We were a part of the jury on Uplift Demoday Albania event, which was held on Monday, January 20th 2020 in Tirana, Albania. It was the finale of the first batch round of the Uplift acceleration program. The event is organized by ICTSmedia publishing house from Tirana in collaboration with the Slovak organizations SOVVA and CIVITTA.
Our Eli Zhabevska, Senior Associate from Skopje office, was the SCV team member joining the event with an active role on stage joining the 5-member jury. Besides her, the jury was comprised of four other jury members, namely Peter Kolesar, CIVITTA, Boris Zeleny, an angel investor from Slovakia, Marin Gjonaj, angel investor form Albania and Stephen Kelly, also an angel investor from the US. We asked her to give us some highlight to share with you and this is what she had to say:
Seven competing startups that went through a six-week acceleration program delivered their pitches at the Demo-day in front of the jury. Before the official beginning of the competition, there was a session of Speed-dating, a time for us to meet the startups one-on-one and hear their story in a 7-min frame.
In general, the pitches from the companies were good. The main component that lacked was the vision to scale their products beyond the territory of Albania and the neighbouring countries which is our main advice for these otherwise very creative and inspiring teams as we see this as the crucial part of proving that you can scale to international level and ensuring your team has investment potential for a VC fund.
The competition was followed by a speech given by the mayor of Tirana, who is a strong supporter of the development of the ecosystem in the city. He expressed his gratitude to all the private corporations that supported the event but said that the missing presence of the Universities is very notable. According to him, without the presence of the Universities, the building of a coherent ecosystem would not be sustainable.
The startups that were in the finals: Gameon, Ipervox, Amargi, iAvokat, Addo, Plexusvr and Orar. The team from Ipervox, the company that creates audio applications for virtual assistants won the first prize, which was a cash prize of 3k.
EU for Innovations were also supporters of this program and invited three startups Game on, Plexusvr and Amargi to join Matchmaking and Exposure program in Berlin for 2 weeks with an advanced startup.
The support and growing numbers of these types of events have significant importance to us since this is one of the ways to share our know-how from experienced teams to developing startup communities making it stronger and growing rapidly.