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Innovation Centre Kosovo, Prishtina, Kosovo


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Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Schedule

Friday

May 25
  • Registration Starts
  • Official Oppening
  • Pitches start
  • Light Food Served
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow
  • Work as long as you want, but you can finish the day as well.
  • After party at Creme de la Creme

Saturday

May 26
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Lunch
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Presentation from Alejtin Berisha
  • Presentation from Dimitar Grozdanov
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday

May 27
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Lunch
  • Benjamin Merran - Marketing awareness for Start-ups
  • Presentation from Kushtrim Xhakli
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Let's GO PARTY!... secret place
Premier Sponsor
Speakers

Alejtin Berisha

Educator/Entrepreneur

Alejtin Berisha is an educator, entrepreneur and the current Executive Director of Universum University College, an innovative and entrepreneurial school in Kosova. He has been involved in the non-profit and education fields run family businesses and started up new ones. He is a keen user and supporter of technology devices for educational use and has been a mentor in New York City Education Startup Weekend and Prishtina Startup Weekend. Alejtin is a Coach for BiD Network where he coaches entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs all around the world. He is a speaker at different academic and startup events and has spent time at New York University on a US State Department Fellowship. Alejtin is currently doing a Doctorate in Business Administration at the renowned Bath School of Management in the UK and has an MA from University of Sussex and a BA from SEE University in Macedonia.

Benjamin Merran

Investor @ EYE - Encouraging Young Entrepreneurs   |   LinkedIn

A 34 year old French with 10 year operational management experience and 5 years as an entrepreneur : Italian Restaurant in Paris. Newly arrived in Kosovo to help build it's economic future by investing private funds in selected good ideas. With an MBA in International Management in the Hospitality Industry, he is a field guy with several mulitcultural experiences around the world and a passion for Marketing. He joined SW because he hopes to find potential candidates for the program he is involved in.

Platinum Sponsor
Judges

Nick Stevens

Entrepreneur and Co-Founder   |   LinkedIn

A British expat living in The Netherlands, Nick has more than a decade of corporate operations management experience, and about half as much again in the small business world. He doesn’t code, but considers himself to be somewhat geeky, with a fascination about UI/UX and is a process/systems thinking nerd. He is currently has a profitable B2B startup. He joined SW because he loves to enable creative people to chase their dreams.

Benjamin Merran

Investor @ EYE - Encouraging Young Entrepreneurs   |   LinkedIn

A 34 year old French with 10 year operational management experience and 5 years as an entrepreneur : Italian Restaurant in Paris. Newly arrived in Kosovo to help build it's economic future by investing private funds in selected good ideas. With an MBA in International Management in the Hospitality Industry, he is a field guy with several mulitcultural experiences around the world and a passion for Marketing. He joined SW because he hopes to find potential candidates for the program he is involved in.

Kushtrim Xhakli

Changers/HackFWD   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Kushtrim Xhakli is an entrepreneur with a high passion for innovation and market disruption. He is part of the management at Changers.com, a Berlin based company that develops innovative solar device which makes eco friendly behavior measurable and rewarding. Kushtrim is also referrer at HackFwd, an early stage investment company designed to enable great people with strategic direction to launch great companies. He is often seen delivering guest talks on entrepreneurship at business schools, industry conferences and travelling to weird places.

Jon Hansen

Counselor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Norwegian Embassy in Prishtina.

Jon Hansen is Counselor and Deputy Head of Mission at the Norwegian Embassy in Prishtina. Previously, he has been Counselor at the Embassy in Sarajevo and Consul in the General Consulate in Hamburg. As Fisheries Attaché he was also responsible for the promotion of Norwegian seafood in several European countries. Mr. Hansen has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Administration from Norway. From Germany, he has a Bachelor’s degree in international marketing and economics. He has twelve years of management experience in Norwegian and international businesses. Among other, he has worked in internationally renowned corporations such as O. Mustad & Søn ASA, Widerøe’s Flyveselskap ASA and ABB (Asea Brown Boveri). Furthermore, Mr. Hansen held the position as Vice President Sales and Marketing in many of the firms. He has working experience in tourism and airlines, engineering, infrastructure and IT, along with Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). He has broad experience in both B2B and B2C activities.

