Techstars Startup Weekend Prishtina

    Friday, May 24 - 26, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Prishtina

Friday, May 24 - 26, 2019

Friday, May 24 - 26, 2019
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Innovation Centre Kosovo
Rexhep Mala str. 28A
Prishtina, Kosovo 10000

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Your idea in 54 hours

Do you have an idea you'd like to pursue or a problem you'd like to solve but don't know where to start or who to start with?   Techstars Startup Weekend is the place to look for a team, create a prototype of your idea, validate your business idea, and receive feedback from experienced entrepreneurs, all in one weekend.   What do you need to bring?   Lots of energy! You'll pitch your own idea or listen to others, then vote on the most interesting ideas and form teams with diverse skill sets. You can come with friends, but you’ll get the full experience if you participate in separate teams. Remember, it’s all about the team.   Your idea should be something you have not previously worked on. The idea you pitch and the problem you set out to solve can span social, educational, financial, environmental, or other issues. Over the course of the weekend you'll be challenged to create a prototype of your MVP, or minimum viable product, that fits the needs of your target customer. You'll get feedback, iterate, and likely pivot your approach entirely! Important: You cannot have worked previously on your idea.   Techstars Startup Weekend is a full weekend long experience. Your ticket includes:  
  • 7 full (and delicious) meals over the course of the weekend
  • Benefits and discounts from our global partners
  • One-on-one time with amazing mentors
  • A new network of developers, designers, and entrepreneurs eager, like you, to change the world.
  • All the internet and coffee you can consume.
 Watch the video below to see what you can expect, and if you’re feeling inspired click on the “Buy Ticket” button now!   Still have questions, feel free to reach us at     
Don’t wait any longer and join the Techstars Startup Weekend movement!   No talk, all action!

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Friday May 24th

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 May 25th

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 May 26th

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!

Event Judges

Agon Gashi
CEO of Meridian Express

Agon is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Meridian Express, a convenience chain of stores he founded in 2012. His previous work experience includes being the Development Director for Meridian Corporation, a food and beverage Distribution Company and a co-founder of BUKA, a chain of bakery and café shops. Mr. Gashi serves on multiple boards. He has served on the Board of Directors at Meridian Corporation since 2011, serves as the Treasure of the AmCham Kosovo Board of Governors, and was a founding member in 2011 and President of the Board of Directors of the Kosovo CSR Network. Recently, Agon is appointed as a member of the Financial Advisory Committee at the University of Prishtina. Agon holds a degree on Economics from Bard College, New York.

Nina Sharma
Managing Director at Project X-ITE

Nina Sharma is the Managing Director of Project X-ITE at the University of Denver. She launched
her career in nonprofit institutional development, holding operational roles at the New York
Public Library, Carnegie Hall, Yale University, the Ad Council, and First Descents. She previously
worked at Millennium Promise, the operational arm of Dr. Jeffrey Sachs’ Millennium Villages
Project, a proof-of-concept model to eradicate extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2014,
she launched a consulting practice to provide business development strategy for startups and
nonprofits. In 2016, she co-founded the Whole Truth Booth.

Nina received her BA in English Literature from Hamilton College, her Masters of Public
Administration from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service with a focus on International
Development, and her Executive MBA from the University of Denver where she is also an
adjunct professor. She is a co-founder of +Acumen, a worldwide network of chapters that
support Acumen’s patient capital investment mode. She serves on the Alumni Council of
Hamilton College, the Alumni Advisory Council of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership
Foundation, and the Boards of Directors at Global Dental Relief and Swallow Hill Music
Association. She was named a 40 Under 40 by the Denver Business Journal, and is a CiviCo
McKinsey Academy Fellow.

Dimitar Jovevski
Professor at Faculty of Economics-Skopje

Dimitar Jovevski Ph.D. is a associate professor at The Faculty of Economics - Skopje, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, where more than 12 years is working at the E-business department. Main research fields is digital marketing, digital and social media, and everything related to them. In his academic career, Mr. Jovevski has published more than 50 papers in the relevant field. Besides his academic work, he is active in the business sector as co-founder of a Software development / Digital marketing company Piksel LTD, a company that in 2018 received an award for the Entrepreneurs of the Year in the class of small companies in North Macedonia. In his professional career Mr. Jovevski has been a consultant, trainer, in the field of digital marketing, for lot of local and international companies and brands, such as Cineplexx, IMLEK, A1 Telecom, Schmith Cargobull, Acibadem Sistina, MONIN, Ohridska Banka - Societe Generale, InPlayer. At the moment, Mr. Jovevski is active as a mentor and juror at the European Youth Award competition and Social Impact Award competition in North Macedonia. 

