Startup Weekend Youth Tirana 6.0

    Friday, May 6 - 8, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Youth Tirana 6.0

Friday, May 6 - 8, 2016

Friday, May 6 - 8, 2016
Event starts at 5:00 pm

Harry Fultz Institute
Rr. Asim Vokshi
Tirane, Albania

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Network, get mentored, learn, apply, start a business in 54 hours

We are delighted to present you Startup Weekend Tirana 6.0!

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.

Day 1: Meet, Pitch & Team Up
Day 2: Learn & Work
Day 3: Present & Choose


Connect with people driven to build something new. Rich and diverse talent is a Startup Weekend staple.
Are you ready to meet your next (cofounder) (friend) (mentor) (investor)?

Discover where you are on the Entrepreneur's Journey.
Find the resources available near you.
Leave knowing the next steps you need to take on your road to success.

Learn what it really takes to start a company.
No book, panel, speaker, or blog post will teach you what you need to know.
The only way to learn is the experience of trying.

It’s that simple. Startup Weekend is designed to get you going, FAST.
Your local Organizers will set up the ideal environment for you to be successful and learn as much as possible in just 54 hours.


About Startup Weekend:
Check out our last event in Tirana:
Startup Weekend by the numbers:
23k+ Teams Formed
193k+ Alumni Community Members
150 Countries (That's more than Starbucks!
2.9k+ Events to Date


See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday May 6th

5:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

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

7:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:30 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 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 7th

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 May 8th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to 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

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Ryan J. Roberts
Public Affairs Section Chief U.S. Embassy Tirana, Albania

Ryan Roberts is the Chief of the Public Affairs Section at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana Albania. In this capacity, he leads Embassy public communication and outreach efforts, directs educational and cultural programming, and serves as Embassy Spokesperson.  From 2011 to 2014 he was the Director of the American Cultural Center at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). 
Mr. Roberts joined the Foreign Service in 2004.  He served previously in Guangzhou (2004-2007) and in Riga, Latvia (2007-2010).  Prior to becoming a Foreign Service Officer, Ryan worked as a human resources consultant in Houston, Texas and, before that, in the television industry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  From 1996 - 1998 Mr. Roberts was a volunteer in central and southern Taiwan.
Mr. Roberts was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University Hawaii and speaks Latvian, Albanian, and Mandarin Chinese.  He and his wife have three children.  

Event Judges

Mërgim Cahani
Founder & CEO at Gjirafa - The Albanian Search Engine

Mergim is the Founder & CEO of Gjirafa, Inc (, the Albanian Search Engine. Gjirafa has recently raised $2.5M in angel and venture funding, with investors including Ester Dyson, Ondrej Bartos, Phillip Staehelin, and Rockaway Capital. An alum of StartupYard 2014, Gjirafa is working to bring state of the art e-commerce solutions to emerging markets in Kosovo, Albania, and the surrounding regions. 

Previously he founded iziSurvey, a mobile survey solution, and MatchBox, now a defunct dating application. Currently Mergim serves as the President of the Board of Governors at American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, and has over 15 years of industry experience with startups, technology, management, and investment experience. Previously, in New York, Mergim worked for Broadridge Financial Solutions, an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the department of Computer Science at St. John’s University, and an executive management consulting program at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. His education includes a Summa Cum Laude BSc degree in Computer Science, an MSc degree in Computer Science from New York University, and an MBA degree with honors majoring in Executive Management from The Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University, all in New York.

Linda Shomo

Renis Tërshana

Renis Tershana was born in Tirana in 23.09.1971. He is a leading Albanian entrepreneur with a long and successful history of investments in a wide variety of industries in Albania. Soon after completing his undergraduate studies in Austria, Mr. Tershana established R&T Group in early 90’s. For the past 20 years, the portfolio of companies where Mr. Tershana has full control or significant ownership participation includes businesses in the industries of telecommunications, electronics, technological and IT solutions, construction, banking, leasing, distribution, transportation, and insurance. These companies have approximately 240 employees and 35 Mln Euro Annual Turnover and Mr. Tershana is the solo owner. Mr. Tershana is one of the main shareholders in several successful companies including Credins BankSicredENK Invest. In the non-profit sector he is the founder of EDS Foundation, the president of the Albanian Federation of Aeronautics, the founder and Chairman of theAirCadetsAlbania Foundation, and a board member of the National Art Gallery

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.

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.

