Kosovo young developers: make it to Global Startup Battle as the second best ranked team in the world

By: Albina Makolli    December 10, 2012

Leart Zogiani and Bardh Lohaj are members of the XIIIK team. They won the third edition of Prishtina Startup Weekend and qualified for the finals of the Global Startup Battle as the second best ranked team, among 130 teams competing from all around the world.

XIIIK has won 4755 votes via online voting on Facebook. “I am thrilled with this and it’s hard for me to believe that through votes we got the second place in a global competition although we come from a small state”, says Leart Zogiani, a 3D artist and member of the XIIIK team. The XIIIK team was the winner of the third edition of Prishtina Startup Weekend organized by Innovation Centre Kosovo.

Success of a team from Kosovo
Success, according to Zogiani, is greater when having in mind that the Global Startup Battle is the most important and biggest worldwide entrepreneurship competition. The first place in the first round of the Global Startup Battle was awarded to the London Based team SmartWard that got 5025 votes, only 250 votes more than XIIIK. Each city that hosted a Startup Weekend (including Prishtina) at the Global Startup Battle is represented by the winning team. In the first round 130 teams compete among themselves, while in the finals only 15 teams that got most of the votes qualify.

According to sources from the Startup Weekend, the jury very much liked the work of the teams that were voted on Facebook. The winner will be announced next week. The jury consists of Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos, Brad Feld one of the managing directors at Foundry Group, Leah Busque, founder and CEO of TaskRabbit.com, Chris Hollod from A-Grade Investments and Jesse Dreaper, CEO of Valley Girl.

Awards for the winner of the Global Startup Battle:

  • A free VIP trip to Rio De Janeiro for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress-sponsored by Global Entrepreneurship Week
  • A VIP trip to San Francisco to tour Googleplex and meet with founders, mentors, and investors-sponsored by Startup Weekend and Google
  • $5.000 in-kind PR Launch Package for your SW team sponsored by Geben Communication
  • $5.000 worth of Design Service for your SW team sponsored by Btrax
  • $5.000 Incorporation & Legal Package sponsored by Cooley LLP
  • $20.000 credit for Google App Engine sponsored by Google
  • One full year of bragging rights as the winner of the world’s largest startup competition!

XIIK will have another reward from the community of entrepreneurs and the StartUp scene in Kosovo. This will be put into history of the new scene as the first Startup from Kosovo who ranks among the 15 best in the world. In addition, XIIK is the only team from Southeastern Europe which has become a part of Global Startup Battle, competing with teams from England, Canada, Mexico, Israel, USA etc.

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Source: http://www.ickosovo.com/

Albina Makolli

Albina Makolli is a blog contributor. She fled Kosovo when she was four; she grew up in Germany. Albina received her under graduate degree in European studies, and then continued with a graduate program in Public Policy and Human Development at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. Within the framework of her graduate program she specialized in Migration studies. Last summer (2012), Albina visited Kosovo for the purpose of conducting research for her Master thesis. The data that she gathered helped her to learn more about young Kosovars’ emigration plans and concerns about their country’s economic development. This summer she returned to Kosovo to work for the IOM and UNDP joint project 'Diaspora Engagement in Economic Development'. The purpose of the study is to facilitate and incentivise Diaspora investments in Kosovo.

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