Coaches and Mentors

Zana Budima
Country Manager ABC TECH GROUP

Zana Budima is an entrepreneur driven by passion, curiosity and a strong belief that technology belongs in every field and industry. Currently, she leads the ABC TECH Group in Kosovo and together with her amazing team helps clients develop products that serve millions of users worldwide. She brings 15 years of professional experience in project management, product and business development from profit and not-for-profit sector.

She shares her skills and experience with others through training, lectures and mentorships, and looks forward to the ideas and solutions that emerge as a result.

Zana holds an MSc degree in Computer Engineering and Telecommunication from the University of Prishtina and also has an M.B.A. in General Management from the University of Sheffield.

Agon Avdimetaj
Co-Founder at Zombie Soup and Vianova Health

Agon is the Co-Founder of Vianova Health INC and Zombie Soup, a zombie entrepreneur, very passionate about his contribution in the VR world in his homeland. He guides a bunch of very talented zombies, leading the latest technologies in the industry.

Jeta Zagragja
Director Of Business Operations at UCXmarket

Jeta Zagragja is a technology entrepreneur, a startup mentor, and an education advocate. Jeta brings almost a decade of practical experience in successful startups, financial industry, and non-profit sector in Kosovo and USA. Currently, she’s a co-owner and Chief Operating Officer at UCX Kosovo, a global, innovative, and lean technology company. She’s formerly held positions as the former Chief Business Development Officer at Cacttus JSC and Chief Business Development Officer at

With her passion for innovation and demonstrated management skills, Jeta is a natural leader who pushes for workplace development, operational excellency, and business growth. She sets stretch goals and organizes resources to achieve the commercial, operational, and strategic initiatives. She’s a successful networker and relationship manager who leverages contacts to support business and philanthropic initiative and produces strategic execution plans that align with engagement or client objectives. Understanding that great achievements require team effort, she loves to mentor and empower teams, companies, and individuals develop.

Jeta’s education background includes a B.A. in Applied Sciences from the Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA and an M.B.A. in Strategic Management from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL, USA.

Jeta is the co-chair of the Board of the Kosovo American Education Fund, a mentor at the Innovation Center of Kosovo, and a mentor at Krypolabs in Abu Dhabi.

Shpend Thaqi
CEO of Sach Pizza & Caffe

Shpend Thaqi is co-founder/co-owner at SACH L.L.C. Sachpizza & Sachcaffé.
Prishtina born entrepreneur, has a B.Sc. in Banking and Finance from the University of Prishtina and a M.Sc. in Professional Studies from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Shenaj Shala
Protocol Specialist, Etiquette & Image Consultant, Freelance Trainer and Lecturer at Freelance, self-employed

Shenaj is a protocol specialist, etiquette consultant, and freelance trainer and lecturer. She earned her terminal Master of Arts degree from the International School of Protocol and Diplomacy (ISPD) in Brussels in 2014. Between 1999-2013 Shenaj worked for the United Nations Organization in Kosovo and East Africa as Personal Assistant for several Special Representatives of the UN Secretary-General, and engaged in protocol at highest levels.

From 2013 – 2015 Shenaj worked for oil and gas industry supermajor Shell Petroleum as Coordinator for Majnoon Training Centre in the Middle East, and in June 2015 she was appointed the Liaison Officer for Balkans Peninsula at the ISPD.In 2018 Shenaj was announced one of the 15 global pitch and presentation skills trainers by the IDACB (International  Decentralized Association for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain) for the IDACB Pitch School based in Moscow.

 Shenaj continues to coach and mentor young entrepreneurs in Kosovo while focusing on soft skills and topics like effective communication, public speaking, emotional intelligence, and motivational talks. She is also consultant to public figures (mainly politicians and diplomats) in Kosovo about public speaking and presentation; gesticulation; and personal image. 

Valon Canhasi
Owner at Hallakate - Social Media Agency

Social Media Strategist, Trainer and Consultant. Owner at Hallakate - Social Media Agency

Valon has more than:
+5 years of experience in the Social Media ecosystem
+2.5 years on News Media organizations
+9 years of experience in the Business ICT sector
+200 people trained on Social Media topics

Valon helps organizations and individuals build their audience and presence online through:
- Internet and social media marketing strategies for businesses,organizations and individuals to increase their overall reach,
- Content strategy and content distribution
- Social media coaching and training
- Social media analytics
- Strategic Consulting
- and Web analytics

Zana Tabaku
Co-Founder & CEO at APPDEC

Kosovar born lifestyle entrepreneur. Studied in English Language Literature, University of Pristina in 2004 but dropped off to pursue a career in ICT sector and Co-Founded Appdec – leading provider of software and services to a select group of public and private sector markets. A person that will as well change the “opinion” for Kosovo young women and their professional orientation and ambition. Brought the wealth of knowledge to Appdec since 2009. During this period, has been the main driving force of the company by promoting its vision and achieving the company’s mission statement.

