Drones, crowd purchasing and digital currencies – Local start-ups think BIG for Startup Week

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Malta based start-ups came together for a week full of activities, adrenaline and action for the week starting 13 October. The series of events gave local start-ups the opportunity to practice their pitch, to learn about the various forms of start up financing, as well as to attempt starting a high growth business in under 54 hours.

“Startup Week was an excellent opportunity for the local start-up and entrepreneur to learn, build relationships and meet motivated thinkers. With such great energy, ideas and persistence, it was truly a Silicon Valley-style week”, says Simon Azzopardi, organiser of Startup Week.

During the week, start-ups looked at local and global problems and used technology to try and solve them.

“Start-ups came up with ideas and products that solved real problems, such as traffic congestion, lack of funds when a start-up has an idea, inefficient taxi management and expensive mobile app development. They also looked at technology to help make our lives easier, using drones and concepts such as crowd purchasing.”

“Over the weekend, seven teams developed their own ideas into market ready businesses, all in under 54 hours. Teams were given support in terms of tools and mentors to develop their idea and learn the ropes of thinking lean and building a viable and scalable business,” continues Mr Azzopardi.

“During the week, we also launched the Startup Island brand. Startup Island is the brand to represent the local start-up community and help promote Malta as a Startup jurisdiction overseas,” says Mr Azzopardi.

Several high profile individuals were also present to show their support including Andy McCartney from Microsoft Ventures, Luka Sučić from hub:raum and Rumen Iliev from LAUNCHhub.

The main sponsors of the event was Microsoft Innovation Centre who not only hosted the event, but also utilised Microsoft’s network and resources to ensure that some of the biggest names in this space got involved.

“Microsoft Innovation Centre is all about supporting the start-up community. We offer local start-ups the space and tools to reduce the pain of starting up a technology business, and also assist local start-ups with integrating into our other centres across the globe,” says Edward Portelli, manager of the Innovation Centre.

Microsoft also offered the BizPark program to all participants in the weekend start up competition.

The event was sponsored by Microsoft, KPMG, Altaro, MITA, SAP, BusinessFirst, and SkyParks.

The event will most certainly not be the last. Startup Island, together with the local start-up community, have already started to organise future events, including meet-ups, hackathons pitchathons and other start up related events.

www.startupisland.org

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