By Strahinja Tirnanić , May 09, 2023 Picasso and the QueenBack home, the machine works at full steam. Kick-off with another tech company, size approx 250-300 people, also with one of the first four insurance companies in Serbia, new projects with Ivan, got a new contract signed, new photo shooting, new workshops and lectures at the Hub, new graphic designer... If you add all of that to the base, and our ongoing projects and client servicing, if you take me away 6 hours back, you realize how many variables in this math we have. You realize that it takes a serious machine that can overcome all challenges. And there are enough challenges even without this journey. Nothing new. This thing is the same for an entrepreneur as it is a World Cup for a football player. You live for those games, you are preparing for those games, you go out to the field, and do your best. I somehow coordinate with Serbia from 7:00 am (13:00 CET) to 9:30 pm (15:30 CET), and then I go to the Enventys. The system I have been building for years proves to me once again that it works. But for the system to work, you have to have people. I have people for great deeds. People who patiently wait for their 5 minutes, people who work hard, but who work smart as well. I have a message for my givers. I think your 5 minutes came. I am 8,100 km away from home, but I can feel the impulse. Tendance and expectations. I have mostly good news for some of you. First, it's good to be on the alert, not too tense, but with lock and load, if you know what I mean. Second, this is a journey, enjoy it :D No event will happen, no one will come and say here's a gift of 16 million. Those 5 minutes last and will last a little longer. We need to focus on that path, its flow, and how and with what we will do. And where are we going. Final destination. Third, you can work and live without me. Each Founder's Fantasy. We are ready! At Enventys, this week is for the Internet of Things - IoT. I'm still studying what Jason and Hunter are up to. Not even close to my tendencies or touchpoints, however, I found my ability to analyze products and their development. I would say a couple of very good thoughts, questions, and ideas, and it brought me back to my childhood and a handful of Lego bricks around me. I attended management meetings and then the entire company meeting. I also go through the action plan with my mentor, and we also put down some contacts that we think would be excellent to meet. I must work more on that action plan and put on more details. I'm going with Jeremy and Jason to the Silicon Labs IoT workshop. Out of 20 people, 19 engineers and me. I feel like I fell from Mars, not out of my comfort zone, but out of planet Earth. In the introduction about IoT, and smart home systems, there are some well-known things, but also some that I don't even know the name of in Serbian, you can imagine in English... I'm installing an xG24 dev kit device (development board) that can measure temperature, light, magnetic field, humidity, air pressure, and sound volume... The EFR32xG24 Dev Kit is a compact, feature-packed development platform. It provides the fastest path to develop and prototype wireless IoT products. I'm installing the program :D Torture for me, but great for the brain, I focused on that, I tried to stabilize my feelings, and I certainly raised my brain activity to the highest level. I went through all the stages of internal and external reaction to the situation, from confused and scared to interested to disinterested, from disoriented to resourceful, and finally, a happy and satisfied new Nikola Tesla. The first phase was successful. I look around, and most of the people are still working. Jeremy jokes to Jason that I finished before him. I think he had a problem with the device, so he installed a new one quickly. Of course, I was proud of myself for not burning the laptop and the device, moreover, the light blinks beautifully, like for the new year. Until the end, I had a lot of problems, and of course the help of my colleagues around me. It was quite interesting to work on a smart home device. Finally, the device works. I test it by pointing the flash from my phone at the device and measuring the light intensity, pulling the magnet to test if the device is measuring the magnetic field, and putting my hand down to see if there are changes in temperature or light. It works perfectly. I brought the Silicon Labs production kit as a souvenir, maybe there is a chance to make something out of it back home. Midweek and two interesting events, each in its way. The University hosts the student finals of the Pitch competition, so we were guests at the Venture Challenge, which is Ventureprise's annual event. Translated - an early-stage startup competition. I think that the competition is closed to the public, but we were invited by the organizers to attend the pitches of brilliant ideas of these young minds. Seven finalists, mostly current but also recently graduated students, showed that they can present very skillfully, and some of them have already passed some stages with their ideas, considering that they have worked on them for a year or more. It was great to watch them. After the Pitches, a fair for all finalists and semi-finalists, where they can present their ideas to everyone. Many businessmen and investors, professors, and entrepreneurs come to meet young talents. I checked all booths to meet all 15 startups and talk to great young people. I have two favorites from the previous Pitch competition, so I have a few more questions for them. I am researching mainly about the product itself and its capabilities, I am also interested in the scalability potential, as well as how they will generate revenue. I also have the right to vote, and I voted for a fashion startup, considering the fact that it is the furthest stage of the life cycle and that there is great potential. Thanos does not vote, so I give the honorary vote to a young American of our roots - Popović. An idea for software in the logistics and transportation industry. The winner is GroSecure, a gamified app designed to educate senior citizens about fraud. I met a lot of interesting business people, and I scheduled meetings with several of them.The second event, Networking under 40, 6-9 pm, brewery, I think this will be interesting. Actually, I expected a lot more people, but the participation costs, so maybe that's the reason for not so many visits. Anyway, the event was interesting. I connected with all 30 or so people, which is perhaps the most interesting thing, I didn't skip anyone :D There were also two people present who have the same companies as me, only they are just starting out. Lots of interesting conversations, information, and ideas. I am also preparing for the final preparation before the pitch competition. Since I am under pressure from everything, I don't have much time for the presentation, 7 minutes I needed to adjust the existing one and start to practice the time with the script. I somehow managed to correct the script and squeeze it into 4 minutes, but I haven't really practiced some new details. As always, I rely a lot on handling the situation and spontaneity. I feel much free. However, I firmly believe that in specific cases, every possible detail should be prepared. I'm a bit