- Date: 26 – 28 March 2010
- Place: American University in Kosovo (AUK), Prishtina
- Participants: 76
- Idea pitches: 24
- Venture teams: 7
The first Startup Live event in the Balkans took place in the Republic of Kosovo, Europe’s youngest state. Upon invitation by the three host organizations, ECIKS, UNI Group and START, 70 students and entrepreneurs from Prishtina met a delegation of European business people and venture experts at the American University in Kosovo for a weekend of intensive idea generation and business planning.
Following the format developed at Vienna’s successful STARTup events, participants pitched as many as 24 ideas from the broadest range of business topics to their peers, followed by a swift team-building process that championed seven concepts to be worked on in detail over the weekend.
While teams were busy getting their ideas and visions translated into real-world business scenarios, they received support from an interdisciplinary group of coaches. Even during lunch break, Startup Weekend served its participants entrepreneurial brain food: Andreas Klinger, co-founder of garmz.com, enriched the audience at AUK’s terrace with real-life anecdotes in his entertaining luncheon “entrepreneur’s report”.
The teams’ final presentations were held at the closing event Sunday afternoon under the patronage of Prof. Enver Hoxhaj, Minister of Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Kosovo. Valuable feedback and market insight was provided by our experienced local and international panelists:
- Linda Shala – Director Data Project Electronics, Prishtina
- Shpend Ahmeti – Executive Director GAP Institute , Prishtina
- Shkumbin Brestovci – General Manager RROTA, Prishtina
- Kujtim Dobruna – President ECIKS, Vienna
- Mark Tuttle – biogy.com, USA
- Nicolai Sawczynski – ARGE Bildungsmanagement, Vienna
- Bernhard Thalhammer – First Love Capital, Vienna
START and its co-hosts will continue to support this weekend’s entrepreneurs as they move on. To quote one participant’s feedback form, they “are counting the weeks to the follow-up event”.