Startup Weekend Tirana 3

    Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Tirana 3

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth
Rr. e Kavajës, 1001, Tiranë
In front of the Ministry of Culture
Tirana, Albania 1001

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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!

  • Build your network: Startup Weekend attracts the best makers and do-ers. By spending a weekend working to build scalable companies that solve real world problems, you will build long-lasting relationships and possibly walk away with a job or even an investor.
  • Actually launch a business: Over 36% of Startup Weekends are still going strong after 3 months. Roughly 80% of participants plan on continuing working with their team or startup after the weekend.
  • Get face time with thought leaders: Get one-on-one time with the movers and shakers in your community. Local tech and startup leaders participate in Startup Weekends as coaches and judges.
  • Join a global community: Startup Weekend alumni span across several continents and scores of cities.
  • Learn: Startup Weekends are all about learning through the art of creating. Build your own strategy and test it as you go.


Friday November 21st

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
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 November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Celik Nimani

Event Judges

Erton Graceni
Executive Director

Erton Graceni holds a master degree in Business Management & Technology from Sheffield University and Bachelor degree in Information Technology from Tirana University. Recently, he finished an Executive MBA in Leadership Development & General Management at Harvard Business School. He worked as Business Development and Sales Manager and Consultant for several local and international IT companies. Erton has also founded his own company, operating in the field of IT infrastructure, software development, GIS and mobile applications. During his professional experience he worked on projects with governmental and international organizations like World Health Organization, UNDP, GIZ, several ministries, State Police, etc. He is the Chairman of Young Entrepreneurs Society of Albania, a non-profit organization whose aim is to improve the business and social performance of young entrepreneurs in Albania. He is also a volunteer and donor for a charity organization in Albania

Kushtrim Shala
ICTS Media Country Manager

Kushtrim Shala has over 8 years of experience in the telecommunication industry, mainly IT in new products development and recently in Marketing product management. He holds a master of Sciences degree from University of Tirana in Computer Sciences since 2006. He is qualified from EBRD - Business Advisory Services Programme in Albania as a Business Consultant. Prior to move to Vodafone Albania, Kushtrim spent two years working in the greatest media in Albania, which was newly established – Top Channel. He is Managing Partner of ICTSmedia ltd., member of the editorial staff at Computerworld Albania magazine, PCworld, CIO as-well co-founder of Albanian ICT Awards. He is an ICT activist and enthusiast on promoting the youth socio-economic empowerment through the use of Information and Communication Technologies as tools to share Information and address issues of sustainable development. 

Isak Bilalli
Washington Education in Albania Country Director

Isak Bilalli has an extensive experience as program manager in Government and International Intergovernmental agencies mainly USAID programs, serving in different capacities as management and policy advising with Local Government Projects. He holds a degree from University of Tirana in Linguistics and MA in International Relations. Since 2010, Mr. Bilalli engaged in provision of Consulting Services and Facilitation of International Initiatives to empower the role of Civil Society in Albania. Mr. Bilalli engaged actively as Chief Manager on Free Movement campaign to promote Albania grant permission for free visa regime together with other government and non-governmental stakeholders. Given the long experience with Civil Society Organizations in Albania, by mid 2014 Mr. Bilalli established the NGO Real Visualz Albania aiming to promote education and development of information technology among youth and all interested fellows. Together with Kosovo counterparts and sponsoring partner in Seatle, United States, Mr. Bilalli is one of the chief architects in building the Masters Program-Washington Education in Albania which now is open and accessible for students in Republic of Albania

Erion Nako
Representative of SAP for Albania & Kosovo

Erion Nako is a professional in business management with an emphasis on performance and results. He has over 13 years experience in managing all areas of sales, business development and implementation of projects, mainly within the IT industry. Mr Nako has a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Tirana. During his experience, he has demonstrated excellent ability to understand the business requirements of the customers and has designed solutions to always bring maximum value to the customer. Erion also owns a number of certifications in business and technology. His skills include developing strategies, market intelligence, competitor analysis, sales of complex solutions, business planning etc. Currently, it is representative of Albania and Kosovo for SAP West Balkans.

