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Vihra Shopova
September 20, 2018

Everything You Need To Know About Coworking Week 2018 in Tirana

Startup experts from all around Europe are coming together in the Albanian capital to discuss the future of work and help startups grow.

From 4-7 October, betahaus is hosting Coworking Week. This year's event is happening in Tirana with four full days of workshops, lectures, one-on-one consultancy sessions, and networking opportunities. Tirana is slated to be home of our new location in 2019. To celebrate the opening of betahaus | Tirana and get to know the Albanian startup ecosystem, we’re bringing together startup experts from all around Europe to exchange knowledge, discuss the sharing economy, and establish the future of work. Within Coworking Week, we will be bringing betabeer to Tirana along with other startup events, as well as announcing the winners of BETAPITCH Tirana.

Here are some of the highlights of the program and more information about the speakers.

Workshops & Speakers

Our first featured guests at Coworking Week are both Senior Consultants at LNE Group – a government advocacy, public funding, and strategic advisory, working with clients in the United States and across Europe. In their workshop on Saturday (6 October) Patrick Barth and Damian Borowski will be teaching you all about grant writing and how to demonstrate the credibility of your business plan in order to build a successful public funding bid. LNE Group represents different clients from for-profit business, to multinational corporations, to privately-held businesses, to startups, to NGOs. The session finished off with a Q&A session so you can get answers regardless of the type of project you're working on.

The next speaker we'll have at Coworking Week is Lubomila Jordanova – member of betahaus | Berlin and the founder of of Plan A. Plan A is a crowdfunding platform in the fight against climate change, that uses AI to predict where climate change will hit the hardest. On Sunday (7 October), she’ll be sharing the story of her startup's growth and the different types of financing (bootstrapping, angel investment funding, VC funding, etc.) that she used during the different stages of the business.

Our next guest is a professor, entrepreneur and consultant in new technologies and startups. With a long-standing interest in the internet industry, Wilhelm Lappe actively participated in the development of web 2.0 and is currently involved with startups in Europe as a consultant, professor, and mentor for entrepreneurship-related projects. In his workshop on Saturday (6 October), you will learn the first steps of a successful internationalization strategy and how to create an action plan for your business. Wilhelm will share practical tips and help you organize a "prospection mission" step-by-step.

Every business needs powerful storytelling to grow. Lenny Leiter is a Berlin-based commercial filmmaker and founder of Deskish (a visual online playground for creative people) who will teach you how to engage an international audience through storytelling. Over the last several years, Lenny has made commercial as well as non-commercial films and received a rather impressive collection of awards at international film festivals! In the meantime, he founded Deskish – an app which allows people to drag & drop any content from their computer or other websites into a blank browser window and create fun GIFs, memes, a mood board, or even an individual collection of favorite Youtube videos. His storytelling workshop will be held on Sunday (7 October) in OFICINA.

Special Events

Apart from our workshops and one-on-one sessions, there are two events during Coworking Week worth nothing.

BETAPITCH is our global startup competition that takes place in partnering spaces around the world. On 5 October the local BETAPITCH is returning to Tirana in search for the best startups in town! 10 startups will get to pitch on the stage before our jury for the grand prize – a trip to Berlin on 15 November for private meetings at Investors Day and the final BETAPITCH competition with the rest of the global winners. Last year's winners were the augmented reality startup Tikapps and the smart wheelchair maker ITforEquality.

Our best known community events are also coming to Tirana for Coworking Week. We’re very excited to introduce both betabreakfast and betabeer to the Albanian audience. Friday evening will be your chance to grab a beer and do some networking with all of the participants. On Saturday, we'll be having brunch together, enjoying some presentations from local startups, and chatting about ideas and future plans.

Event Venues

The events at Coworking Week will be divided into two main locations: The Tulla Culture Center and OFICINA. All of the workshops, one-on-one sessions, and panel discussions will be held in OFICINA - an entrepreneurship and innovation lab that has the goal to invest in, incubate, and help develop a new-technology industry in Albania.

However, the Grand Opening, the Investor’s Talk and Friday's betabeer will be held in Tulla - a cultural center famous for its authentic and alternative events. Tulla is often referred to as one of the most extraordinary venue in Tirana, so we're excited for this one!

If all this sounds appealing to you, hop on to Eventbrite to save your spot. You can also RSVP on Facebook to get the latest information around the event.

Our other Upcoming Events you can find

Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them. 

Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.

Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for  betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear. 

Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.

Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different. 

Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally. 

Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.

Photo by Lea GK

Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.

Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte

Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.

Want to get in touch with Obst Digital? Come around betahaus | Neukölln and meet them here or send them an email to contact@obst.digital !


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