Mihailo Bozic’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Mihailo Bozic’s path to becoming an entrepreneur was shaped by his unique interests and innate curiosity. While his peers indulged in gaming-related YouTube videos, Mihailo found himself drawn to TED Talks and other intellectually stimulating content. This divergence set him apart, but rather than feeling excluded, it acted as a natural filter that helped him form strong connections with like-minded friends from a young age. As he grew older, his entrepreneurial spirit started to take shape.

One of Mihailo’s early ventures into entrepreneurship came when he was in year 10, making memes about Star Wars. Initially met with skepticism from his parents, they soon realized it was a legitimate source of income when the first payment arrived. Despite having success with his meme page, Mihailo’s strict Serbian family expected him to pursue higher education. He chose Finance and Economics as his field of study at the University of Western Australia (UWA). During his time at UWA, he actively participated in various clubs and societies. However, he encountered a significant challenge – reaching out to first-year students who lacked access to Facebook, hindering their participation in events. Recognizing this problem, Mihailo saw an opportunity to create a solution.

Envited: The Birth and Launch of the Startup

In his final semester at university, Mihailo teamed up with Jordan, the co-founder of Envited, to address the problem he had identified. They began working together to create a platform that would enable better communication and engagement for all students, including those without access to mainstream social media platforms. Despite the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mihailo saw potential in launching Envited, particularly in Perth, where the pandemic’s impact was relatively mild. He believed that positioning Envited as the go-to choice for events once life returned to normal after lockdowns would give them an advantage.

In March 2021, Envited was launched, and the team’s efforts started to gain recognition. Within a few months, they won a startup competition in May of the same year, marking a turning point for Mihailo and his team. This victory encouraged them to take their venture more seriously and provided validation for their idea. Leveraging their network and connections, they secured spaces at Spacecubed and WeWork to establish their operations. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Mihailo and his team. They faced the challenge of securing funding to further grow their startup.

Challenges and Success in Building Envited

Mihailo had initially believed that securing funding would be relatively easy, assuming that investors would eagerly support their innovative idea. However, he quickly learned that dealing with rejection was an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey. Out of the 60 investors he contacted, only one showed genuine interest in investing. This experience taught him the importance of building sustainable relationships over time. To manage the process effectively, Mihailo maintained a detailed spreadsheet to track interactions and reasons for disinterest, allowing them to refine their pitch and approach.

Persistence paid off for Mihailo and his team as they finally secured their first investment from Galileo Ventures after six months of building a strong relationship and showcasing their progress. Mihailo’s youth proved to be an advantage in the eyes of investors, as they recognized the potential of early-stage startups led by young founders. According to him, three crucial characteristics for a CEO are the ability to recruit top talent, retain morale within the team, and manage finances effectively. These qualities were essential as Envited continued to grow and evolve.

Lessons and Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Mihailo’s entrepreneurial journey taught him invaluable lessons that he shares with aspiring entrepreneurs. He emphasizes the importance of self-awareness in the fast-paced and challenging startup world. It can be stressful and demanding, and not everyone may be suited for the roller-coaster ride of entrepreneurship. However, Mihailo believes that resilience is a fundamental requirement for success in the startup world. He advises entrepreneurs to exhaust all options and resources before giving up, as it is better to let a startup die with the knowledge that you gave it your all.

For students contemplating entrepreneurship, Mihailo’s advice is simple: “Just do it.” He believes that there is no better time than the present, particularly when one has fewer familial responsibilities and financial obligations. Starting small and creating the simplest version of a product or service is key, and acquiring that first customer serves as a significant milestone. From there, the focus should be on scaling up step by step, acquiring more customers, and refining the offering based on user feedback and needs. Mihailo’s journey with Envited demonstrates that perseverance, innovation, and determination can lead to success in the world of startups, even in the face of adversity.