Alejtin is revolutionising education using a Finnish inspired education system which is fun, creative, engaging and personalised.
What’s your story?
I am a serial entrepreneur and the Founder of Kosovo Business Angels Network. Currently back to being an entrepreneur with the founding of Finnish Schools International, an innovative international school network utilising the Finnish education system and teachers, (which is considered the best in the world) combined with unique and proprietary educational technology. Our first three campuses in Prishtina, Kosovo, Tirana, Albania and Zagreb to open in September 2018. We are on the road to revolutionising the global education system, one school at a time.
What is your involvement with Investment?
I am the founder of Kosovo Business Angels Network and have been involved in a few investments mostly in my own country and mostly in EdTech.
How did that come about?
I was an active member and perhaps one of the drivers of the startup ecosystem in Kosovo and the Balkans. During this time, I saw how important and scarce financing for entrepreneurs is and after meeting Baybars Altuntas, the plans to create an Angel Network in Kosovo greatly accelerated. We finally established the KOSBAN (Kosovo Business Angel Network) in May 2014 and got the ‘Most Promising BAN (Business Angel Network) in SEE award later that year from WBAF.
What are some of the key things you have learnt about Investing?
There are three main lessons I would want to list: 1. You have to invest in people first and not in the idea. 2. Only invest in those businesses where the Entrepreneur has got ‘so much to loose’ and 3. Only invest in those businesses where you have the expertise and the commitment to help succeed.
What mistakes do you see less experienced investors making?
As a new investor, you find most ideas and entrepreneurs interesting and in the rush to become a ‘billionaire’ you might invest in the wrong business.
What mistakes do you see Entrepreneurs making?
One major mistake is asking for an investment with only an idea. That is completely wrong. I like to say that I have at least a thousand ideas at any given time and Google has at least a few million. The second mistake is developing your product or businesses without testing it with the customers.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
If you’ve got nothing to lose, go for it!
What advice would you give to those seeking funding?
Come prepared, have a product/service prototype and convince me that ‘you mean business’ by proving that you’ve got so much to lose, if the business goes wrong. In this way, I know that you have high stakes and will do everything to make it!
Who inspires you?
I am an enthusiastic person and get inspired frequently by people and events surrounding me. But I don’t have a particular idol.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The idea that we can produce killer drones, scares me to death! As an enthusiastic believer in artificial intelligence, I think we should make sure that we use it to improve our lives not destroy them.
What business book do you recommend the most?
Zero to One is the last business book I read that I found interesting and useful and would recommend everyone read it, although there were some exaggerations.
Shameless plug for your business/organisation:
Finnish Schools International is the most innovative international school network utilising the Finnish education system and teachers – the best in the world – combined with unique and proprietary educational technology. We use: 1. Technology and games to individualise the learning for every student; 2. Outdoor learning, sports and a unique learning environment design to improve the health and wellbeing of our students; 3. Integrated arts and crafts to develop creativity and team dynamics; and 4. Kitchen science, programming and robotics to develop a love for STEM. In every school, we developed a miniature town called HelPriCity where our students learn the concepts of citizenship, business, entrepreneurship, governance, professional life and leadership through experiential learning. Our schools are fun, creative, engaging and personalized. www.finnish.school
How can people connect with you?
This article is part of the World Business Angel Forum media partnership with AsianEntrepreneur.org
If you would like more information about WBAF, please contact Callum Laing WBAF High Commissioner for Singapore. [email protected]