Always gone beyond the role as the Operations Manager and took matters of the company, making sure that it is running as well as it possibly can, planning B2B marketing efforts, overseeing a team of highly professional software developers and managing the annual spend. One of the successful projects that can be attributed to this diligence and commitment was creating Integrated Task Management System that not only generated enormous media buzz, but it was also one of the 50 finalists in Balkan Pioneers.

In the previous years, worked as Software Engineer in Appdec and Software Developer in Cacttus sh.a for four years. During this period was also a Board Member in Kosovo ICT Association (STIKK) and Admission Committee Member in Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK) since 2012.

In August 2018 together with Shpend Lila & Eldita Tarani were awarded by the US Department of State for the #JuniorGeeks project, the only one selected from Southeast Europe in 2018.

Junior Geeks is an inclusive platform for high school students to discuss, explore and learn about technology, entrepreneurship, science & innovation. The goal is to kickstart a wave of interest in research, science and technology among youth in different municipalities. Junior Geeks also aims to help youth consider tech oriented programs as their future careers, as well as identify with their entrepreneurial spirit.

Erris Veliu
Multimedial Designer

Erris is a designer with extensive experience in multimedia, marketing, and print. He has worked on a number of high-profile projects globally, for a range of businesses. Erris has a track record of creating innovative, engaging and successful marketing strategies and campaigns.

Jehona Lluka
Executive Director at Business Consultants Council

Jehona is a result driven-professional and an advocate for business ethics, integrity and professionalism. It has more than 14 years of experience in local and international projects, for private sector development, strategic management and management consultancy, being part of various projects since 2006 in Kosovo, Macedonia and the United States. It is a Certified Management Consultant CMC® from the first generation and mentor from the International Council of Management Consulting Institute, CMC Global. She was rated and ranked as the highest representative as a sales agent in the US regional sales management sector.

Jehona is executive director of the umbrella of local consultants, the Business Consultants Council (BCC), which works and lobbies for strengthening the consulting profession and promoting various consultants expertise. Has provided a valuable contribution to full membership of the BCC at the global management consultancy ICMCI organization that embraces around 2 million consultants worldwide.

She has promoted and lobbied for the consultants digital perspective through platform and the creation of a consultancy profession standard. Jehona possesses a long expertise as mentor of start-up businesses, within the framework of global entrepreneurship and consulting organizations. Organized 2 editions of the Global Mentoring Walks for the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and those in the process of establishing businesses.
Jehona has been co-founder and director of Business Development Institute LLC, a private company focusing on management consulting, banking, SME development and human resources development in Kosovo, USA, Germany and Ecuador. 

Ermal Sadiku
Managing Director at LinkPlus IT

Ermal was one of the team members that laid the foundations for LinkPlus IT back in 2013, and is currently involved in managing LinkPlus as its CEO. Ermal is also an entrepreneur by day and an engineer by heart. He founded companies like ZagApps, Datalab Kosovo and EVAcc. He holds a Masters degree from the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg, Germany. Ermal is passionate about technology and helping new generations of young engineers to achieve success in the technology realm with a primary focus in software. He is a lecturer in "Universum" College teaching two programming courses and also a board member at STIKK. With more than 10 years of professional experience, in companies like Assecco, TIG and Datalab, he brings a lot of know-how in fields of IT, business analysis and project management. During four years of managing LinkPlus, the company has grown from a small startup to one of the biggest software development companies in Kosovo. Projects have been developed for airline companies in USA, telecom companies in Canada and automotive companies in Germany. He has interviewed, tested, trained or prepared more than 500 developers and engineers in Kosovo and the region with more than 100 of them getting employed in different companies. Ermal speaks fluently English, Serbian and Macedonian besides the native Albanian language. Can communicate in German also.

Dorjan Berishaj
Co-Founder & CEO of Zombie Soup

Dorjan is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zombie Soup. During his years at Zombie Soup, he has been involved in operations, growth and client relations, but also hands on with the engineering teams working in different industries, such as Health Tech, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning and Blockchain. 

Dorjan has seen a number of diverse projects through, and made sure that the teams he led were leveraging the best practices and technologies, as a result, ensuring the products were future proof. With a cloud philosophy at the core, the products delivered have constantly demonstrated innovation, yet brilliant simplicity. 

Dorjan has attended the University of Prishtina, Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science.

