Startup Weekend Tirana Tourism and Cultural Heritage Edition

    Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
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Startup Weekend Tirana Tourism and Cultural Heritage Edition

Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015

Friday, May 29 - 31, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Ministry of Culture
Rr Aleksander Moisiu
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 May 29th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Welcome & official opening speech
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:45 pm
Forum discussion
Different speakers introducing the main arguments

7:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

8:15 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:45 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 May 30th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

11:00 am
Noga Kap workshop

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

1:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:00 pm

7:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

9:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday May 31st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Noga Kap workshop

11:00 am
Coaches arrive
Final opportunity to ask questions

1:00 pm

2:00 pm
Final works

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Closing of the event

Event Judges

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.

Lejla Hadžić
CEO - Cultural Heritage without Borders

Architect specialized in Architectural Conservation and Built Heritage Management. Since 2002 engaged in a post-war reconstruction of damaged cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For 11 years now, working for a Swedish Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders, engaging in supervision and design of conservation projects in BiH, Albania and Serbia. One of the initiators of SEE heritage network of NGOs in South East Europe, and of the Regional Restoration Camps, an educational platform developed by CHwB. At the moment head of CHwB Albanian office and a regional coordinator for CHwB activities in a Western Balkan region.

Shkelzen Marku
Country Director Yunus Social Business

Shkelzen has more than 15 years of experience in business development support, design, implementation and management of economic development project and policy formulation. He is an entrepreneurs himself, co-founder of YSB Fund Albania, co-founder and President of Partnership for Development Foundation and has worked as development and management consultant in about 10 countries for numerous development programmes funded by various international institutions (i.e. IFAD, World Bank, UNDP, DFID, etc.) . He holds a PhD in economic development policies (AU-Tirana) and Master of Science degree in development policies (from CIHEAM-IAM, Montpeiller, France) and is a visiting lecturer in various universities. Currently, he is Country Director of Yunus Social Business Albania, a social accelerator that incubates and finances local entrepreneurs to build solutions from ground up.

Etleva Sakajeva
General Manager Tirana Business Park

ETLEVA SAKAJEVA is the General Manager and Administrative Director of Tirana Business Park. She also have extensive experience in the academic field as researcher, translator and professor of Albanian Language with a doctorate in the subject. 

Lorenc Çala
General Director at the State Authority for the Geospatial Information

Since 2014 Lorenc Çala is the General Director at the State Authority for the Geospatial Information, which comes with a clear vision for building up the National Infrastructure of the Geospatial Information (known as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure), based on the standards on the EU Inspire Directive.
Mr. Çala comes from the field of engineering, he is graduated at the Faculty of Construction Engineering, profile Geodesy, where since 2010 he is a lecturer of the Subject Remote Sensing and the Digital Cartography. 
In 2006 Mr. Çala took the initiative to create the Limited Liability Company “Topocentric” Ltd., a company which operates in the field of production and standardization of the geo-information, and building the webgis systems, etc.Since 2000 Mr. Çala has part of various national and international projects, where he has held the role of the coordinator and team leader in gathering, processing and updating the geo-information.

Lindita Komani

Lindita Komani studied business and finance at the University of Graz (Austria) where she specialized in master studies in financial and industrial management as well as management and international business; furthermore she recently finished also master studies in EU Business Law at the University of Tirana. Her professional life is dedicated to consultancy and management as well as writing (literary writing as well as freelance writing 2013-2015 for the US American portal SETimes, dedicated to news from Southeast Europe and randomly also opinions/analyses in Albanian newspapers). Lindita has been active in the NGO sector by contributing in the establishment, management and further development of several NGOs working in the scientific area (Institute Alb-Shkenca), youth entrepreneurship and youth development (know&how Junior Enterprise – in Austria, Unique Junior Enterprise – in Albania, UNI Group Junior Enterprise – in Kosovo, JADE – in Austria and Belgium, Think Young – in Belgium), IT sector (Albanian Information Technology Association) as well as Austrian Society Albania and Albanian Road Safety Council. In 2013 Lindita established he consultancy office Kompass and since February 2015 she is directing the new business initiative Talent Garden Tirana. In May 2015 Lindita was also involved as Online-Mentor in Pioneers Festival 2015.

