Startup Weekend Tirana - Smart Edition

    Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
  7. Blog
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Tirana, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Tirana - Smart Edition

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015

Friday, November 20 - 22, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Tirana Business Park
Fushe Preze, close to Epoka University
Tirana, Albania

Buy Tickets

Cities become smarter with Startup Weekend!

Passionate about creating products and services that aim to make our cities smarter? 
Join us for the next Startup Weekend Tirana focused on making our citiy better for living. The theme Smart Cities is about developing products and services that make our cities better places to live. There is particular interest in building out new sharing economies, urban analytics, efficient and innovative transport/energy/utilities solutions, and smarter home or work spaces.

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 20th

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

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 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

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

8:30 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 21st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:30 pm

1:30 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

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

Sunday November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

12:30 pm

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

4:30 pm

5:30 pm
Final Presentations
Judges arrive!

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Erion Veliaj
Mayor of Tirana

Mr. Erion Veliaj was born in Tirana on 17 December 1979.He has BA degree in Political Science from the Grand Valley State University of Michigan, USA, and a MSc in European Studies from the University of Sussex, UK.Mr. Veliaj entered politics after a long engagement with the civil society, international organizations and media. In 2003, Mr. Veliaj founded the movement "MJAFT" (Enough), an organization that unified the activist and protest spirit of the Albanian youth, which in 2004 received the United Nations Award for civil society. He led the "MJAFT" organization until November 2007. Then Mr. Veliaj joined the European Stability Initiative, a key organism in the promotion of EU enlargement.In 2011, Mr. Veliaj joined the Socialist Party of Albania as Secretary for Youth and Migration. In the parliamentary elections of 2013 he was elected as a Member of the Albanian Parliament in Gjirokastra.  Soon after he was appointed as the Albanian Minister of Social Welfare and Youth where he reformed the entire Social Security system, introduced the National Youth Action Plan and revamped social services and vocational training. Mr. Veliaj was the Albanian Socialist Party’s choice for the capital city in the local elections held June 2015, where he won by a landslide against the opposition.  On July 30th, 2015 Mr. Veliaj was sworn as the Mayor of Tirana, Albania where he currently serves. Z. Veliaj has a very good knowledge of English and Italian language, and is fluent in German and French.

Milena Harito
State Minister for Innovation and Public Administration

Dr. Milena Harito is the Minister of State for Innovation and Public Administration and National Coordinator for OGP from September 2013. She has extensive experience in the field of telecommunications and innovation, certified with various awards during her academic and professional career. Dr. Harito graduated with honors in Computer Science from the University of Tirana in 1989 and as PhD from Paris VI University in 1997. She started her career by working at the Albanian Computer Science Institute. Dr. Harito has substantial work experience as a senior manager in the telecommunications field, which she acquired while working for Orange France, in Paris.The main focus areas of the Ministry of State for Innovation and Public Administration are: the modernization of Public Administration through professionalization of civil servants, extensive development of e-government; the improvement of public services under a citizen-centric approach; the development of information society through e-learning and promotion of start-ups.Dr. Harito has contributed to different public debates concerning sustainable economic development, the European Integration and the development of e-government in Albania.

Anna Stadler
Head of Sales Strategy and Marketing - Lindner Group / Tirana Business Park

Head of Sales Strategy and Marketing - Lindner Group / Tirana Business ParkWith a backround of Sales Strategy and Marketing Managment, commercial Support & Controlling in Project Development Department, Anna Stadler achieved at Lindner – Group the sharp and professional experience of Sales Strategy and Marketing. She has received an MBA in International Real Estate Development from Academy of the University of Biberach, Germany & an MBA in International Real Estate Management from London South Bank University in Great Britain in 2013, with focus the development strategies of the business in the market. During her experience she has integrated multi-channel marketing department, has been responsible for directing the procceses of assigning territories, revenue goals and  plans for TBP Project and Lindner Group. Her skills involve excellent communication, knowledge on marketing trade, generate demands and sales, manages marketing budget and evaluates new media technologies.

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.