Valon Budima

Executive Director - Asseco SEE Kosovo

Budima has over 20 years of professional experience in IT and has worked in different fields of architecture and the development of software applications, design and the implementation of communication networks, projecting of IT solutions for organization management, etc. Budima has a number of certifications in IT from market leaders such as Cisco Systems, HP, Microsoft and Novell. He is the co-founder of the kosovar company Pronet in 1997. In 2009, Pronet gets together with the powerful European Group Asseco which is one of the biggest companies in Europe in the field of software and IT services. Budima is management member at Asseco South Eastern Europe, he is the General Executive Director of Asseco SEE in Kosovo and in charge of the operations of Asseco SEE for Albania, as Chairman of the Supervising Board. Asseco SEE is enlisted in the stock market of Warsaw in Poland, and the biggest shareholder are BERZH (EBRD). Budima is also an investor, shareholder and board member in many other companies and organizastions, mainly from the technology sector.

Vjollca Cavolli

STIKK

Vjollca Çavolli is the Executive Director of the Kosovo Association of Information and Communication Technology. She is in charge of representing the organization, acting on the interest of all STIKK members, coordinate with the Board of Directors, members and external partners, as well as draft strategic documents of the organization, action plans and project proposals. Previously, Ms. Çavolli worked for Community Development Fund, a local Foundation, where she managed more than 180 infrastructure, social service and capacity building projects. During her nine years of experience with CDF, besides daily duties and responsibilities, Çavolli has attended and successfully completed trainings in business English, has acquired the European Business Competence License and has attended the School for European Integration in Pristina. Earlier, Ms. Çavolli worked for the International Committee of Red Cross as a protection officer, for the World Food Program as a food monitor, for Medicine Sans Frontier as a field officer, as well as for the Public Trade Company “Gërmia” as an intern supervisor. Ms. Çavolli has graduated from the Economic Faculty in the University of Prishtina in 1986.

Gold Sponsor
Coaches

Peter Sunde

PirateBay/Flattr   |  

Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, 32, a Berlin/Malmö-based Scandinavian hacker/entrepreneur, is working with projects that have the potential to change society and often deals with questions of intellectual property rights. Peter is best known for co-founding the controversial The Pirate Bay, the largest file sharing system in the world - ever. Besides this involvement, Peter is also the Founder of Flattr, the first real social micropayment/money sharing service.

Nick Stevens

Entrepreneur and Co-Founder   |   LinkedIn

A British expat living in The Netherlands, Nick has more than a decade of corporate operations management experience, and about half as much again in the small business world. He doesn’t code, but considers himself to be somewhat geeky, with a fascination about UI/UX and is a process/systems thinking nerd. He is currently has a profitable B2B startup. He joined SW because he loves to enable creative people to chase their dreams.

Kushtrim Xhakli

Changers.com/HackFWD   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Kushtrim Xhakli is an entrepreneur with a high passion for innovation and market disruption. He is part of the management at Changers.com, a Berlin based company that develops innovative solar device which makes eco friendly behavior measurable and rewarding. Kushtrim is also referrer at HackFwd, an early stage investment company designed to enable great people with strategic direction to launch great companies. He is often seen delivering guest talks on entrepreneurship at business schools, industry conferences and travelling to weird places.

Anca Foster

Eastern Europe Coordinator for Startup Weekend   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Anca has been working with Startup Weekend since February 2010. She is a graphic and web designer with experience in international economic relations, PR and human rights, and has recently become the Eastern Europe Coordinator for Startup Weekend. Her areas of interest include creativity, social entrepreneurship and regional economic development.

Arian Celina

Software Engineer/Lecturer   |   LinkedIn

Arian is a software engineer, web development enthusiast, software development consultant, and computer science lecturer. He has 7+ years of experience as Software Engineer, and 4 years as a lecturer. He holds bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Prishtina, Kosovo, and Master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Hertfordshire, UK. Arian currently works as a Software Engineer for Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo J.S.C., and as a lecturer for the University for Business and Technology. Besides his professional interests, Arian is highly interested in startups and business process improvements.

Milot Shala

Software Engineer - Nokia   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Milot is a software engineer and he currently works for Poken, starting from 1st of July he will be joining Nokia as a software engineer to make the world a better place. He is also Qt Ambassador, holds the title of Nokia Certified Qt Specialist and is a hardcore C++ programmer. Furthermore he enjoys reading in depth for Linux kernel and hacking on it on his spare time.

Luca Pescatore

IT Manager   |   LinkedIn

Luca works for an International Organisation in Albania, for seven
years was the Regional IT Manager for the Balkan region for this
Organisation. In the past he built up two startups and gave
consultancy to several IT companies. His professional and personal
interests include software development tools, server administration
and networking, high-level languages like PHP, elegant architectures
of APIs/frameworks and software architecture/design in general,
software performance optimization, DEVOPS automation tools,
openstreetmap, graphical user interfaces, marketing, business
development, aquaponics, environment, remote sensing and lots more

Ilir Bekteshi

Marketing & Communication Specialist   |   LinkedIn

Ilir is a graphic designer and marketing communication specialist. He has an experience of more than 10 years in communication and product development. Ilir currently works as a Brand Manager for Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo J.S.c, and he prefers the challenges and changes in market and technology and also admires the brave entrepreneurs and innovators.