Coaches and Mentors

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.

Besjan Pesha

Besjan is a successful entrepreneur and activist. He holds a MA degree in Political Science from the University of Tirana and a long experience in private initiatives, political and civil society activities. Besjan is currently a PhD candidate in Political Sciences at UET. He has a good experience with the establishments of new startups and successful initiatives. At the same time, he served as a Lecturer at the University of Tirana for several years. Besjan has initiated and participated in dozens of national projects internationally. He has designed and directed TEAM ALBANIA, which helped those affected by the 2003-2004 tsunami in Indonesia. He’s also participated in various programs dealing with the communities in Albania and abroad, organized by organizations such as Freedom House etc. He has been invited as a speaker at various national and international conferences such as the Harvard University in the framework of the project "Bridge Builders", which identified him as one of the builders of bridges between communities in the world. Besjan is the co-founder of KOMI.shpk, a company that deals with the marketing of food, internal consultant at Green Sands, a multinational company which operates in the hydrocarbon sector and the Executive Director of the Initiative “Thurje”, a civil society organization which aims to promote active participation of citizens in government.  His passions are travelling, public relations and politics.

Arjela Kule
Fashion designer and product developer

Arjela Kule is a fashion designer and product developer graduated in Naples at Accademia della Moda and she holds a bachelor degree in textile engineering. She is the winner of the international competition for young fashion designers Vision&Co in 2010 and she was classified on the top 5 apparel fashion designers in the international competition Riccione Moda Italia in 2011.In the last 4 years Arjela has dedicated herself to the product development for the fashion and handicraft industry by co-founding Ariee Design Studio. Her company was awarded the as best start up company with the best business plan for the 2012 by the governmental agency AIDA.Arjela is currently developing Woolline – a brand that produces hand made products for the home décor, inspired by the Albanian tradition and craftsmanship.

Endri Mataj
Startup Grind Tirana

Endri is a self-starter, young entrepreneur, technology and travel passionate, with the goal to drive creativity and innovation among his network and local community. Endri served as ICT adviser to the Prime Minister of Albania, and before joining the Prime Minister’s cabinet, he held several IT positions in the public administration. Currently, Endri is the CEO and Co-founder of ARPAD Partners, the Co-founder of a technology startup venture in India, the Regional Director (Eastern Europe) at Startup Grind, and serves as Board Member of the Albanian Fulbright Alumni Association (AFAA). Endri earned a MS degree in Telecommunications and Network Management from Syracuse University in New York, USA, and a BS degree in Mathematics (Computer Science) from Russian Peoples’ Friendship University in Moscow, Russia. He is the recipient of several honors and awards including Fulbright Student Award, John R. Weitzel Memorial Award, membership in the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society, Certificate of Appreciation for his professionalism from the White House Communications Agency, and being named Honorary Citizen of Nebraska State (USA).

Ilda Mara
CEO Art & Trashëgimi

Executive Director of the Albanian periodic Art & Trashëgimi (Art & Heritage). She graduated in Paris from the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris  and the Institut de Langues et de Civilisations Orientales (INALCO). She is founder and director of the French Albanian NGO, ARGJIRO, since 2006, organization which aims to establish and develop international cultural exchanges and building bridges of cultural dialogue between Albania, Europe and Mediterranean countries. She started her career in Paris in 1997 at the French weekly Courrier International, as a journalist responsible for Albania and Kosovo until 2008. She has served as a consultant for UNESCO from 2002 to 2006. Focal point for UNESCO during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) – Tunis phase (November 2005) for the the Community Multimedia Centres Programme in Africa.  She collaborates with the French quarterly Politique Internationale since 2000. Since 2011 she has worked as consultant and a manager of several European projects.  She conducted an EU funded project on  the revitalization and digitalization of Historical Museum of Shkodra. 