Dritan Mezini
Executive Director of DM Consulting Services

Dritan Mezini is the founder and the Executive Director of DM Consulting Services in Albania and in Kosovo. He is also the founder of the well-known online job portal
With over 20 years’ progressive experience, Dritan brings an extraordinary depth of expertise in Innovation, Entrepreneurship, IT consulting and management, Human Resources and so on. He is a long-established expert in diverse, complex, global industries and multi-million dollar business initiatives.
Dritan graduated from the University of Tirana, Albania with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Computer Sciences. He holds two Master degrees – in Business Administration with concentration in Management Information Systems from Western Illinois University in Macomb,IL, USA and in Project Management from Keller Graduate School of Management, Devry University of Chicago, IL, USA.
Dritan is an active member of numerous professional associations. He also holds the position of Board Chairman of Albanian Information Communication Technology Association (AITA), Head of HR Committee at AmCham Albania, President of Albanian Fulbright Alumni Association (AFAA), Protik Board Member, American University of Kosovo Board Member, Eminent National Expert of World Summit Awards (WSA).

Dritan is also active in the majority of startup, entrepreneurship and innovation activities in Albania, Kosovo and in the region. He has participated as a juror and mentor in many startup activities in Albania and in the region. Dritan has also attended many study tours regarding startups in USA, Israel, Estonia, Bulgaria, Germany and more, has been invited by many universities as a guest speaker for promoting the entrepreneurship and innovation. 

Recently, he has also established the entrepreneurship multi-author blog which it will be launched officially in November 2015.

Klodian Allajbeu
Co-Founder and CEO of the American Hospital

Klodian Allajbeu MD is the Co-Founder and CEO of the American Hospital. With the goal to deliver the very best health care in a safe, compassionate environment, Klodian is the driving force behind the largest and most successful investment in the private health industry in Albania. American Hospital started its operations in 2006, introducing for the first time high quality staff of international doctors, and now counts four facilities in Albania, and one in Kosovo. Klodian is the founder and President of YES for Albania (Young Entrepreneur of Europe), President of the Albanian Equestrian Sports Federation, and Chairman of the National Agency of Anti-doping. In addition, Klodian has been recognized as Man of the Year 2013 by the Municipality of Berat, Honorary Citizen of Berat in 2014, and in April 2015 Klodian received the highest recognition from the President of Albania with the honor title “For the valuable contribution in the development of health in the country”.
 Klodian got his MBA from Cardiff University, UK, and his Medical degree/internal medicine in University of Ankara, Turkey. He is currently a PHD Candidate at University of Tirana. Klodian is the initiator and investor of several health and educational projects inside and outside Albania. 

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

Altin Gjika
IT Manager - Societe Generale Albania

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.

Lorenc Cala
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.

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

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).

Kelvin Çobanaj
Co-founder of Norby Technologies Inc

"Kelvin is a web and mobile engineer, recently he worked for a company in San Francisco named Style Lend as a full stack web engineer and a consultant. Now he has founded with a group of friends a studio which develops mobile games. He used to lead Young Innovators Club of Protik, also he is a volunteer contributor to Mozilla."

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.

Vasken Spiru
Marketing and Communication

Vasken is Digital Media Content Coordinator at Swisscontact SECO Entrepreneurship Program, Board member of Garazh, a successful Digital Communication Specialist and a Startup Enthusiast. With more than 10 years of experience in business analysis, communication, Asst. Professor of Innovation in University of Tirana and startup communities, Vasken, a thorough reader and follower of world startups, has given an important support to the promotion of the Albanian Startup Ecosystem and Startups in Albania and abroad. Returning as a Startup Weekend Mentor, he will offer his expertise in Business Model Canvas and Digital Communication.

Besmir Kellezi
Managing director of TE Electronics

Besmir Kellezi is the Co-Founder of LeFutur a brand that became very popular among the youth in Albania bringing unique products and gifts to the market. Since 2013 he is the Managing director of TE Electronics. The company is the distributor of Toshiba and BLU for the territory of Albania. 
Besmir Comes from a marketing background graduated at UNYT in Tirana. In the past he has also been involved with Animal rights and Human rights organisation in Albania and abroad. 

