Six Months in the Balkans!
NEAR Balkans Hub Celebrates half a year of Web3 Innovation in the Region
Please, raise your glasses to the first six months of exciting work for the future of Web3 in the Balkans and beyond! It’s hard to believe it’s been months since NBH launched in the region and what seems like a lifetime of partnerships, meetups, and workshops, is merely the beginning of our journey.
NBH has had the pleasure of connecting with incredible individuals building remarkable things in the Web3 space. Platforms designed to educate, innovate, and entertain, are developed in the Balkans region and are now integral parts of the NEAR ecosystem.
Join us as we discuss the past, present, and future and examine how the hub has impacted the Web3 community.
What we’ve been up to
We’ve enjoyed 183 days of building in the Balkans and giving the people a rite of passage into the Web3 world.
Our team of excellent Web3 experts has played a significant role in helping NBH achieve some noteworthy feats since our launch, and our vibrant community of almost 4,000 active community members has propelled us into a success that we have only been hoping for in our most optimistic expectations. Balkans truly is a great region with a remarkable amount of talented, tech-savvy population eager to venture into the Web3 ecosystem. The enthusiasm and the ability of young people in the Balkans to understand and utilize new technologies have encouraged us and given us energy following each and every meetup or workshop we have organized!
A network that keeps on giving
Partnerships are a crucial component of the proliferation of Web3 to the mainstream. As such, we strive to give high-potential projects a chance to grow and prosper within one of the most exponentially rising blockchain protocols. In recent months, we have integrated high-potential partnerships with Alice in Blockchains, The Round, BlockSquare, Dev3, Dacade, h00kd, ReCheck, DappNode, Joomboos and many other projects who have both benefited from and contributed to the growth of the NEAR ecosystem.
In the short period of six months, NEAR Balkans Hub has succeeded in providing projects from within and without the region with 16 approved grants helping them either to transition to the NEAR ecosystem or build innovative projects on the protocol ranging from educational platforms to Metaverse art.
These partnerships allow for the continued expansion of the NEAR protocol and serve as an opportunity to play a part in the development process of high-potential projects. NEAR Balkans Hub serves as the bridge that connects projects in the region to a safe, scalable, and fully decentralized solution.
From education to entertainment, there’s something for everyone who wishes to find their footing in the Web3 space.
NBH continues to bolster its presence in the Balkans by capitalizing on its community and investing in its growth and sustainability through several initiatives.
Besides the record-setting community of 3,700 members, the NEAR Balkans Hub caravan journeyed from Belgrade to Zagreb to Sarajevo and Skopje to the whole Balkans region for more than 15 community meetups.
Community meetups represented one of the pillars upon which the NEAR Balkans Hub was founded, as they were the hosts of a beehive of Web3 gurus and enthusiasts who have helped shape the dream of a Web3 scene in the Balkans into a reality.
The meetups have allowed NBH to truly connect with its community and raise awareness about the benefits of switching and building on the NEAR Ecosystem, which led to the creation of more than 300 active wallets in just three months.
The NEAR Balkans Hub team has also been active in major Web3 events across the Balkans and Europe, from the Paris Blockchain Summit to Blocksplit3. We chose to highlight NEAR’s yearly mega Web3 fest, NEARCON.
As promised, NBH took to NEARCON and thrilled the crowd with awesome projects. Creators, teams, and enthusiasts found themselves under the NEAR umbrella in the beautiful city of Lisbon. where the NEAR ecosystem is on full display, with over 2,000 people in attendance. With a distinct carnival atmosphere, NEARCON has been a vibrant, interactive showcase of the ecosystem’s diverse and inspiring talent and creativity.
Beyond the myriad of engaging talks and projects demos, there have also been parties, an IRL hackathon, food trucks from around the world, and much more NEARCON has also seen a bevy of exciting announcements, including some new ecosystem funds, a major Nightshade sharding milestone.
For the last six months, the NEAR Balkans Hub team has toured the Balkans regions looking for the seekers of Web3 wisdom from universities, local hubs, and enthusiast communities. Over 200 Nearians have become certified in NEAR development as a result, and the hub has, as such, contributed to the community with an excellent arsenal of developers who will continue to build new projects and innovate on the protocol.
In partnership with the Dacade educational platform, NEAR Balkans Hub has created a NEAR Development 101 certified course in 3 languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, and English to provide the local developers of the region with an easy tool to integrate the NEAR ecosystem.
Creating Web3 Rock stars
The NEAR Balkans Hub kicked off the Summership program on the 10th of June, laying the bedrock for a new conception of summer internships that combines guided learning with practical working experience on real-world NEAR use cases. The selection process was extremely competitive, with more than 80 applicants from all over the seven countries of the Balkans. The program spanned a period of 15 weeks where interns had the opportunity to be working with an international team of NEAR enthusiasts, making an impact on Web3 in different local realities. The team at NBH helped the seven rock stars hone their Web3 skills through various mentorship sessions, hands-on practice on real-world projects, and community meetups organizations.
NEAR Balkans initiative with Summership is, simply put – genius. The team is super engaged and involved, and eager to include each and every one of us and make us as comfortable as possible, while learning and moving the world to web3, of course. We are getting better by the day, kickstarting our web3 journeys and careers, all thanks to the NEAR Balkans team!Luka Nikaljevic, intern, Montenegro
Additionally, NEAR has been supporting projects in the region that align with its mission to expand Web3 to a billion users. Introducing the shining stars of the Balkans who are redefining the local Web3 scene through impactful projects on the NEAR Protocol.
The NEAR Balkans Hub has made huge strides in the past six months to transform the Web3 ecosystem of the region and bolster the local players to implement a bolder strategy, and attract the regional community to become more active and engaged.
The Balkans is most certainly a part of Europe with high potential in tech space since it is already quite popular for its tech talent. Partners like NEAR Balkans hub are something we need here to guide us in the further development of our community, show us all the opportunities and help us catch them and use everything that is put in front of us. Web3 gives us a new opportunity to create an ecosystem of start-ups that will be an economic force for the entire society, and help from NEAR Balkans hub will definitely be and already is a driver for this to happen.Nermin Hadzic, Chapter director for SaaStock Sarajevo
To give you a glimpse into the marvelous journey of NBH for the last six months, we have prepared a short video that encapsulates our experience from the lens of our team and partners.
So treat yourself to some hot chocolate and get cozy as we celebrate the first six months of the NEAR Balkans Hub journey.
The NBH team isn’t resting on our laurels, as we have more exciting activities and partnerships planned for the future. In the coming months, more projects hailing from the Balkans region will be integrated into the platform that tackles the blockchain trilemma of security, scalability, and decentralization.
We have only scratched the surface of what we can achieve in the Balkans Web3 ecosystem. The NEAR Balkans Hub has a lot cooking, and can’t wait to give you a taste of what’s coming up in the next few months.
So stay tuned and get ready for the Balkans ship to come pick you up on an exciting Web3 cruise!
NEAR Balkans is present on numerous social & community channels. Updates, event invitations, and much more will be announced on these channels, so hop on to stay in the loop!