Endrit Dajçi
Legal Adviser

Endrit Dajçi holds a master degree in Law from “Roma 3” University. He has worked as a legal consult in different Law Firms specialized in commercial and business law. Now he works as a Legal Adviser in the Albanian Technical Assistance, an office that is responsible for the control and the monitoring of project funded by the EU.

Daniel Guçe
Director of SME & Exports at AIDA

Daniel Guca was graduated from University of Tirana, Branch Political Science. He has a Master of Science in Foreign Political & Diplomacy and a Professional Master in Business Administration. Daniel is currently the director of SME & Exports in the Albanian Investment Development Agency and the Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship. He is also engaged as a lecturer at Albanian University in the Field of Political Science and International Relations. Daniel has been a mentor in the training organized by Balkan Youth Link Albania.

Albana Veshi
Financial adviser

Albana is graduated as a Finance and Accounting Specialist inat the faculty of Economy. She is under the final step of graduating as an international authorized accounting and fiscal expert. The passion and love for the profession has accompanied her during the job as a lecturer of Economy and Finance. During three years of such experience she has frequently been involved in different and new challenges for the new “eye” of future finance in Albania.  Currently, she is the head of Finance Departments at "Messer" and also working as financial consultant for different companies.

Gerti Boshnjaku
CEO New Media Communication

Gerti is CEO and Founder of New Media group; A Tech & Marketing Consulting Group with focus on Innovation, Marketing & Startups delivering integrated services of Design & Development of Online Solutions, Websites, Applications and Digital Media.His career includes 18+ years of experience in the Marketing and Advertising industry, working in well-known companies in Albania and managing the business operations of his own company, which he founded in 2009. Gerti's work with a variety of national & international clients has engaged him in many projects where has been needed expertise in Strategic Planning & Marketing Consultancies, Online Project Management, Business Development, Communication Strategy, Media planning & Buying, Brand Identity, PR Activities & Promotions. Over the years of work at New Media Communications, Gerti has been in charge of all the projects developed which supplied powerful marketing and PR solutions for clients in the fields of automotive, consumer goods, financial, higher education, manufacturing, medical, real estate and property management, retail, recreation and tourism & travel. On 2015 launched a startup project in the Digital Media called the Business Magazine Albania - - which now is the First Online Media Platform focused on Startups and Entrepreneurship in Albanian language. Engaged in a series of activities in the Innovation and Startup Albanian Scene as a mentor and community builder, since 2016 he is the Chapter Director of Startup Grind Tirana, part of Startup Grind. Startup Grind is a global community for Entrepreneurs designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.

Evisi Kopliku
Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship.

Evisi Kopliku graduated from the Banking and Finance Department in Eastern Mediterranean University in Northern Cyprus. She completed the Master studies in Banking and Finance in the same University and completed the Master studies for European Economics (with a specialization in European Economic Integration and Business) at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.Evisi has started her career as a teaching and research assistant at the department of Banking and Finance at Eastern Mediterranean University and continued as a lecturer in the fields of Finance, Accounting and European Economics at universities in Tirana.She has been working as an associate researcher at European Movement Albania (a think-tank) focusing on Foreign Direct Investment, Competition Policy, Corporate Governance, employment policy and role of the private sector. She has completed a 6-month training by Harvard University with a focus on Foreign Direct Investment Policy in Albania. Evisi has been working shortly for the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels in the finance and budget, and later audit department.  Currently, Ms Kopliku is the economic advisor to the Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Tirana Tourism and Cultural Heritage Edition 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.

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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
  • Besmir
  • Marsida
  • Ina
  • Arianna

Event Staff

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. 

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”.

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