Startup Social Venture 2nd Edition: Return of the Creativity

What sets apart a good idea from a helpful idea? The 2nd Startup Social Venture escapade came to show what it takes to be a great thinker, and what it takes to become a great innovator!

Commencing the winter holidays colored edition, Startup Social Venture, in partnership with UNICEF, striked back to integrate even more startup concepts with the purpose of aiding and improving life for the community in creative, socially inclusive and inventive new ways!

As is often the way with these things, accompanying the weekend’s hours of hard-work to conceptualize properly and tailor into an investable project proposal, the 10 selected startup teams are each guided by a mentor acting as a figure of wisdom and counselling through the journey of crafting the innovation’s look and function so the best startup can win. Mentors this edition included Bardh Ahmeti from Management Consulting, Erza Xhelili from Milennium Foundation Kosovo (MFK), Vigan Beqiri from Rugove Corporation, Narona Ahmeri-Daci from ContourGlobal Kosovo, Vjosa Morina from Ministry of European Integration; Co-founder of Mentoring our Future (MoF), Alim Halimi from Helvetas, Genta Agaj from MDA, Edon Muhaxheri a Visual Artist, Blend Hyseni from GAP Institute and Anemone Zeneli from Syracuse University.

With rigorous work, scratching old ideas and breeding new ones, marker caps lost and exchanged to confuse the color scheme of an unlucky participant, laughter and way too many espressos towered over the course of the restless night to come up with the perfect shape for the perfect award. Startups united in bonding activities like spaghetti towers and music to establish team flow and make the overall process, as much a place of work, also a source of fun.

The way in which these startups honed their craft of drafting a proper and functional business idea is through applying mental tools like deep analysis market research, identifying competitors, making surveys and together with mentors complete a Lean Canvas template. The Lean Canvas serves as a business model holding 9 quadrants: Problem, Solution, Unfair Advantage,  Unique Value Proposition, Channels, Costs Structure, Revenue Stream, Client Segmentation and Key Matrix – to come up with a unique Business Plan.

Pleasantly, the event was joined by the furriest and most adorable edition to the ICK family; Bella, the paw-sitively cutest canine participant in the room! With hugs, playtime and a re-jolt of energy offered by the time spent with the best doggo in the world, the teams were exalted and fired up to finish with a bang!

When Pitching and Presenting comes on, we open with “Mjalta Team” from the Lipjan Municipality, seeking to increase honey production of the highest quality including other bee produce such as pollen, bee milk, etc. Needing centrifugal structures to be funded for proper glazing, the team provides community engagement, a clean nature and products that gives more quality and less pesticides!

We then hop off to a more digitally inspired trend with Xkom a piece of software used to smoothen shopping by scanning a product’s RQ code and using that to detect expiration dates, earlier models and similar products found in the area!

Pika App, on the other hand, helps diminish the lack of jobs in marginalized groups and communities that do not share in the same opportunities as others do with customers and stakeholders online with campaigns, emails, social media, revenue streams, etc. Like Shtepiaku, Pika App allows you to browse with the added value of more digital influence crucial in this day and age.

Up next, Fresnel Lens designed a product with a function of heating and charging with electricity using solar and hydro-heating and electric production (multi-functional). All of that with a natural newly found substance. Neat!

CNC Machine- computer-controlled machine cutting everything drawn on a piece of software. With a lamp shade gorgeous prototype,  environmentally safe product, a lost idea re-invented through this startup, no funds and unemployed but inspired! Minorities creating workshops and employing people who are ostracized Bosnian artists with no job, realistic prices only for material (no utilities), and prominent space.

Special ED- Workshop for awareness of disadvantaged individuals and how to properly function in an education-based environment!

Lulelapsi, so adequately named, focuses on bio-pencils to purify the atmosphere in the most simple and decorative manner using the area of a pencil used to store an eraser, instead planted with seeds popping a decorative flower whose fragrance not only enriches the nostrils but also the lungs!

Eco Bag recycles coffee bean sacks into gorgeous retro-styled bags that not only preserve your environment and waste quantity country-wide, it also preserves your style!

And last but not least, Riciklo dhe Fito catches trash off guard by having people that throw trash, earn 15 minutes of wifi gathering the code from the very machine the trash met their demise from! The collected waste will be sent to major recycling companies such as Plastika and RKS.

With jury members, each pitch was delivered swiftly and wittily that made the jurors enjoy every participant’s input! However, all qualitative things must in the end be evaluated and rewarded for further implementation.

After a 30 minute drumroll, the jury came back with the 5000€ check going to:
1. Lulelapsi
2. Xcom
3. Pika App

Yet another successful wrap-up to the highlight of ICK’s inclusive events, Startup Social Venture Workshop finished with pictures of tearfully happy participants with big fat checks being snapped, music booming overhead with singing participants and congratulations all around.

Proving time and time again that the key to an innovative idea and an innovative future is an innovative heart, mind and good people all around. Stay tuned for the future – towards creating more job opportunities and establishing new Social Businesses in Kosovo!