US-Serbia Tech Cooperation: Strengthening Relations between the Two Nations

ISF Fellow Spotlight: Vuk Velebit (Europe 2022)

With funding from Schmidt Futures, ISF Fellow Vuk Velebit pursued a project to explore new opportunities for enhancing relations between Serbia and the US through technology and innovation cooperation.

To achieve this, Vuk engaged with over 30 tech startup founders in Serbia, as well as the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ms. Ana Brnabić. During his trip to the US, Vuk connected with tech experts, startup founders, VC funds, representatives from the US State Department, and prominent think tanks such as the Atlantic Council and CEPA. He also met with the Serbian Embassy in the US and the US ambassador to Serbia, Christopher Hill, introducing them to the possibilities for reexamining bilateral relations. Following these valuable meetings, Vuk gave several interviews on major Serbian TV stations and Voice of America.

As a result of this project with Schmidt Futures, Vuk has announced the establishment of an organization that will serve as a strategic hub for US-Serbia relations.

The Pupin Initiative, named after Michael Pupin, will be a pioneering non-profit organization headquartered in Belgrade and Washington, D.C., devoted to comprehensive and strategic engagement with US-Serbia relations. Its focus will be on developing policy proposals, solutions, and strategies to enhance Serbia’s standing in the US. Moreover, the initiative will work toward creating a new narrative surrounding US-Serbia relations by implementing popular and non-political projects within Serbia.

In addition to Vuk and other two co-founders from Belgrade and San Francisco, the Pupin Initiative has assembled an advisory board comprising accomplished individuals from diverse industries in Serbia and the US. The organization aims to become the primary destination for US-Serbia relations, fostering connections between various initiatives and individuals engaged in different aspects of the US-Serbia cooperation.

The organization will be launched in Belgrade on October 9th, followed by a launch in Washington DC later in October, and an event in New York in early November. If you’d like to get involved, reach out to Nick Cohen, ISF Europe lead, who will connect you with Vuk and the team.