stressed, but now I can not detect the source—too many of them. Friday is coming. The day sounds perfect. It starts (it should be) with the final preparation for the pitch competition. More precisely, seven of us pitch our business ideas in front of four judges, in order to train the performance for next Friday and practically, the semi-finals. The final will take place in Washington D.C. in the last week of the program. Why " it should be" written in parenthesis? Well…The day before I set up the automation tool, but since we are using it for the first time, the second test, I am still cautious. I told Ivana to observe the first two hours in Serbian time if something goes wrong - to call me. The day actually starts at 4:22 in the morning with a call from Ivana. A few problems with the tool, so I get up around 4.30 and start solving issues. I thought, great, the Pitch starts at 9, I'll be super awake. However, I was super sleepy, so at 9 I already had a second coffee and a second breakfast, using the FC Barca "tika taka" tactics, sweet and salty, so that with caffeine, salt, and sugar, energy in my body would rise. By the way, all the time I try to follow activities in Serbia and give wind in back to my team for both existing and new projects. Of course, all the problems are just waiting for you to go to another continent so that they start jealously demanding attention. Last week broke me, if I hadn't reset myself for 13 hours on the weekend, this one would have crushed me. My body is suffering, especially because of the neurological problem I have. Born and raised in Serbia, used to: the stronger the fight, the greater the victory. I am in the USA, on my entrepreneurial journey and training. Strong until the end.A short networking session and getting to know the jury, are very interesting, smart, and successful people. Four minutes Pitch, 5 minutes feedback. We start in alphabetical order of the names of the participating countries, so I'm pitching the penultimate one. I got some time to remember some details, but also to see and hear the rest of the team. I'm not surprised. They were all great! I didn't know if I would be the first or the last. That's from my personal point of view. If I look at it from the judge's point of view, I have my favorite, but I also have a guess as to who will win. It's hard to decide. David (Ireland) practically pitches in his native language, drones that map garbage by the highways. Elena (Romania) has a Communication Bachelor, speaks several languages, and pitches a fashion application. AI recommends models to you according to your characteristics and interest. Yvonne from Slovenia, and her startup that creates cartoons for children with anxiety, and similar issues, which include breathing exercises and practicing meditation. Kaisa from Estonia is pitching its startup for environmental sustainability. It helps companies to be more economical, greener, and aware of their employees through sustainability. Thanos from Greece has a platform and project management tool for accelerators and their startups. Toghrul from Azerbaijan also has an already developed platform but for crowdfunding social startups. And I, who, looking at the stages, have the business that has progressed the furthest in terms of organization, number of employees, and revenue. We've got the engine and system working, now we need the fuel to fly.It really didn't matter who was the best. It is most important that we are here and that we are working on it. And then every next time it gets better and better. We have a lot of good feedback, who needs to work on what, to make the Pitch as good as possible. Feedback is worth its weight in gold if you plan to pitch your ideas to investors. And I plan.The great feeling after the Pitch, and now something truly unforgettable. Mr. Dana Hicks takes us to the Mint Museum, where we are welcomed by the curator, a charismatic lady, a connoisseur of Picasso and his life. So, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Pablo Picasso, the exhibition in Charlotte, "Out of Bounds" is the only one on the East Coast of the USA, along with two other cities on the West Coast, where you can see more than 40 original paintings in live. I guess this might even be once in a lifetime, so I asked the lady, I got a confirmation. The excitement is unforgettable, and the feeling is indescribable. The spirit of Picasso permeates the premises of the Mint Museum. At the entrance, there is a huge photo of Picasso in one of his studios. The story of Picasso's life begins, the places he visited, where and what he painted... the period from when he was 15 years old and his first paintings, until just a few months before his death. Several works are actually those places or views that he had at some point. Mainly French Cote d'Azur, Malaga, Barcelona. Fascinating. It's no secret that he loved women. Several works with his "muses". I am waiting to see the most famous for me, the bullfight. In the meantime, Mrs. Curator constantly motivates us to participate, to think, and share those thoughts and feelings. "What do you see"? I see a lot of green. Like in the jungle. Hmmm is that a faucet in the background? A couple of buildings. He sits on his balcony, surrounded by green, and looks out of his window of greenery into the distance where construction is underway. Although green is in the foreground, there is gray in the background. "He didn't like urbanization."And so with every picture. In one picture I noticed that one of the buildings says "ecola". The curator is delighted, she never noticed that before. The letters are quite small, and the building is just one of many in the picture. I focused in. Today was a big day for me. I met Picasso. Observed the paintings, analyzed them, and literally felt them. Experiences like these can change your perspective. And I improved my Pitch significantly. The chances of finding an investment become higher. Certainly, I improved my performance significantly, which will have a big impact on my business. Long day. Beautiful day. In the evening, the team goes to a restaurant and has a night out. I was in at 9 pm in bed, see you at 1 pm tomorrow again, after I reset after 3 most intense weeks ever. Tomorrow I have the NASCAR museum and another big excitement, while on Sunday we have World Planet Day and volunteering in the community. Probably one of the most interesting and intense weeks in recent times. I will leave those two stories for the next blog article, considering that this text is too long and I, as an inexperienced blogger, am not 100% confident about its length. I accept all the suggestions of experienced colleagues! I'm late with the Blog, I'm late with the Action Plan, I don't have enough slots for all the meetings, I'm not even attacking with half-strength, and they're starting to make jokes about my calendar. Even though 90% of things in Serbia are delegated, I only observe and deal with quality. Since I was attracted quite a bit, this whole week I'm active from 7 am to 7-8 pm, so I didn't have too much time to explore Charlotte. I thought it was a shame, but when I read the text, I don't know what else could have been done, and whether it could have been better this week. I need to see things from a bird's eye view more often. Cheers until next time!