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Innovation Centre 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

Nov 22
  • Registration Starts
  • Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Dinner & 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

Saturday

Nov 23
  • 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!
  • 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

Nov 24
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Lunch
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS (At FILIKAQA)
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • PARTY, PARTY, PARTY AT FILIKAQA!
Premier Sponsor
Judges

Vllaznim Xhiha

Entrepreneur / Investor / Founder EYE   |   LinkedIn

Vllaznim Xhiha, has graduated from the Swiss Technology Institute (ETHZ) of Zurich in 1976, whereas in 1980 he accomplished his post-graduate studies at the same Institute in the field of electronics and automatic control. He started his professional career at the Prishtina Technology Institute (1976-1982) as assistant and then as lecturer. In the period 1982-1985 he was part of the engineering team that built the water supply system of Batllava for the town of Prishtina.

In the period 1985-1992 he ws employed as engineer and then as Marketing & Sales Manger of Invertomatic SA in Switzerland. In 1993 he co-founds with Filippo Marbach the company Newave SA (www.newavenergy.com) in Ticino. Xhiha was the CEO at Newave from the very beginning, whereas during the last two years he was apointed Chairman of the Board. In the year 2007 Newave goes public at the Swiss Stock Exchane in Zurich (SIX). In 2011 Newave and ABB (Asea Brown Boveri) sign an agreement for the integration of Newave in the ABB Group.

After his career at Newave, Xhiha establishes EYE shpk. in march 2012, in Prishtina, with the objective to encourage and support young entrepreneurs in Kosovo.

Michael Gold

Managing Director, Crimson Capital   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Michael Gold is a seasoned investment and commercial banker and management consultant with over 34 years of experience, the last 19 years of which have been resident in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the former Soviet Union. His specializations include increasing access to finance, competitiveness, privatization, foreign direct investment, trade, SME development, and legal and regulatory reform. As Managing Director of Crimson Capital, Mr. Gold oversees all of Crimson’s international development work, including a portfolio of 18 current projects and 5 master contracts on four continents.
Mr. Gold has developed and implemented programs in numerous countries including Uganda, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Armenia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Kosovo, Peru, El Salvador and Bolivia, and has pioneered the introduction and expansion of Purchase Order Finance (POF) in developing countries. His career highlights include managing the Macedonia Business Resource Center (MBRC) which helped hundreds of SMEs become more competitive and generated over $95 million in new trade and investment

Uranik Begu

Managing Director - ICK   |   LinkedIn

Uranik Begu is a highly experienced management and marketing executive, who currently is serving as an Executive Director at Innovation Center Kosovo (ICK). Prior to his work at ICK, Uranik has served as Head of Marketing and part of a management at Post Telecom Kosovo for four years.
Uranik is currently close to completion of his Doctorate degree in Management, at Swiss Management Center. He is also a renowned lecturer and has taught at several private universities, and the public university of Prizren. He also serves as a Board Member for the largest European Marketing Conference held in Zurich, the CMO Conference, also known as Davos of Marketing.
Uranik since six years ago is an active member of the Economic Development Council of Prishtina.

Kushtrim Xhakli

Entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Kushtrim is an entrepreneur with an extensive global experience in telecommunication, hardware, e-commerce, payments, banking and digital. Co-founder of Fast Europe Ventures LLC a Baltic management, consulting, banking and technology solutions company and Berlin's renewable energy startup Changers. He is also Board Member of IPKO Foundation and was former Investment Management Referrer at HackFwd. His work was acclaimed by international media outlets such as The Economist, TechCrunch, Forbes, BBC, Der Spiegel and was awarded: “Best Practice Award” in 2008.

Driton Hapçiu

Managing Partner, CACTTUS sh.a   |   LinkedIn

Driton Hapçiu is a Kosovar born cooperative and lifestyle entrepreneur. Mr. Hapçiu is one of the founding and managing partners of CACTTUS sh.a, one of the largest ICT companies in Kosovo and Albania. Mr. Hapçiu studied in the University of Prishtina.

His previous work experiences include IN Design - KOHA (Javore) group, RTV 21, UN World Food Programme, Swiss SDC, IPKO Institute, KTTN (Kosovo Terrestrial Telecommunications Network). Being active in ICT industry in Kosovo since 1991,he is also one of the co-founders of the ICT Association (STIKK) and was first Chairman of Board. He headed the project idea of creating an Innovation Hub, which resulted in founding of the Innovation center of Kosova. During his career, he was involved as a co-founder and/or social entrepreneur in a number of startu-ps turned into successful organizations such as KOHA Javore, RTV 21, IPKO institute, EKONET (KS and AL). His latest projects (co-founder and partner) include RECURA (M&A) Asset management, Financial Advisory Services), HARRISIA (Software Testing Company), PeshkuIArte.com (Online Classifieds), CONCEPTICON (Business and Social Media consultancy) and lately redesigning business model in Kosovalive News Agency.

