The technology celebration has started: StartUp Grind in Digital Festival!

In a crowded room of over 50 participants, students and officials, entrepreneurs and tech community, the festival that celebrates the age of technology – Digital Festival, opens up! But it’s much more than a simple opening – ICK makes another start: for the first time ever it brings StartUp Grind to Kosovo, a global event powered by Google by Entrepreneurs, designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs.

The opening event of Digital Festival, Startup Grind featured an interactive discussion with Kosovo’s Economic Development Minister, Blerand Stavileci, who also holds a Master of Science in Management and Information and Communications Technology.

“It takes courage, knowledge and determination to push things forward” is the first aspect Stavileci points out when asked about where Kosovo stands on the field of technology. What can be the future of younger generations?” he says, continuing later on “it’s creative industries.” And it seems to be true: Kosovo’s largest portion of youngsters are oriented in technology as a field where they can employ their full potential. For instance, “banks with sportels and people have disappeared – all because of technology” the minister further explains.

During Startup Grind, the minister also discusses about the need to encourage critical thinking in schools, creativity and other skills crucial for development and successful entrepreneurship. “Emotional intelligence sometimes is even more valued than a high IQ” Stavileci says; “you need to bring out the best of you and others, to understand, to be understood.”

Despite accepting that nothing in the Information Technology doesn’t “begin nor end with the ministry,” meaning that it is up to people to pursue their full potential, the minister amongst others reveals that there will soon be a digital economy code for Kosovo, as a part of a special program for employability, using technology.

At the end, after a fruitful exchange, many issues raised and discussed, and Q&A with the public, the first event for Digital Festival concluded with an informal gathering (and pizza!) between the youngsters who were present, the minister and other guests. As Uranik Begu, ICK’s Executive Director said in the beginning, the aim of the Digital Festival is “bring people together, to expand communication, to build on synergy”- and it is exactly this energy you can feel around.

But that’s not all – there is a month full of activities featuring Digital Festival! Stay tuned for the next event.

Blog by: Shpresa Frrokaj

Photo Credits: Arben Llapashtica