Welcome to Gjakova Summer School ’15

About GJSS’15Apply


Gjakova Summer School for Entrepreneurship 2015 is an intensive two week program providing young entrepreneurs with the tools to move from ideas to success in creating and developing startups. This summer program exposes students to the skills that form the core of an entrepreneurial mindset—critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, and communication. These also happen to be the skills most sought by companies when hiring.  The program is designed to teach the whole process from idea to execution and encourage participants to learn to think entrepreneurially. The program will take place in Gjakova, Kosovo at the BONEVET Makerspace from August 1st through August 15th 2015.

The course will be a combination of lectures, guest speakers, assignments, workshop sessions, meetings with companies, and will be finalized with the presentation of the ideas in front of a panel of potential investors.  The following topics will be covered in detail: introduction and company presentations, identifying the need and market validation, people, finance, competition, business plans, executive summaries, pitches, business models, sales, and execution.

In addition, an added value to the second edition of the Gjakova Summer School for Entrepreneurship will be the study visit to Polis University, Tirane in Albania where participants will have the chance to attend lectures, meet with entrepreneurs, and visit several companies.

The program is open to:

● Students and others who would like to learn more about entrepreneurship or develop their ideas.

● Business people and other professionals who want to develop entrepreneurial aptitudes or actually implement innovations for spin-out from their companies.

● Civic leaders and others who want to understand more about leadership and entrepreneurship.

● Entrepreneurs and employees of early-stage companies who want to deepen their experience and knowledge base.

You will leave GJSS’15 with:

● Experience pitching before a panel of successful entrepreneurs and investors

● Network of international entrepreneurs, leaders, and diplomats

● Toolkits of sample executive summaries, business plans, and pitch decks


The Gjakova Summer School for Entrepreneurship started in 2014 with the initiative of a group of excited entrepreneurs following in the tradition of service and education from one of the world’s best business schools — Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College (ranked 1 and 2nd by The Economist in 2013 and 2014).

The Gjakova Summer School for Entrepreneurship team includes alumni from Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia who from 2012-2015 participated in a similar two month intensive entrepreneurship course at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Our Strategy

What we need is an entrepreneurial society in which innovation and entrepreneurship have to become an integral life-sustaining activity in our organizations, our economy,our society.


“In our world of innovation, automation, and change, we can no longer bring up our young people to be job seekers. The adaptive world order of the 21st Century needs job creators—people who can create jobs for themselves and for others; not once, but again and again throughout their lives.”

An entrepreneurial mindset is valuable everywhere!

GJSS’15  program will build the skills that form the core of an entrepreneurial mindset: critical thinking, problem solving, execution-focus, collaboration, leadership, and communication through an eight week entrepreneurial class by renowned Professor Gregg Fairbtothers and professional GJSS Team. These also happen to be the skills most sought by companies when hiring. Our core focus is to change how people see. We want our students to adopt a new mindset that enables them to become opportunistic problem-solvers who bring a discipline of value-creating innovation and effective execution to whatever they do.



Gjakova is a very beautiful place in southeastern Kosovo. It is situated 360 m high above the sea level and is a must to visit place including center and villages around. Gjakova Municipality, the main town and its 84 villages, cover an area of 512 km2. Approximately 150.000 people live in this municipality, 90.000 in town and around 60.000 in villages. It has a peculiar climate with rainfalls during the winter and dryness during the summer.

According to legend the place where today Gjakova lays used to be Jak Vujaj’s property that was convinced by a priest to give the land in order Hadumi’s mosque to be built, and then the whole city. In the beginning Gjakova was a village of a great trade importance. Its relevant position, the ancient road Via di Zenta crossed through Gjakova, enabled it to trade in with many important countries, starting from Istanbul to Shkodër, and other Balkan important centers.

From the beginning Gjakova was important trade where goods from Malësi (highland) were interchanged with goods from Dukagjini but also with other places where they sell handcrafts and bought salt, sugar, cloths est. Craftsmanship was highly developed and in the name of two most successful ones, Tabakët dhe Terziajt, there are bridge named after them, even today they are in good condition.

During the last war in 1999, Gjakova was quite damaged economically, there were lack of investments right after and most of social enterprises are in the list to privatize. Besides, very interesting ground to be explored, with its uniqueness that is not common for other places, quite rich culturally and full of love that its people preserve for it.


Gjakova is easily accessible from other cities, and there are regular means of transport. Bus lines are regular from Prishtina to Gjakova and vice versa, in this 83 km distance and your journey will last approximately 1 ½ h. You can also connect from Prizren and Peja with regular buses, 40 min away each. If you plan to go there by taxi this will cost nearly 50-70 euros including the way back. It’s a walkway that makes your trip dreamy like a fairytale. Roads in the center walk you through the monuments like a guide that makes you feel a good explorer. For passionate walker passing through the villages is also possible and a lot of great sceneries will accompany you.