Eldita Tarani
Managing Partner of Tripika

Eldita Tarani is a human behavior scientist who is very passionate about interpreting and transforming data into informed decisions and interpretable outcomes aimed towards innovation. As a recently returned Fulbright scholar, Eldita joined efforts on creating the Junior Geeks platform and became a managing partner of Tripika. She consults for the private sector and government projects pertaining to open data and data analysis, designing capacity building programs, strategies, and datathons. Exposed to user experience research and product design training in the heart of Silicon Valley, her scientific and artistic efforts have been geared towards ideating social responsible projects, products and services.
She is enthusiastic about educating and coaching youth on the importance and best practices of interdisciplinary scientific and usability research as well as helping young talents recognize their affinities for STEM careers and academic endeavors.

Agon Kabashi
Strategic Initiatives Manager Raiffeisen Bank Kosovo

Business Analytical skills, Presentation skills, and an extensive knowledge of the banking industry

Strategic Initiatives Manager with extensive experience in Internal Audit and a demonstrated history of working in the banking industry.
In my current position, some of my duties consist of the following:
-Bringing together strategic, creative and technical skills to help leaders in the bank understand how innovation and digital capabilities can help transform their businesses for the better.
-Coaching multi-functional digital project management team working with a very limited budgets and scarce resources.
-Facilitate strategic management process, provide consulting expertise and program management for strategic initiatives that are deemed critical to the bank success.
-Creating and driving strategies that develop new businesses or turn around ailing ones.

Val Sopi

Started coding at 10 with his first fully-functional product at 12 years old. Product maker at heart with educational background in Graphic Design from Montclair State University, Val is a self-taught developer, who has been actively building Saas products since 2012.

Solely focused in Saas, most recently, Val is making where he's documenting everything in the open via his podcast "Bootstrapping Saas: My journey to $10K MRR" —

Previous Saas products include: Goodwerp, Vavingo, Fatural, WebKings, Fatural, and InvoiceStation.

Individual and product media appearances include: Forbes, The Economist, Entrepreneur, NPR, The Next Web. With additional appearances as a Top-10 startup at Startup Istanbul, and both shortlists at StartupSauna (Finland) and Launchub (Sofia).

You can ask him about boostrapping, marketing and sales, customer feedback, seed and angel investments, product/market fit, product making, and launching.

Hana Qerimi
Co-Founder at Shkolla Digjitale & Starlabs

Hana Qerimi is a passionate entrepreneur who has successfully started and grew two startups
internationally; Digital School which offers programming lessons for youngsters and franchising services
for international clients as well as Starlabs which is an outsourcing company with focus on software

Hana has finished bachelor studies for business management at university for business and technology
in Prishtina and her master studies for Global MBA – Consulting Management in London. She is a PMP
certified for 5 years now as well as she holds the globally recognized certification for consultancy
management - CMC. She also works as an instructor for PMP certification exam preparation and IT
project management at the American University of Kosovo – TDI.

Hana is also deputy chairperson of the board at Business Consultants Council – BCC and has over 10
years of professional experience in project and program management mainly in ICT sector where she
has worked as a project and program manager with global clients such as ATT mobility, Vodafone and
eXtenet systems in United States.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Prishtina 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.




Organizing Team

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

  • Uranik
  • Shpend


Simone Demelas
CEO of / Product Manager of BBE SRLS

Sardinian, currently based in Rome. Degree in Natural Sciences, GIS and Satellite Remote Sensing expert, after working as GIS analyst decides to begin to understand how business works and was amazed by the startup universe. It all started in 2013 with the participation at Startup Weekend Cagliari, from there he fell into the black hole, participating in a lot of startupsweekend and working on his own projects. He is currently CEO of ARMNet, a company that deals with integrating augmented reality to the management of infrastructure networks. Passionate about technology in every aspect, music, fitness, new trends. Crossfit addited but also good food addicted, house music hard listener. There is always a different way to see things and solve problems and there is a song everything. At the moment is focusing on Corporate Innovation.

Event Staff

Guxim Thaci
IT Officer

Guxim Thaci is the IT Officer at the Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK). His role at ICK is to maintain the computer systems of a company and providing stability for the IT related equipment; therefore, keeping day-to-day operations going for the staff that rely on functionality of technology. Guxim has a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and Engineering. He is also certified for networking from Cisco as a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate).

Venesa Krasniqi
Training & Events Assistant

Venesa Krasniqi is the Training and Events assistant at the Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK). Her role in ICK is to assists the implementation of the training programs within the Training Department, and not only, she assist in implementation for all activities, events, conferences, product launches, social events, communication with speakers and participants, event promotion and event evaluation she also assists and maintain the communication with community, internal and external partners.Venesa, has studied for International Realotionship (Political Science) at “Iliria” University College.

Emira Bakalli


Drilon Balaj

Drilon Balaj 

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