On March 22, 2015, the Minister of State for Innovation, Dr. Milena Harito gave the keynote speech at the University of New York Tirana’s Business Innovation Weekend. The event aimed at training budding entrepreneurs in the fundamental skills needed to start their own businesses. This will mark the beginning of an important long-term initiative by the University of New York Tirana (UNYT) in support of local entrepreneurs. Attendees were coached by, and were given the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers from financial experts and government representatives.

The UNYT ‘Start-up Weekend” is part of the AddriaticIPA, a European Union sponsored initiative aiming at supporting young entrepreneurs   in setting up their businesses, creating jobs and strengthening the state economy.

In the framework of this event, Mr. Elias Foutsis, the President and Founder of the University of New York Tirana during his greeting pointed out: “For Albania to prosper, it has to have entrepreneurs who have ideas and the courage and dedication to turn those ideas into flourishing businesses. We expect great things from all of you. Together we will be the engine of change for you and for this country.”

Mr. Andrea Galatoulas, the General Manager of the University of New York Tirana, during the opening ceremony said: “We want you to succeed and we at the University of New York Tirana will do everything we can to give you the best chance at success. We feel very keenly the social responsibility that we have to this community. It offers us its hospitality and in return we have a duty to give something back, for example by hosting events like this one”

The Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Nora Malaj, called the weekend, “A big opportunity for the applicants to share and expand their business ideas.” She offered her heartfelt congratulations to the University for this Important Event, and said that, “Innovation is indispensable in helping a business to succeed.”

The best ideas presented will be supported by UNYT for a six month period. The winner was also given a cash prize and a trip to Slovenia where they represented Albania in a regional Grand Final of the ADRIATinn Innovation Weekend competition.