Admir Shehu
Country Sales Manager - Schneider Electric.

Admir Shehu is the Country Sales Manager for Albania of the company Schneider Electric. He has great experience in sales and projects management. For the past 10 years, he developed the business of Schneider Electric and today is one of the leaders in the electric field. He has managed & closed successfully the most important projects in the country. Now he is working to develop smart grid in utility and energy efficiency to improve the cost and investment in private sector. Admir graduated in Master studies at the Electrical University in Tirana and gained a Master degree in Marketing and Operational Management. His numerous professional trainings in negotiation skills, leadership and projects management have helped him to achieve great results in his work. He has lead seminars and workshops in electric field and has issued diverse publications in Energy Efficiency at Tirana Polytechnic University.

Daniela Ndrejaj
Financial expert

Daniela holds a bachelor degree in Finance and two master degrees; one in Audit and Accounting and the second in Financial in Bank market. She has an extensive experience in the private sector as financial specialist. Her career record varies from audit specialist to financial and accounting expert in the private banks. Recently she is part of the public sector, with focus on short and middle term budget for public institution. She is also very passionate and active in the entrepreneurial sector helping startups with budgeting and taxes topics. 

Gerti Boshnjaku
CEO New Media Communication

After finishing his studies at Tirana University, in Business Administration, Marketing profile, he worked in the Marketing and Advertising industry.  Gerti's worked with a variety of national & international clients has engaged him in many projects where has been needed expertise in Strategic Planning & Marketing Consultancies, 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. was another innovative project started by Gerti and his business partner on year 2010, being one of the first independent news portal in the country. This project was the just the start to a series of online projects that followed in the digital marketing field. 

Being a marketing oriented person, Gerti is always in search of connecting with people and networking opportunities.

Julian Demeti
Managing Director - Albanian Business Partner

Julian holds a Business Administration / Marketing Bachelor Degree. Great Experience
on Management and Sales. He has worked in sales for Vodafone Albania and since 6 years
he runs his own company, Albanian Business Partner. ABP is an ICT company offering services in
Corporate Branding, Web and Software solutions. Julian started his company with a budget of 10000 euros
and two employees. Now ABP's turnover has an average of 350 000 euros / year and he leads
his team of 7 people. He is also a partner in another company and has a few International partner companies. 
He has had privious coaching experiences. Julian is a Board Member of AITA (Albanian Information Technology
Association) and a Board Member of AAC (Association of Collectors of Albania). He likes Philately, Numismatics
and Photography.

Blerim Tuzi
Art director

Blerim is a brand identity designer, illustrator and web designer creating effective visual identities for companies, of all size and industries. As an art director he is a problem solver at heart and strives to deliver the most effective solutions 
at the highest  of standards. 
Additionally he is constantly exploring the latest trends, making his best to keep up to the global pace of design and advertising.
He has lately picked up 3D modeling and is exploring the vastity of options such skill offers. Apart from technology his passions include good wines and industrial design.

Bashkim Shalla
Chairman of TIS Holding LLC., Investor and Philanthropist

Managed start-up of Technology Integrated System, a company in Central Eastern Europe specialising in the delivery of a turn- key solutions and highly specialised Security Systems. Bashkim Shalla has a vast experience in business planning, strategic finance, corporate strategy, development and financing, organizational design, operational and financial turnaround,, market strategy and research. He identified and acquired new businesses such as TIS Solution, IB Construction, TISPARK ltd and others too. Bashkim has received honoured degree in Great Britain as Electronic Engineer. He is respectful Presidency Member at Albanian Chamber of Commerce and President of AYE ( Albanian Young Entrepreneurs), a member of YES for Europe. 

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.

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. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Tirana - Smart 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.

With The Support Of





Media Partners

Organizing Team

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

  • Aneida
    Bajraktari Bicja
  • Ergest
  • Miga
  • Besmir
  • Daniel
  • Anisa


Celik Nimani

Event Blog

See Full Blog