KosICT, started six years ago by the ICT Association of Kosovo (STIKK) as an experimental tech event in Pristina, Kosovo with different tracks and focused on various topics that included even hands-on training workshops.
Six years forward, the event has turned into one of the largest meetings of tech enthusiasts in the Balkan region and has moved from a hotel outside of Prishtina to the Youth Center in the city center, which never looked fancier in the 17 years after the war in Kosovo.
However, the original idea of focusing on technology, remained, with a special attention for networking events, especially on Friday night, which is one of the most vibrant nights of music and youth in the capital of Kosovo, Prishtina. Here networking is done around excellent music, great local beer and some events like “Fuck-up Nights”, where speakers get invited to talk and share their failures and how others can avoid them. This provides participants with an excellent opportunity to discuss failures, receive valuable tips and make new contacts.
This year the introductory speech was held by the CEO of IPKO Telecommunications, Robert Erzin, who impressed with his talk around the future of mobile with 5G technologies.
The co-founder of Electronic Arts made sure to impress the audience with how Silicon Valley managed to come to the level it is now and what lies beyond it. If the speed of mobile wasn’t fast enough and Silicon Valley was still the center of the tech world, Mike Reiner the co-founder of World Summit AI, managed to take the conversation to another level with trends around Artificial Intelligence and Humans, and how it’s real power is within contextual awareness.
The keynote speakers weren’t the only ones of the highest caliber. There were some exciting panels around the future of mobile data, the future of e-commerce, fintech, the future of blockchain, and others.
The focuses of the content were widespread and demonstrated also the high potential of the startups of Kosovo, with an Innovation Corner hosted by the Innovation Centre Kosovo and supported by the German Embassy of Pristina & Competitiveness of the Private Sector in Rural Areas. Some exciting Kosovo companies that were present included, Zombie Soup with it’s latest VR Game – Yanone, Solaborate with its latest tech-communication hardware the HELLO Device, BitSaphire that presented an ATM which participants could use to buy Bitcoin, Formon with its 3D Printer assembled in Kosovo, Synclab, that builds products around Augmented Reality and many others.
Why it’s worth noting KosICT for next year
The number of participants & visitors from Kosovo and around the region has reached over 2,000 during the two days of the event. Worth noting is that the sixth edition of KosICT 2017 was one of the best so far with two intensive days and exciting sessions for every guest.
For someone that is planning to attend next year, he/she should have in mind that they can meet interesting speakers such as the co-founder of Electronic Arts, they can get help from other fellow entrepreneurs/startups and also get inspired how to launch a company of their own, they can benefit professional knowledge and follow the newest developments of the sector, meet new people and even meet potential clients, business partners or investors.