Currently holds the positions of: Strategy officer – CACTTUS. Managing Director -HARRISIA, Member of the Board in RECURA, Member of the Board of Innovation Center of Kosova (ICK), Coordinator for Donor Relations of STIKK.

Gold Sponsor
Coaches

Daniel Ray

Entrepreneur / Investor   |   LinkedIn

Daniel is an entrepreneur developing ideas into products, concepts into companies, with an emphasis on emerging technologies and emerging markets.Daniel joined S2 in 1999, first as an Associate and later became an Associate Partner. Daniel is currently a Partner in the 5th generation of S2. This generation includes S2 Baltic, focused on early stage companies in Eastern Europe. As a serial entrepreneur, he has founded several successful technology companies and is currently the CEO/Co-founder of Seriously Inc, a full-service agency headquartered in New York City. He is also a co-founder of Start Karma, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening startup ecosystem in emerging markets and Artspark a not-for-profit youth arts organization.

Kushtrim Xhakli

Entrepreneur   |   LinkedIn

Kushtrim is an entrepreneur with an extensive global experience in telecommunication, hardware, e-commerce, payments, banking and digital. Co-founder of Fast Europe Ventures LLC a Baltic management, consulting, banking and technology solutions company and Berlin's renewable energy startup Changers. He is also Board Member of IPKO Foundation and was former Investment Management Referrer at HackFwd. His work was acclaimed by international media outlets such as The Economist, TechCrunch, Forbes, BBC, Der Spiegel and was awarded: “Best Practice Award” in 2008.

Glenn Arthur Noble

CEO of TekFuze, LLC.   |   LinkedIn

Graduated from Northwest Nazarene University with a B.S. in Engineering Physics, and has more than 20 years of experience with industry magnates such as Micron Technology, Zilog, Plexus, and several smaller companies.
The history of TekFuze started in 2010 when Glenn Arthur Noble founded the Genesis Technology Center with four college-graduate engineers in the basement of this home. The motivation to start TekFuze came from Glenn’s desire to create jobs in Kosovo. All the hired engineers were young college-graduates that did not have experience in electronics manufacturing, but Glenn acquired the resources to train and prepare them to work for TekFuze. Today –three years later, TekFuze’s young engineers have the expertise and skill-set to design, develop and manufacture some electronics-based products that are still new to most countries in the Balkans and South Eastern Europe

Blaz Umek

Consultant   |   LinkedIn

Consultant on strategies, innovations and products, with certified technical background in network engineering. Over 9 years of experience in Telecom industry, with 3 years international experience. Led major, strategic projects of cross-functional teams and external vendors. Target oriented, flexible and creative, good team player and motivator.
Very tech savvy oriented, usually early adopter of interesting gadgets for different purposes.
Always on the look for new and interesting novelties, trying to combine innovation with business.

Çelik Nimani

Facilitator, Startup Weekend/UP Global   |   LinkedInGoogle+

An experienced manager with a strong entrepreneurial and marketing background in the Digital Industry. One of the key persons behind the establishment of the first business incubator in Kosovo, Innovation Centre Kosovo, working directly with startups, entrepreneurs and professionals.

Çelik is currently involved with the Norwegian based company Athene Prosjektledelse, working with projects in Eastern Europe, while he also serves as a point of contact for international companies, investors and VC’s interested in Kosovo.

He is also busy helping create new companies while facilitating and organising many Startup Weekend across Europe since 2011. Outside of work, he is actively involved writing opinions in Digjitale, an independent technology news site, speaking, judging and mentoring at different local and regional conferences. He also blogs and writes regularly about the local and regional market for prestigious blogs covering SEE.

Krenar Binaku

Creative Director, KANUN MarCom   |   LinkedIn

‘Solutions Oriented’, with the strategic thinking of a Planner, communication skills of a Copywriter, organizational habits of an Account Director, with formal education in International Management.

Krenar comes from the Creative Communications Industry, having served as an Art Director at some of the most respected local and regional agencies including: Zero Pozitive Publicis, Eggra Albania, Republika, Unit Agency, and Craft Communications.