Coaches and Mentors

Blerim Gjeladini
Founder of Euro Trade Albania, Pasta Delicia, La Tradizionale, Terra

Blerim is the founder of Euro Trade Albania, Pasta Delicia, La Traditional and Terra.
The team that Blerim has put together with whom he mentors and has control over his companies is the youngest in Albania. The business strategies he implements have been able to keep the companies very professional and profitable. Blerim is highly involved in international level businesses, he serves as a Marketing and Company Structure consultant in Vine industry in Croatia, a detergent company in Slovenia and Terra which is specialized in agriculture with which he plans to build the “farmer Eco System” which will create more than 1000 new jobs and lead to a better life.

Edlira Kasaj

Edlira Kasaj is a start-up enthusiast who has started her career by setting up small businesses. She holds an MBA in Strategic Management from the Lancaster University, UK, and MSc and BSc in Computer Sciences from the University of Tirana. With 14 years of work experience across Government institutions, academia, private sector and development, Edlira set up and led for three years and a half, the Protik Innovation Center, initiator of a large number of initiatives that aimed to build a sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation eco-system in Albania. A seasoned executive Edlira has mentored, coached and consulted youth, entrepreneurs and managers throughout her diverse career. Currently Edlira is a freelance consultant.

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

Artur Daci

Artur is a systems engineer focusing on full-stack DevOps, automation, and security. He has extensive experience in Linux systems and specializes in task automation and deployment of large applications. Testing new technologies is his thing and he’s also an avid coder. His recent interests are web development and writing APIs with Python.

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.

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).

Aneida Bicja

Aneida comes from the finance and justice world but her passions are entrepreneurship, innovation and community development. She is the co-founder and managing partner of a financial consulting company. Aneida works as head of finance department in a Swedish nonprofit organization in Albania but she is involved in several other initiatives: co-director of Startup Grind Tirana, a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs; lead organizer of Startup Weekend Tirana, the world’s biggest educational movement for entrepreneurs, Ambassador at Hello Tomorrow, a global startup competition connecting and empowering change- makers who dare to solve today’s problems through science and technology

Enio Dybeli
UI/UX designer at Sentieo

Enio is a digital product designer from Tirana with over 5 years of experience in designing interfaces and products for startups from around the world. Prior to his current position as a UI/UX designer at the San-Francisco based fin-tech startup Sentieo, he has worked with agencies such as Fantasy Interactive on projects for Twitter and Huawei and also with the local agency Fabric Creative on projects such as Buletin.

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.

Ergest Nako
Community Developer and Support Manager

Ergest holds a MSc Degree in Information and Communication Technology from Tirana University. He has more than 10 years of experience in the ICT Sector, Information Security, Project management, Business Process Management and recently into entrepreneurship. Currently, he is focused on growing the startup ecosystem in Tirana as a community developer for Protik. He has been a very active member of the community and has been part of the organizing team of Startup Weekend Tirana, TedX Tirana, Startup Pirates, etc.

Albi Zhulali

Albi is a technology entrepreneur. He started a career in the internet industry as a web developer since 15 years old. Very soon he owned an international forum with hundreds of thousands of unique visitors all over the world. At the age of 17 Albi co-founded his first company which developed the websites for some of the biggest companies in Albania.
Albi has very good negotiation skills, skills perfected through his experience in the real estate market. He is acknowledged for his creative skills and vast knowledge on web design and user interface and also for his entrepreneurial skills.
Currently, he is the CEO & Founder of Softmogul ( a company recently incorporated with the mission to make accommodation easy and change how hotels work. Also Albi is the founder of ( the first and largest online startups database in Albania.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Youth Tirana 6.0 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.





Media Partner

Organizing Team

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

  • Mateo
  • Margen
  • Kelvin
  • Patrik


Celik Nimani

Event Staff

Dalin Boriçi

Dalin Boriçi is a senior high school student currently enrolled at the Electronics Branch of Harry Fultz Institute and he is bound to study physics at college. He is eager to understand the whys and hows of the world surrounding us and is always thinking of effective new ways to tackle physical problems both analytically and computationally. He is the president and founder of the Harry Fultz Physics Club, where he gives classes for students in need of support and those who want to go beyond what is studied in class. In the meantime he is leading a group of other high achieving STEM students to build lab equipments that would then be used to experiment complex physical phenomena. He is also a National Finalist in the Olympiad of Physics.

Klaudia Ndreu

Marija Marash

Aldi Sefa

Event Blog

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