On November 15th, the first 10 finalists of the Challenge Fund were awarded. Among them, 8 start-ups and 2 Innovation Support Organizations received certificates for their innovative business solutions and their contribution to support entrepreneurship and innovation in Albania.
The Swedish Ambassador to Albania, Mrs. Elsa Håstad, welcomed all finalists, congratulating them for winning this competitive Challenge Fund and for believing in their idea.
Head of Swedish Development Cooperation, Mrs. Petra Burcher, handed out the certificates to the winning teams while encouraging them to continue to think outside the box. All finalists will sign a contract with the Swedish Embassy the following days to receive the fund, as well as the legal, financial and technical mentorship throughout the year of implementation.
Take a closer look at the finalists of the Challenge Fund:
The business proposal aims to create an E-Commerce Integration Solution serving as an online ticket marketplace and endpoint to the company partner’s platform. Through this platform the project has the objective of meeting the market needs for online ticket sales for cultural, sports, tourism, and other types of events providing an innovative way for the customers through the redesign of the website core system, development of an application for scanning the electronic tickets direct from the customer’s smartphone, etc.
The business proposal aims to develop a new software system to offer Hotel Management as a service inclusive of 1) Create a Hotel Management Profile (rooms, clients, projections, reservations etc.) 2) Process payments online and offline (Credit Cards, Internet Merchants, etc.) 3) Launch a theme-based website configured for their hotel 4) Real time synchronization and presence in Booking.com, Expedia, Google, etc.
The business proposal aims to cultivate, produce and sell high quality and organic saffron. In addition, the initiative attempts to fund the first Saffron cooperative in Albania, starting with 10 farmers.
The business proposal aims at developing a high-end school management system with 3 users; schools, teachers, and parents, coming together in one platform where all data circulates in real time. Further down the road, Pi aims to develop further through machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms to try and automatize as much as possible the toil work.
The business proposal aims to produce premium olive oil, table olives and olive paste from the centurion olive trees of Lukove area, by the revitalization of the 100 years olive groves (trees and land) in Lukove in an eco-sustainable way.
Mussel Tour “Meet our Queen”
The business proposal offers a quality mussel tour experience by providing the opportunity to the tourists visiting the island of Ksamil to experience mussel farming firsthand through their active participation in different aspects of growing and harvesting mussels.
The business proposal aims at producing new bi – products from honey. Products such as propolis and bean milk are new for the Albanian market. In addition, the business will purchase so called Flow Hive, which is the latest innovation in hives technology that increases the production by eliminating wax production from bees.
Corn Maze Park – Farm
The business proposal aims to build the first Corn Maze Park in the country as an educative and innovative space for children and families in the area of Petrela, outside Tirana. Some of the activities that the Park aims to offer are; using a mobile application for the players to have some instructions on how to find the exit by answering the questions related with Albanian history, geography, culture, art and music, have the possibility to plant different plants, see real animals, etc.
Innovation Supporting Organizations
The project aims to build an Innovation Support Organization for the region of Shkodra, where the overall objective is to incite change and offer support for local companies in the sectors of tourism and agrobusiness through marketing, access to a network of businesses, technical assistance, and provision of know- how on product development.
Future University of Tirana
The overall objective of this project is to address the needs of youth, researchers and SMEs for technological support of their ideas by the establishment of an innovation center that responds to their needs.