Macedonia – the Silicon Valley of the Balkans/Eastern Europe

Interview with Dana Klein, United Macedonia Diaspora

Dana Klein is an Honorary Consul for the Republic of North Macedonia and Growth Advisor and mentor to Startups, where she advises on effective yield management and go to market strategies that result in long term growth and value. Dana is a Growth Management professional with over 25 years of experience in stakeholder engagement, creation of new market demand and development, strategic and channel partners, and effective market positioning. She integrates her strategic, analytical, and tactical expertise to creatively capitalize on unexpected challenges and new opportunities in both the public and private sectors. Her roles have included CMO/President of her own PR, Marketing and Business Development company with clients both global and local clients, Chief Commercial Officer of a startup tech firm, Global Account Director of a double digit billion company.  Dana holds an M.A. from Emerson College in Media Management and a B.S. in Media Production from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications.

1. The United Macedonian Diaspora as an organization in Macedonia is recognized as a serious advocate of Macedonian interests in the United States. What is UMD doing for its fellow citizens in Macedonia?

UMD unifies the diaspora around the world, protects their interests, helps them stay connected to and active participants in Macedonia, promotes initiatives in line with global objectives of a healthy democracy, and promotes and creates programs to maintain Macedonian heritage, traditions, and identity.

2. What can a startup expect from UMD mentors?

Various types of assistance.  As each mentor has different skills and experience, the variety should be helpful on many levels.

3. What kind of support can you personally give to the Macedonian startups, Accelerator UKIM clients?

Efficient go to market strategies and tactics and promotion of Macedonia as a prime location for startup development- the Silicon Valley of the Balkans/Eastern Europe.

4. Why do you help the Macedonian start-up community? What are your expectations?

I help because I enjoy learning about new innovation and helping them go to market. My expectations are for Macedonia to build a successful startup community where companies come to start and expand successfully from there.  I feel that Macedonia is a superb choice for start-up development and expansion as it amply provides the next phase of go to market with lower cost manufacturing and distribution.

5. How do you assess the start-up climate in Macedonia and in the Balkans?

I think Macedonia and the Balkans have a unique competitive advantage especially during COVID and what is expected to be a long recovery.  The location, trade agreements, location, regulation, and access to manufacturing and distribution resources lends itself perfectly to an efficient go to market strategy.  Macedonia is a one stop shop for start ups.