, thereby combining creative and business skills
  • Present a robust business model. 
  • Address relevant issues regarding Intellectual Property Rights. 
  • Have a strong rollout strategy in place

Can I join as an investor?

Yes! If you are interested in supporting the startups from the creative and cultural industries from North Macedonia you are more than welcome to take part in the National cup either as an attendant, mentor or jury member. Get in contact with us for more details.

Who is organizing the Creative Business Cup Global Finals?

Creative Business Network powers Creative Business Cup, the world Creative Business Network empowers startups in the Creative Industries, connects them to investors and global markets and strengthens their innovative capabilities to the benefit of the industry and society

See more –  or ask a question [email protected]

Where will the National Cup take place?

This year due to the circumstance the National and the Global Cup will be fully virtual.

We will use the ZOOM tool for communication and the CBN National Group channel for communication

The Global Creative Business Cup

A destination for all creative minds, innovative thinkers and future leaders. A global competition with 70+ creative supernovas, brilliant keynote speakers, judges and investors! The global finals are held each year at the Bright Conference (28-29 June 2021) – a two day meet-up that brings together creative businesses and people interested in entrepreneurship and innovation from all corners of the world. The conference focus is on new creative and cultural businesses in the creative industries to motivate, sharpen and develop the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Previous global winners

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