Fisnik Latifi

Market Analyst   |  

Since numbers seem to make a better living than letters, Fisnik dedicates his day life to the economy, its development and the potential to influence it profitably by changing the people's minds. At the moment Raiffeisen Bank writes his paychecks and asks him in return to conduct market research. The rest of the time he reads and writes. Startups are a personal concern of him, for they will carry this country into wealth and fame

Bernard Nikaj

Professor of Entrepreneurship/Project Management   |   LinkedIn

Bernard Nikaj teaches Entrepreneurship and Project Management at the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Prishtina. At the same time he serves as the Senior Political Adviser to the Minister of Trade and Industry. He has spent last ten years working as independent consultant concentrating on information technology use for organizational change and public management projects. In the meantime he worked with TechSoup Global to explore social change by using technology, served on the Executive Board of FLOSSK and Chaired the Program Committee of SFK ’09 and ’10. He holds degrees in Economics, Management and Information Systems from University of Prishtina (BA) and London School of Economics (MSc.) and is currently working towards a PhD at the Maastricht School of Governance. He is interested in project and business ideas involving the public and not-for-profit sectors.

Flamur Mavraj

Empirio AS   |  

A young, enthusiastic creative designer and web developer, with a lot of experience in different areas, in love with open source even that he uses Windows most of the times, started his own company when he was 18 and has worked both in public and private sectors. He has been working for some large Norwegian companies such as Nettby Community AS a part of VG Multimedia AS, Akershus County Council, Holte byggsafe AS, NETS (one of the largest payment solutions in north) by developing and designing their products. He is an active member of Startupweekend Norway and was part of the organizer team for Startupweekend Tirana.

Nuhi Peci

Nuhi Peci has a Master degree in Political Science from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). His focus has been the Balkans, especially Kosovo and the Kosovar diaspora. He is also very interested in Invasion and Technology, and is now studying Entrepreneurship at University in Oslo (UiO). He is an active member of Startupweekend Norway and was part of the organizer team for Startupweekend Tirana.

Zana Tabaku

Co-Founder/Operations Manager   |  

Zana is co-founder and operations manager at APPDEC (Application Development Center) which is software development company and also training center (since it has Microsoft Learning Competency).
Zana is also software engineer as she has experience for more than 6 years and she has series of Microsoft Certifications on programming and databases and she’s also preparing to become Microsoft Certified Trainer.

Agim Bekaj

Microsoft   |  

Agim Bekaj currently works for Microsoft Corporation as BDM for Kosovo. He is engaged in Microsoft since 2006. During his long professional and academic career he used to work for Computer Center TREPCA, as a lecturer in the Faculty of Applied Technical Sciences in Mitrovica, at Prime Minister's Office of Kosova, in many of international organizations, including: OSCE, KDOM, EUMM, and IOM. Additionally, he have had a successful career in the private sector as cofounder of the private company INFORMATIKA Computers.
Since 2006, Mr. Bekaj represents Microsoft in the American Chamber of Commerce, and served as a board member during 2008 and 2009. He is an active member of several local and international professional associations. Mr. Bekaj realizes his humanitarian work and activities through Rotary Club Pristina International. Mr. Bekaj has completed his studies in Computer Sciences in 1982 at Faculty of Electrical Engineering in Sarajevo University.

Dimitar Grozdanov

Technology Strategist / Core infrastructure Microsoft Macedonia

Dimitar Grozdanov has more than 10 years of experience in the field of IT. His primary job function is to serve as Trusted Advisor to Microsoft’s customers, manly in the Enterprise segment (Financial, Communication, Public Sector), in the areas of their Core Infrastructure – Windows Server platform, Management and Monitoring tools. In addition, Dimitar is the link between the Customers, Enterprise Sales Team and Microsoft Services Team. He has also received the Microsoft’s Circle of Excellence 2009 Gold award. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was working for the second largest mobile operator in Macedonia, in charge of the Microsoft infrastructure and helpdesk systems. His areas of interest cover core infrastructure (management and monitoring), security, unified communications and virtualization.

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Organizers
Çelik Nimani
Kosovare Krasniqi
Hilde Seljom
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