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Yesterday, I was browsing a website of the Investment Promotion Agency of Kosovo and to my surprise, I noticed a familiar logo of STARTeurope along with an expired invitation for a startup competition in 2010.
What? Kosovo? The small country crippled by atrocities, war and subsequent poverty? Yes.
Apparently, Kosovo is the country the organizers of the Startup Week 2011 really wanted to visit. As one of them, Jürgen Furian, puts it, Kosovo is a startup of Europe. “It is a new country and we felt the need to visit it.” So, the Startup Europe team organized a Startup Live competition in Kosovo one and a half years ago.
“A lot of people are entrepreneurs in Kosovo. What really struck out is how many private gas stations there are,” recalls Furian. “A lot of people think about building their own businesses, so they copy a proven business model such as a gas station,” he explains. Apparently, Kosovo leads European ranking in the highest number of gas stations per person although the source of this fascinating fact is unknown.
Predictably then, many entrepreneurs came to the Startup Live back in 2010. For the winning team, Siyov, creator of the game “The Cube” (not yet released), Furian and his partners found a sponsor that will make it possible for the whole company to attend Startup Week 2011.
This brings me to the actual announcement. The biggest event to bring together western and eastern European entrepreneurial community will take place on October 3-7, 2011 in Vienna, Austria.
The organizers have received a few hundred startup applications from Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and of course, Kosovo.
Fifty of those will participate in the startup festival. The first two days of the event are reserved specifically for the startups where 20 judges from the investment community will pick the most promising ideas. The 10 finalists will then present their companies at the main conference that is taking place on October 5-7, 2011. This conference is known to attract over 1,000 visitors daily originating from 35 different countries.
There is an endless list of speaker to mention here but the lineup is exceptional. See you at the Startup Week 2011.
+44 (020) 3290 3544
vita at goaleurope dot com