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My Trip to Global Entrepreneurship Week in Prishtina

Mostar-based entrepreneur Nikolina Zeljko shares her experience traveling to Kosovo for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018

by Nikolina Zeljko, Mostar - B&H

My name is Nikolina Zeljko and I'm a Marketing Manager at the startup named blablaDev.​

blablaDev is a web service for new talented developers and whoever needs them. Instead of building to-do app over and over again, developers will get great ideas and projects to work on (cool apps and sites) from blablaDev. This way, they will gain much-needed experience and chance to be hired by companies. On the other hand, many companies are in search for developers, who are already in short supply. With blablaDev, companies will get detailed statistics about best developers and their projects, but also the possibility of publishing their own projects. Instead of spending three to six months on a new developer’s training, they can hire junior developers with experience.

I've applied to the Western Balkans Mobility Fund and had to choose between attending four events - BETAPITCH Mostar,UnlimitedSarajevo,TechnopolisNiksicandG​ EW Prishtina.​ My choice was Prishtina as I've never visited Kosovo before and wanted to get to know the startup scene in the youngest country in Europe. Ahmed and Arta from the Innovation Center Kosovo were my contacts there, while travel was arranged by GIZ. I had to take care of the accommodation myself, so I booked an Oda Hostel for four nights.

My flight to Kosovo was very pleasant and I'm very happy with the communication with the GIZ crew. I came to Prishtina on Wednesday (14 Nov 2018) around 1:30 pm and headed toward the Innovation Centre Kosovo. There, I've met Arta who gave me a tour around the center and

offered me the coworking space. She was very kind and friendly. I also met Arta’s colleague with whom I agreed on cooperation. He’s in charge of Kosovan programming school, so we agreed that the students will use blablaDev as a part of their program. I wanted to attend workshop named “The Art of Business Forecasting for Startups” but it was in the Albanian language (I don't understand a word), so I went for a walk in the center of the city. Arta told me that the first lecture the next day will be in English.

On Thursday, I headed toward the Riinvest Faculty to attend a workshop named “Communication, Negotiations and Outsourcing Training for Women in ICT” but it was also in Albanian. The mail lecturer Zana Budima wanted to switch to English because of me, but other participants were not that comfortable with that so Zana held her lecture in Albanian Nevertheless, I stayed there and tried to learn some Albanian language. The other women who attended the class were also welcoming, and some of the activities were held in English so I participated. I hang out with them for two days, mostly during the breaks and after the workshop.

In conclusion, my trip to Prishtina was not what I expected it to be, but there was some benefit for my startup blablaDev and for my personal development. I’ll take this chance to express my gratitude to GIZ, Innovation Centre Kosovo and Max Gurvits from Western Balkans Mobility Fund.

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