At its third edition, Startup Weekend Tirana gathered dozens of young entrepreneurs keen to share their innovative and creative ideas in the fields of technology, business, entrepreneurship, management and programming.
There were three prizes. The third one went to Code in Rose, an initiative to increase the number of IT females in the market. The second one was won by Tirana Bus, an online ticketing system to help everyone manage their time better by making their service available on mobile phones. The big prize was awarded to Shumlist for their truly innovative idea of creating a website that allows all innovators to sell, buy and exchange both finished and unfinished projects with each other. I had the the pleasure of interviewing the founder of SHUMLIST who together with his team is going to be part of Global Startup Battle (GSB).
Congratulations! Can you give us a bit of background to yourselves and SHUMLIST for the uninitiated?
Hello! My name is Mateo Prifti, 18 years old. "SHUMLIST" is a website that enables professionals to sell, exchange and buy finished or unfinished projects. So they can save time, earn money from the projects they do not want to work with anymore, or buy other unfinished projects with a lower price.
The idea was conceptualized by me and was very well received by the crowd. So we’re a group of 9 guys, and all of us like to program and design. Some of us are attending high school and the other ones are in college.
The team: Mateo Prifti, Kelvin Cobanaj, Enes Kristo, Margen Stepa, Greidi Meta, Patrik Bardhi, Saraj Pirasmepulku, Artan Kica and Hristos Giannopoulos.
We have noticed people that are very passionate about technology and who start their projects from scratch. However, it happens very often that those projects remain unfinished as they get replaced by other ones with higher importance. On the other hand, there are a lot of people who do not want to start projects from scratch, but want to develop other people's ideas.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced with SHUMLIST so far?
The biggest challenge was documenting the business plan. It is very difficult to create an idea, but it is even more difficult to document its business plan. We had to study the law, the competitors and the market in such a short amount of time, but in the end we made it.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to turn their idea into a business?
The most important thing is to not give up on your ideas. To be focused and let your intuition lead you. It is also very important to have a plan and to start realising it with passion. If there is lack of passion, the business won't be a success. The first step is to have an idea, write it down and then analyse it. Secondly you have to choose other team members if needed. Being a hard worker and focused is the real key to success.
What made you decide to go to the event?
We decided to be part of SWT for many reasons, but mostly to test ourselves and our idea. It was the incredibly interesting people we met along the way and the huge learning experience that was the real takeaway. We loved the atmosphere, hearing other people’s ideas, and being a part of their birth and evolution.
What tips would you give to someone thinking about attending a Startup Weekend?
I think is very important to find the right group. You have to get to meet a lot of talented people and make them part of the team. There are also a lot of professionals and consultants that you can talk to, in order to gain experience from them. But the most important thing is to stay cool and enjoy the challenge. Just go for it!
Given the time again, is there anything you would have done differently?
Startup Weekend was a great experience we will remember for a long time. There is nothing we would want to change. We did our best and let's say the results and feedback were positive.
What’s the next step for SHUMLIST?
Startup Weekend was just the beginning, let's say a tiny spark. We’re now excited to be continuing the development of the website. Further down the line we have all sorts of ideas of how to progress: institutional partnerships, integral and increased statistical and analytical capabilities.
Edited by: Lisa Enocsson