Albert Tollkuci

Albert is a successful software developer with 14+ years of experience developing web and windows applications based on Microsoft platform.  He is the Chief Executive Director of Before that he was the “Chief Technology Officer”, responsible for leading the development of most important projects as well as defining high level architecture and design. He joined the company in 2007. He has a degree from University of Tirana, in the faculty of Computer Science and is certified from Microsoft for different specialisations in the field of technology. 

Ardi Kule
Co-founder of Ariee Design Studio.

Ardi Kule has over 12 years of experience in Media and Communication in the fields of: Motion Graphics, Post-production, Video Editing, Broadcast Design, 3d animation, architectural drafting, Directing, Script writing, Photography, Web Design, Layout design, Course Developing and Training. Ardi has worked for the following companies: Tele Norba, Alsat TV, TOP Media, Belle Air.
In the last 4 years Ardi has dedicated himself to product development for the handicraft and fashion industry by confounding Ariee Design Studio.

Jorgest Kovaci
Executive Director at the Adriapol Institute

Jorgesti Kovaci holds the position of teh Executive Director at the Adriapol Institute. He is lecturer of Enterprise and Management at the University “Marin Barleti”. He studied in Italy at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in “Economics and Finance” in 2006 and a master’s degree in “Management, Innovation and Internationalization of Enterprises” in 2008 at the same University. Actually is a PhD canditate at the University of tirana. He has worked on several projects on start-up enterprises, such as Albanian Partners Absorber, Sign*A*Rama, New Horizons Albania, Barleti Training and Testing Center.

Ardian Hasa
COO at Societe Generale Albania

Ardian Hasa has over 12 years of experience working on financial sector and international non-profitable organizations.  He is currently working as COO in Banka Societe Generale Albania and also in charge for managing project for implementation of Innovation Strategy in the Bank. His professional experience is mainly focused on Operation management, Project management, Quality Control, Web development and GSM networks. Outside the daily business activity his personal interest includes programming and promoting new business ideas using mobile devices. Ardian holds and Executive MBA from University of Sheffield and is graduated in computer science from University of Tirana.

Coaches and Mentors

Radoy Stoyanov
Chief Operating Officer at Societe Generale Albania

Radoy is the Chief Operating Officer of Societe Generale Albania, one of the leading banks in the country. Before joining the banking sector in 2007, he was an entrepreneur, software engineer and consultant for more than 10 years. He created and sold online his first app when he was 16, almost 20 years ago, in the dawn of the ’90s dot-com era. He is passionate about promoting the culture of thinking big and solving world’s grand challenges – something he sees missing in our region. Radoy has a degree in Computer Technologies from the Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria, and a number of post-grad qualifications, among which in Leadership from INSEAD in France and in Exponential Technologies from Singularity University in Silicon Valley, USA.

Luca Pescatore
IT & Management

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.

Jakob Kronbichler
Country Manager at Kaymu Albania Rocket Internet AG

Jakob is working for Rocket Internet, the largest Internet Incubator in the world. He just arrived to Tirana, where he will set up Rocket Internet’s first venture in Albania, an online market place called He is currently looking for a great team joining him on his mission to make Kaymu a great success in Albania. Before joining Rocket Internet he worked for one year as an Analyst in Fontainburg Capital, a Greater China focused boutique investment bank. Jakob has completed the CEMS Master in International Management at ESADE Business School in Barcelona and Nova School of Business in Lisbon.

Bora Feri
Chief Operating Officer of MPAY

Bora is the Chief Operating Officer at MPAY, a startup operating a mobile payments solution in Albania. She read law at Bristol University, United Kingdom, then obtained her LLM in Business Law from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She is a keen proponent on promoting young start-ups and ideas and firmly believes in the potential of the Y generation.

