USAID REG project’s third For The Win (#FTW) event was held in Prishtina, Kosovo on October 31st-November 1st as part of the 2014 KosICT Conference. It was organized in cooperation with Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK), Kosovo ICT Association (STIKK), and Crimson Capital.
As in prior #FTW events, #PrishtinaFTW brought together local and regional entrepreneurs, investors, and facilitators with the following goals: providing access to best practices for early-stage entrepreneurs, assisting local private and angel investors to professionalize and grow their syndication (investment networks), and building capacity of entrepreneurship community organizers and innovation centers to improve their services, outreach, and effectiveness.
A total of 130 visitors were registered on Day 1,and 60 were registered on Day 2. The topics covered on Day 1 included: transforming emerging tech communities through early stage investments; startup ecosystem building; specifics in sourcing startups and assisting their growth; and lessons learned running accelerators and investment networks.
On Day 2, discussions with the local startup community included topics such as “How to pitch your Startup” and “Building companies locally for global markets.” Lastly, a pitching competition for pre-selected companies took place in which seven startup companies presented their ideas and were provided with valuable feedback and recommendations. The competition was won by Ermal Sadiku from LinkPlus, a Kosovo IT company that is launching a new online regional marketplace for used car parts.
The prize consists of an offer to join the acceleration program at Skopje-based New Man’s Business Accelerator (NMBA) at a reduced rate, and to participate for free in business development meetings in Skopje at NMBA, including a meeting with the head of Microsoft Ventures in Europe, David Raskino. The prize was awarded jointly by REG project staff-person Max Gurvits and NMBA CEO Irena Chaushevska.
#PristinaFTW agenda available here.