Montenegro is small but has a huge innovation potential

Guest of today’s CEPS blog is Bozina Komatina who recently had a successful presentation of his idea of the solar cooker “Sun Rocket” at the IMPACT 2019 international impact conference in Belgrade. How did the idea for a solar cooker come about?

– First of all, I would like to thank CEPS for their help in preparing for the Impact 2019 conference, as well as Dragan Goranović from the G Consulting company in Podgorica, who was my right hand. The idea came about by having previously reviewed just about everything published in this field in the world and got an idea of how solar-powered cooking might be applicable in everyday households. If you have a terrace or any place where the sun shines, you are qualified to use this product because the solar power in the space of 1m2 is enough to drive the “SunRoket” as we call it without any use of electricity, gas, wood, coal or other energy source.

In Belgrade, you presented yourself to a group of international investors. What are your impressions?

The impression is that this is a very serious event that is superbly organized and attended by significant investors from all over the world. All the presentations, including mine, were monitored with full attention. I have made contacts with a number of investors so we will see how far it will all go.

How much was IMPACT2019 useful for you and what stood out?

– It was very useful for me because I gained much experience in presenting my product in front of investors and auditorium and I made a lot of good contacts and ideas for further cooperation. I also received a lot of useful tips.

How much do you think these programs are useful for young researchers and what do you think should be done to develop a supportive ecosystem for research and development in Montenegro as well?

– Such programs are essential for researchers and should be organized more frequently. Montenegro is small but it has huge potential because every day I meet interesting people who are doing research work in many fields, using their own money as a source of funding. Thanks to Impact, I also met a Montenegrin colleague Vukasin Rakocevic who is engaged in the construction of electric vehicles.

In order to create a good ecosystem for them, it is necessary primarily to create a fund with a lot of micro grants that would be relatively easy to obtain even at the idea stage. In this way, the path from idea to prototype would be significantly accelerated, thus encouraging individuals to come up with new ideas and to know that someone would stand behind them from the very beginning. In addition, it is very important to organize mentoring as it is a proven path to success.

Prior to the competition, you also had organized mentoring by the Canadian virtual incubator “Spring”. How much did it help you prepare your presentation and work on the concept of the final product?

– It has helped me a lot because I was not sufficiently informed when it comes to pitching, i.e. the manner in which the presentation was conducted and the ways of further negotiations with investors. Canada’s incubator “Spring” led by San Capadia has done a very professional work through three online and one offline mentoring workshops.

What are the next steps in developing a solar cooker that you are working on?

– The working prototype has been completed and it works perfectly. It is now to be redesigned and brought to a better position in negotiating with investors.

Success always requires a team. Who is part of your team and who do you see as potential partners for the development of the solar cooker?

– Without a good team it is impossible to expect favorable results. I’m lucky in that way. My team is consisted of exceptional individuals who are involved in industrial design, marketing, communications, video and graphic production.

“Sun Rocket” has the potential for global growth. Who makes a potential market?

– It has a significant potential because of its design, which is characterized by efficiency and good price. The potential market is everyone in the world who lives without electricity, as well as those who use wood, coal, etc. as their fuel for food preparation. It can also be used in national parks, city parks and all places where the use of fire in food preparation is prohibited.

How to make money and when do you expect it to be realistic for “Sun Rocket” to go on the market?

– We plan to participate in the following fundraising invitations in the country and region. In the best case scenario it could be on the market by the end of next year.