Fatmir Gjoni
Commercial Planning Manager

Fatmir Gjoni has been working for Philip Morris International for more than 8 years holding different managerial positions, responsible for sales organization and now commercial planning, where he is responsible to design and manage processes of brand support commercialization from initial plan to final execution based on project management principles, by engaging relevant counter parts in the organization in order to facilitate timely execution of brand initiatives (i.e. new brand launch, brand revamp, brand extensions, consumer engagement, trade engagement etc.) with excellence.  He holds an MBA from Tirana University. He has also been involved in brand development projects and sales training projects. His extensive know-how in both Sales and Marketing will help Startup Weekend teams to commercialize their projects. 

Erdet Kellici
Lecturer of Economic Informatics

Erdet KËLLIÇI has graduated in Faculty of Computer Science at Tirana University in 2003. He holds a master in Business Administration and is a PhD candidate in MIS. Currently he is lecturer of Economic Informatics within the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Statistics at Faculty of Economics, European University of Tirana. His work focuses on the analysis of mobile technology effects on ERP systems, overall organization performance, mobile security and mobile payments. Recently he was technical director at M-Pay Albania that offers mobile payment services. He also has worked for CEZ Shperndarje Albania at position of ICT Operation Manager and has been a key person in mobile technology implementation in this organization.

Igli Hakrama
Systems and Software Engineering

Igli Hakrama has a degree in Business Informatics from the University of Tirana and holds two master degrees, one in Computer Engineering and the other another in European Economic Studies. He has more than six years of professional and academic experience in the Computer Science field. He has got a vast experience on different problems of Information Systems and Software Engineering. Currently he works as a lecturer in the Computer Engineering Department at Epoka University. His teaching activity has been focused on courses of Programming, Web and Software Engineering. His research focus is on Applying Artificial Intelligence Techniques in Information Systems, Data and Process Mining and their implementation in the Economics field. 

Besmir Kthupi
Art Director

Besmir Kthupi holds a MFA in Graphic Design from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Albanian University of Arts. Having an experience of nearly 7 years in in editorial design, corporate identity and retail marketing he is specialized in the fields of corporate identity (logo) design, web design, print design and branding with the majority of time spent designing and implementing financial/annual report communications, consumer promotion/advertising, exhibit graphics, and public/media relations, marketing promotions for businesses such as logos, websites, letterhead, business cards, packaging and more. Currently he is working as Art Director at Le Spot Group. Besmir brings a sense of pride and immense work ethic to every design project. He always tries to find an outlet for creativity, whether it be on plain paper or on the computer. Apart from his work experience he has continued to peruse his goals as a graphic artist through more graphic research along with developing his artistic skills as well, rejuvenating periodically the ability to quickly translate ideas into attractive printed materials.

Tomi Kallanxhi
CEO @ BIG Media Expert

Tomi has a 7 year experience in the field of webdesign, webdevelopment and more importantly an experience of 4 years as a successful serial entrepreneur. Involved in the startup community since 2013 he has co-funded GARAZH the leading driver of Albanian startup community.

Endrit Ali
IT Manager at EasyPay Albania

Endrit Ali is a young, social and energetic person. He graduated in Computer Engineering from Polytechnic University of Tirana. Endrit holds a Master Degree in Computer Engineering and has a 6 six year experience in the field of Informatics. He is actually Information Technology Manager at EasyPay Albania and manages a team of 3 IT specialists. His main skills are: Project Management, Architectural Design, Software Design, System Management, Staff Coordination and professional experience developing based on Microsoft Technologies.  Endrit has competed in different IT activities and in March 2013 he and his team won the first place at “Microsoft Imagine Cup”.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Tirana 3 team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Signature Sponsors

FIWARE is an open cloud-based platform for cost-effective creation and delivery of innovative applications and services.

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Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Tirana is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Aneida
    Bajraktari Bicja
  • Ergest
  • Klajdi
  • Marsida


Celik Nimani

Event Staff

Miga Ciku

Miga Ciku has banking experience for more than five years, working in the Sales Department at Raiffeisen Bank of Albania. She is an Economics Lecture at Universiy “Aleksander Moisiu”.

Daniel Bicja

Daniel Bicja, an entrepreneur, has studied business administration and runs his own business from 10 years. He thinks that passion is one of those intangibles that drives an entrepreneur, gets them through the good times and the bad times, and ultimately dictates the success of any startup. 

Event Blog

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