MarTech Challengeis part of the initiative to bring together the MarTech community with a view to linking up marketing with new technology and innovative entrepreneurs, launched by DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions in partnership with ICT Hub, Netokracija, and Marketing mreža. As part of a broader suite of activities, MarTech Challenge is a competition intended to pick out the best emerging tech startups zeroing in on the application of new technology in marketing and communications. If you need more information, please feel free to get in touch with us at


MarTech Challenge
is a regional competition open to all tech start-ups founded in the last two years and focused on the application of new technology in marketing and communications (advertising, data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, media, social media, etc.).
The competition is open also to teams that have not launched a start-up yet but do have or develop ideas or solutions in the field of marketing.


Participants can sign up until September 12 through a very simple process — all it takes is around 15 minutes to fill out the online application below.
The short-listed start-ups will complete a summer mentoring program run by ICT Hub and Direct Media United Solutions, which will give them a chance to improve their business, meet new contacts in the marketing industry, and fully arm up for the final round of the competition, set to take place in October 2019 at the 5th iteration of KAKTUS 2019, national integrated communications festival.


The winning team (2 members) will be rewarded with a trip to the MarTech Conference in California and a mentoring program run by DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions. On top of it — and perhaps most importantly — DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions will be promoting the team through its partner network as the 2019 regional MarTech Rising Star start-up. The final presentation of the MarTech Challenge finalists will take place at the end of October at the fifth iteration of the KAKTUS 2019 national integrated communications festival, while Marketing mreža will be covering KAKTUS 2019 registration fees for every start-up that applied for the MarTech competition, as well as mentoring sessions in different fields of business, media, and marketing communications that will be part of the festival.

*The organizer bears no responsibility for the process of obtaining US visas, nor in the event of denied visa applications.

MarTech Challenge winning team announced:

Emitto is the best young start-up in marketing!

The three first-ranked teams in MarTech Challenge pitched their solutions to the jury and audience at KAKTUS 2019 – the Fifth National Integrated Communications Festival, during the Innovation Day held at the Madlenianum, and the award for the best young start-up in the field of marketing went to Emitto team.


Jovan Stojanović | Chief Operating Officer DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions

Known as one of the region’s top managers and authorities on the media and marketing industry, Jovan brings twenty years of experience in the field. He moved through the ranks of the agency business and — thanks to outstanding results — he first became the head of DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions’ Belgrade office and then of the entire communication system, which is thought to be the most successful in the region. He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering. He sees his greatest strength and privilege in leading a large, experienced, and skilled team of people whose ongoing work on quality and innovation drives the communication and media market’s evolution. He is the president of the Serbian chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA).

Dejan Ranđić | Founder ICT Hub & General Manager DNA Communications

Dejan Ranđić has 20 years of experience in marketing, advertising and branding. He is the founder and General Manager of the ICT Hub, the Center for the Development of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He has been an entrepreneur for over twenty years, active as a consultant and mentor in a number of initiatives related to incentives and the development of entrepreneurship, innovation and startup projects. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the SAM (The Serbian Association of Managers). He lives for new projects, challenges and successes. He is open to the failures from which new lessons are learned.

Ivana Parčetić Mitić | Founder & CEO Marketing mreža

Ivana Parčetić Mitić has launched the occupational portal Marketing Network, which has been networking and educating colleagues from the trade, both from Serbia and the region, for more than seven years. Ivana is the creator, as well as the organizer of advanced events in Serbia, such as the Regional Forum of Communication Leaders IZAZOV (Engl. Challenge) and the National Festival of Integrated Communications KAKTUS (Engl. Cactus). In mid-2018 Ivana opened the Marketing Network in the US, and at the end of last year she launched a global startup, a creative business platform - AdNetwork. As of this year, the Marketing Network supports startups to start and expand their businesses in Serbia and the world, principally in the US and Canada, through the exchange of ideas, the formation of entrepreneurial communities, the facilitation of access to mentoring, and the development of programs to accelerate growth and attract domestic and foreign investment. Ivana has been a member of numerous occupational juries in Serbia, the region and the world, among which the Epica Awards, White Square (Belarus) stands out. Since 2012 she has been a member of the media section of the Jury at the regional revue of the best advertising agencies BalCannes (Croatia), and in 2015 Ivana was the first winner of the ˝Srđan Đurić˝ Award for exceptional personal contribution in the area of communications, awarded by the Public Relations Society of Serbia.

Marko Mudrinić | Co-Founder & Managing Director Netocracy

Marko Mudrinić, co-founder and Director of Netocracy - a leading business and technology medium in the Balkans dedicated to startups, digital marketing and new technologies. He is a journalist by education, but he replaced Word with Excel. He provides advices to brands Societe Generale, Mastercard, Philip Morris International, SAP, Telenor, Vip mobile and Air Serbia for the purpose of creating and successful implementing of purposeful marketing in the media. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the eCommerce Association of Serbia.

Zoja Kukić | Programme Director — Startup Ecosystem Digital Serbia Initiative

Zoja Kukić is Programme Director for Startup Ecosystem in the Digital Serbia Initiative, private non-profit gathering more than 25 companies and organisations, working on and advocating for successful transformation of Serbia into a digital society. Zoja co-founded Startit, organisation that runs eight hubs across Serbia and an online tech media, reaching more than 70.000 people every month. Zoja obtained a Bachelor and Masters degree at Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade. She is active in empowering women in the tech sector and has co-founded the local branch of Lean In, the world’s largest female empowerment movement.


The applications are closed. Thank you for your interest!

    “We need as many of these initiatives as possible in order to raise awareness of marketing technologies in this region. The Serbian market has plenty room for marketing start-ups to grow, and I believe that MarTech Challenge will bring about more and more teams focusing on this area, because these initiatives can provide a platform for both companies and agencies. Hunch’s relationship with DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions is excellent, they were the first to recognize what we were doing, they opened up their process and specified what they needed. I think that this future is a bright one in every aspect and that both brands and agencies will be seeing some positive changes when it comes to new technologies”
    Siniša RakovićHunch founder
    “Our market has a relatively small number of registered marketing start-ups, but the potential is massive. Above all, that’s due to the industry being quite particular, and knowing it well is imperative for developing advanced solutions. At the same time, we do recognize situations in our day-to-day work where involving technology would enhance processes. That’s precisely why we launched the initiative, the monthly MarTech events are meant to prompt topics and ideas that we would want to work on together in the future through sharing the experiences of the field’s most successful start-ups and of members of the marketing community, as well as insights into examples from the global market. This year we also want to vote the region’s best MarTech start-up, but we’ll talk more about this at the upcoming events”
    Jovan StojanovićCEO DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
    “Any initiative that contributes to building a start-up ecosystem in Serbia has my vote, for whatever it's worth. I’m very happy and, after all, that is exactly why I decided to participate in the MarTech Challenge meet-up — to make my humble contribution. I think that DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions went for an excellent approach — people get a chance to share some of their experiences and try to inspire those who are just starting,”
    Dejan NikolićContent Insights CEO and Co-founder

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