The acceleration fund Eye (Encouraging Young Entrepreneurs) which has started operating in Kosovo in 2012, has announced the winner Phronesis Technologies of its open call in 2013, and also opened the new call for 2014.
Vllaznim Xhiha, the founder of EYE gave an encouraging speech on the importance of creativity and fostering it to support entrepreneurship, by which he also announced a new maker-space pilot project opening in Kosovo called “Bonevet”.
“We need to work with the community to encourage creativity and bring the new generations to a new level of thinking. Thinking about job creation” said Vllaznim Xhiha during his presentation. He then focused also on the results from last years call and the lack of quality applications, while mentioning how EYE has matured and learned throughout the year on how and what to focus more on. “We have the initial stage, the incubation stage and the prototype stage, for which we are looking for and in which we see the real potential in investment”, continued Xhiha.
In an encouraging mood the event was moderated/hosted by Valmir Mustafa, one of the key figures behind EYE and an active person of the entrepreneurial community of Kosovo since 2006. Driton Hapciu in a short and brief announced the winning company Phronesis Technologies which is founded by Mergim Cahani, and has 3 products in line, with the main one dedicated to solve the online payment system in the Western Balkans. Amongst other support they also gained today an initial support of 12.000 â‚¬ while more investment is to follow through the program.
Tekfuze, is another company in which EYE has invested, while company founder Glen Noble gave a brief speech on the importance of the program and how they benefited from it. “They are not in for the money, they are in it for Kosovo” stated Glen. Prior to that in a brief interview for Digjitale he also shared his experience as a mentor on the program during which he said that he had the chance to share and learn quite a lot from other mentors and startups. “We are in it on a voluntary basis and we like to be involved in this process. EYE gives us the chance to be more close to new communities and we are happy to be part of it” said Glen Noble.
Bersant Disha, in the end announced the new venture call #Eyeventure14 which is open until 12 May 2014, while he also emphasised the importance of education in fostering entrepreneurship and making new start-ups. “We expect full time entrepreneurs, since that’s the only way it works. Sleeping and living with your idea” said Bersant, while mentioning that there are still challenges that one faces every day in the market of Kosovo, which also includes part-time entrepreneurs or weekend entrepreneurs. “This way, it doesn’t work”
The stages of the Eye Venture call include developing a business concept based on the idea, phase 2 announcing of the winners and phase 3 includes investment from EYE. “It can be more than one investment and not limited to one company” said Bersant Disha.