Innovation NEST is a Balkan Business Guru Network, based in Albania, aimed at supporting, investing in, incubating, and fostering the development of new technology industries and enterprises in the Western Balkans 6 (WB6) countries to become innovative and competitive on the respective markets, regionally and globally.
- Collaboration & Promotion of entrepreneurship (especially among young people, particularly women).
- Assisting high-tech startups in their early stages to thrive and support youth employment in the growing ICT industry.
- Creating long-term social impact.
- Bringing sustainable technology and commercial businesses to the local and global market.
- Focusing on key people's success.
- Supporting digital skills and talents (developing more graduates and skilled individuals, encouraging entrepreneurship as a career choice, improving research skills development).
INN's objectives include:
- Improving strategic collaboration among all interested parties.
- Further improvement in both soft and hard infrastructure.
- Increasing available funds (entrepreneurial capital, initial financing, and angel investors).
- Enhancing capacities and relevant training with a focus on highlighting the most capable when it comes to ICT through training and mentoring.
- Focusing on specific programs to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship and technology among young people.
The event will span 3 consecutive days, specifically on September 8th, 9th, and 10th. In his welcoming speech on the first day of INNFest, Valer Pinder, founder of Aladini.al and organizer of INNFest, expressed that he felt the same positive energy today as in previous meetings with the organizing team. He emphasized the importance of human connection and understanding in an age of overwhelming information and digital disconnect.
Even though we are so close to each other, we still struggle to understand one another, added Mr. Pinder. To truly know each other, we need to engage with people, spend time with them in different situations, and only then can we truly understand each other. This is also the reason for organizing the 3-day InnFest 2023 event: networking and getting to know each other in various spheres.
Another co-organizer was Destil Creative Hub, responsible for the creative part of INNFest. In an exclusive interview with BusinessMag Albania, Ms. Sonila Abdalli from Destil expressed that this year's festival is not just about technology; innovation is everywhere. "Destil wanted to bring diversity to this festival, and for this reason, we talked to other organizers about dividing the spaces into 3 zones: innovation arena, where all corporations are located; arena stage and startup hall, which in my opinion is the most interesting," said Ms. Abdalli.
One of the main organizers of the festival was TOK Agency. In an interview with TOK's General Director, Erind Alickolli, he mentioned that Innovation Nest initially started as a B2B conference between investors and startups presenting their ideas after a startup call. This year, along with AECA and Destil, they organized the festival in less than a month. AECA is responsible for the conference part with people's invitations; TOK created the Innovation Festival, handling logistics, marketing, and branding, while Destil participated in the festival for the first time this year, focusing on Wonderland and the creative agenda.
Next year, they hope to return even stronger, possibly in an exhibition format, but not in a traditional trade fair way; rather, they aim for a more alternative, interesting, and attractive approach.
For more information about INNFest, click here.