During his 8 years of experience, he played a leading role while creating solutions for: OSCE, UNDP, USAID, UNICEF, EU Commission, Prime Minister’s Office, Kosovo Trust Agency, Peugeot, Citroen, AlbTelecom, Raiffeisen Bank, TEB Bank, and many more.

Leutrim Blakaj

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Entermedia   |   LinkedIn

Leutrim Blakaj is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Entermedia, an award-winning ad agency & video production house based in Pristina, Kosovo. He is a young and successful entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in business – mainly in the advertising and entertainment industry in South East Europe.

His work focuses on providing high-quality visual solutions to corporations, government, and non-governmental organizations as well as individual clients. The agency is best known for co-producing “Kosovo, the Young Europeans”, the campaign that won the prestigious award “Best Nation Branding Campaign” at M&M Awards.

Mr. Blakaj holds an Executive MBA degree from IEDC Bled School of Management in Slovenia and has completed his undergraduate studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is a founding member of the German-Kosovar Chamber of Commerce. He strongly believes that innovation is one of the key drivers of growth and development and is thus committed to support ventures that have the potential to revolutionize existing products or markets.

Ginés Alarcón

Digital Communication Consultant   |   LinkedIn

Journalist and postgraduate on Strategic Communication Direction by ESADE Business School (Barcelona). Works as a digital and corporate communication consultant for Spanish Public Administrations, Healthcare and IT Companies. Focused on innovation (Open Government, Social Web) and content management.
Has published a Guide for Digital Leaders (Algón Editores, 2011), a study on The Value of Citizen Journalism (Communication Institute, UAB, 2012), and is Editor of Revistabalcanes.com, an online magazine to promote Kosovo and the Balkans for Spanish audience

Safet Rama

Incubator Manager, Innovation Centre Kosovo

Safet Rama is the Incubator Manager at the Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK). His role in ICK is to manage the day-to-day operations of the ICK Business Incubator and directly provide business assistance to all ICK Incubator tenants. He also assists in all events organized by ICK such as Prishtina Startup Weekend, Business Tuesdays, etc. He is sales and marketing specialist with over 10 years of experience working in the private and public sectors.
Prior to joining ICK, he worked for the Privatization Agency of Kosovo as a Marketing and Investor Relations Officer. He also previously worked in Austria as the Head of the Sales Department for HOFBAUER GmbH. Mr. Rama has a bachelor’s degree in Economics and is currently enrolled in the executive MBA program at Sheffield University. In addition to his native Albanian, he speaks English, German, Spanish and number of Slavic languages.

Mentor Paçarada

Founder, Trigonom   |   LinkedIn

Mentor is founder of Frakton, an interactive company that develops web apps and games, most known for the viral game Haluci. Mentor also founded Trigonom, a company dedicated for making amazing apps for iOS, Android and Facebook. His passion is to build useful addictive innovative app for new markets.

Driton Hapciu

Driton Hapçiu is a Kosovar born cooperative and lifestyle entrepreneur. Mr. Hapçiu is one of the founding and managing partners of CACTTUS sh.a, one of the largest ICT companies in Kosovo and Albania. Mr. Hapçiu studied in the University of Prishtina.His previous work experiences include IN Design - KOHA (Javore) group, RTV 21, UN World Food Programme, Swiss SDC, IPKO Institute, KTTN (Kosovo Terrestrial Telecommunications Network). Being active in ICT industry in Kosovo since 1991,he is also one of the co-founders of the ICT Association (STIKK) and was first Chairman of Board. He headed the project idea of creating an Innovation Hub, which resulted in founding of the Innovation center of Kosova. During his career, he was involved as a co-founder and/or social entrepreneur in a number of startu-ps turned into successful organizations such as KOHA Javore, RTV 21, IPKO institute, EKONET (KS and AL). His latest projects (co-founder and partner) include RECURA (M&A) Asset management, Financial Advisory Services), HARRISIA (Software Testing Company), PeshkuIArte.com (Online Classifieds), CONCEPTICON (Business and Social Media consultancy) and lately redesigning business model in Kosovalive News Agency.

Currently holds the positions of: Strategy officer – CACTTUS. Managing Director -HARRISIA, Member of the Board in RECURA, Member of the Board of Innovation Center of Kosova (ICK), Coordinator for Donor Relations of STIKK.

Silver Sponsor / Media
Organizers
Çelik Nimani
Valon Badivuku
Fisnik Sylka
Shpend Lila
Besarta Ajeti
Gjergj Filipaj
Korab Osmanaj
Oltion Beshiri
Genta Islami
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