The 5th Business Idea Competition: B4Students’ newest entrepreneurs

The 5th edition of B4Students’ highly anticipated Business Idea Competition has produced its next generation of young entrepreneurs. The demo-day placed the finalists in front of the jury, with the two best pitches winning funding and mentoring from the B4Students program, part of Mane Foundation. This competition has grown into a significant event for budding student entrepreneurs, offering them a platform to showcase their innovative ideas and gain valuable insights from industry experts, as well as financing.

To foster communication among the student community, 7 in-person information sessions were conducted across various universities in Albania. The call for applications, which opened in April, was met with enthusiasm, resulting in 36 submissions. After a rigorous selection process, 15 promising participants were chosen to advance in the competition. During June, these participants attended two essential workshops: “Business Model Canvas” and “Pitching in front of Investors”, designed to equip them with crucial skills in business model design, monetization strategies, and presentation techniques, ensuring they were well-prepared for the final event.

The competition culminated with the final presentation phase , where participants presented their seven-minute pitches to a panel of jury members from BALFIN Group: Andi Muhametaj, Project Manager at BALFIN Group; Matilda Elmasllari, Corporate Relations Manager at Tirana Bank; and Gjergji Spaho, Chief Information Officer at BALFIN Group.

The competition’s top honor, a first prize of €5000, was awarded to Mexhit Kastrati from Tirana Business University for his project, Unify. Unify is a groundbreaking app aimed at simplifying life in Albania by revolutionizing the way businesses and tourists navigate restaurant reservations. Mexhit Kastrati, a passionate business administration student, envisions Unify as a tool that will enhance the dining experience for users by making it easier to find and book restaurant tables.

The second prize of €3000 went to Xhulia Kurti from the Aleksandër Moisiu Durrës University for her project, Two Slots, One Sensor. This innovative project addresses the challenge of parking in urban areas. The system uses a unique parking sensor that covers two slots, helping drivers find parking spaces more quickly and efficiently.

The success of the 5th edition of the Business Idea Competition highlights the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit among students. This B4Students component is just one of many initiatives undertaken by the program to empower the next generation of business leaders. With the continued support of organizations such as Mane Foundation, the future looks bright for aspiring young entrepreneurs in Albania.