It is worth starting the journey from Çarshia in Ismail Qemali Street. This cordial market with small wooden shops since the XVI century, if not earlier, has been a center of craftsmen and handicraftsmen of different artisans.
This market of a great economic value for the city of Gjakova was burnt to the ground during the 1999 war, but afterwards it was rebuilt in the same style and today it has been revived. In the shops of this market you can find today mostly imported goods since the works of local craftsmen are gradually vanishing. However there are still clock shops (??), blacksmith, jewelers, etc. in every step of the Çarshia Street there are historical monuments each with their own story behind.
At the top of Çarshia the Tower of Abdullah Dreni (Kulla e Abdullah Drenit) is to be found which also serves as Historical Museum. Close to the Museum is the Tekke of Sheh Emini (Teqja e Sheh Eminit). This Tekke belongs to the sect of Dervish Ra-fai, who has a very distinct ritual whereby in a moment of psychological trance they pierce their body, mainly the face, without feeling any pain. The annual holiday of 21 March of this sect is open for public. Walking through this street, besides monuments of importance one can also taste the traditional local food at Çarshia e Jupave. After tasting the delicious local food you might also see the Big Tekke located in the same street which has a low height and it is somehow spread over a space. The Big Tekke has a branch in Prizren. To complete the pleasant story of this city visit the Ethnographic Museum in Mother Theresa Street built in 1835. The Tower of Tasum Beu built in 18-19 century is found in the same street.

In the center of Çarshia there is Xhamia e Hadumve, the oldest mosque in the city and also one of the first objects built there, in the last decade of XVI century, with which the story of Gjakova begins. Not very far from the Xhamia e Hadumve two old houses are to be found with wooden roofs Hani i Vjetër and Hani i Haraqisë (The Old Inn and Haraçia Inn). Built in 17-18 centuries they served is Inns for tradesmen. Besides being beautiful they are worth visiting also for the good food and other services they offer. Close to Han there is Tekke e Bektashive (Bektashi Tekke). At the end of bazaar in Ismail Qemali Street there is Xhamia e Mulla Isufit (The Mullah Isufi Mosque). Close to this mosque there is also Kisha e Shën Palit dhe Pjetrit (Saint Paul’s and Peter’s church) as well as Ura e Tabakve (The Tabak Bridge) through which the river Krena passes. In Çabrati Street it is worth visiting two old houses, the house of Beqir Haxhibeqiri and that of Mazllom Zherka, distinguished by wooden decorations and interior.




Bernard Nikaj

Bernard Nikaj

Program Director
Valmir Mustafa

Valmir Mustafa

Project Assistant
Jeta Sahatqija

Jeta Sahatqija

Dartmouth Program Alumni’14
Leke Zherka

Leke Zherka

Dartmouth Program Alumni’14
Mimoza Selmani

Mimoza Selmani

Dartmouth Program Alumni’14
Kreshnik Ismaili

Kreshnik Ismaili

Dartmouth Program Alumni’15


Gregg Fairbrothers is the founding director of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network at Dartmouth College, an adjunct professor of business administration at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, and the founding Chairman of the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center, Inc., Lebanon, NH. Prior to returning to Dartmouth in 1999, he served in a variety of management and executive positions in the oil and gas industry over 22 years, managing and founding exploration and production companies on three continents. Mr. Fairbrothers completed a B.A. in Earth Sciences at Dartmouth in 1975, an M.S. degree from Rutgers University in Geology in 1977, and an M.B.A. from the University of Tulsa in 1983.

William G. Nisen has been involved with a series of entrepreneurial initiatives at Dartmouth College and in Europe. Most of his recent work has centered around exploring disruptive technologies while concurently searching for new applications for digital information and encouraging a grassroots approach to innovation. He is also actively pursuing the research agenda he launched as the founder of the Kelvin Institute in Glasgow, Scotland with particular emphasis on the convergence of ‘open innovation’, mobile communication technology, adaptive learning and contextual analysis.

Nisen is heavily involved in assisting non-profit groups in adopting information and communication technologies to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. Nisen also mentors start-up companies, primarily in the education, mobile communications and information technology sectors.

Catalina E. Gorla is the Program Manager of Innovations in Translation and New Initiatives at the Dartmouth Center for Healthcare Delivery Science. In this role, Catalina works with researchers and business professionals to identify market opportunities for research findings and develop tools that meet needs on all sides, with the end goal of creating a self-sustaining entity that address needs in the health care delivery system. Her projects focus on the engagement and empowerment of patients. Catalina also oversees the logistics and curriculum of the annual Balkan Institute – Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network Entrepreneurship Program.

Previously she worked as an economist for a large investment management firm, focusing on international financial markets. In this role, she developed new tools and analytical reports on investible foreign markets. Prior to her work in economic research, Catalina completed a financial leadership rotation program in the insurance industry, and held positions at an investment bank and law firm.

She received her AB from Dartmouth College where she studied Art History and Italian Language and Literature. As a senior Catalina discovered Tuck Professor Fairbrothers’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship course which she audited. Conversations that ensued cultivated an interest in building her own entrepreneurial skill set, which she has pursued by working on several entrepreneurial ventures, including founding a DEN Cities chapter in Ohio, serving as Vice President for the Dartmouth Club of Central Ohio, founding “Our Books,” a manager-led discussion forum, co-founding a venture in healthcare IT, and co-founding a second venture in drug informatics.