Startup Pirates, pre-accelerating Albania


33 brave pirates were part of the Startup Pirates experience which was organized for the first time in Tirana, Albania from 23-30 April 2016 and during witch 7 ideas went through mentoring, workshops and experience sharing from other experienced entrepreneurs.

The Startup Pirates program was brought in Albania for the first time by Yunus Social Business & Garazh and sponsored by Swisscontact SECO EP, USAID, Erasmus+, OFID & UNDP and the YY Foundation.

The first day of the event was quite an hectic experience for everyone, as it was the first time for the young and enthusiastic participants to experience a pre-acceleration program. Everyone threw ideas to the floor and tried to convince others to join their team and experience hands on, team building and co-founder dating.

The whole process was facilitated by Chief Pirate Shkëlzen Marku and Çelik Nimani, who pushed the participants and teams hard to come up with practical approaches towards their business ideas.

On Day one, entrepreneurs Mia Organic, Pomodoro, Dyqan Taxi and Shtepia e Zotërinjve talked about their stories with Julia Goga-Cooke moderating the panel. After a hard start the second day was focused on Entrepreneurship and Team Management facilitated by Julia Goga-Cooke, who focused the attention to Design Thinking.

Day 3, was about Value Proposition and the Business Model Canvas that was hosted by Shkëlzen Marku and Mark Tuttle.


Startup Pirates Tirana - Xhakli
Customer Development and Lean Startup is an important aspect of entrepreneurship and also one of the most crucial skills a Startup Pirate should have. Kushtrim Xhakli was the host of day 4 with the special attention to that topic, while he also invited Mentor Paçarada from Trigonom and Alban Selimi from AlbanFootball to share their entreprenurial experiences and some of their secret tricks how to grow.

Next day was about Pitch Training, which was hosted by Mark Tuttle, while everyone was getting more and more practical about shaping their idea. Day 5 was hosted by Çelik Nimani, focusing the attention around using modern marketing techniques to build up a business from Tirana and sell to global customers. The workshop was also focused around Sales and PR. Day 6 was prepared for Finance and Fundraising, facilitated by Erjola Kraja and Shkelzen Marku.

Startup Pirates Winners - Pikmii

The final day was about what has been build and experienced during Startup Pirates. Thanks to the work from the participants and the committed jury, three top teams were selected. The first place was given to Pikmii (a bla-bla car competitor from the Balkans), Green Case (a real-time tracking device for soil performance) and Oink (a small scale salami factory for cross-country customers that want to enjoy bio-products with a special taste).