About us

Based on a successful entrepreneurship program developed for over ten years at the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, USA, the Balkans International Entrepreneurship Summer School in Tirana, Albania combines classroom learning, entrepreneurial community engagement, and experiential projects. The BIESS is the first international entrepreneurship summer program that combines the experience and thorough knowledge of professors and researchers from top U.S. universities, regional business leaders and local experts on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Balkans with students and young entrepreneurs from the region.

The BIE Summer School program is open to students and professionals of college age and above. We host students from various countries such as Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and more creating a uniquely international environment for our students.If you are a curious-minded, analytical, and creative student, employee, businessmen or women, civic leader, young entrepreneur or someone who has an idea but doesn’t know what to do next, you should consider joining this 8-day intensive program.

Our program is traditionally tailored to offer courses in English with interesting topics from all the main fields of business administration, entrepreneurship and innovation.The course draws on readings, discussions, lectures by entrepreneurs and researchers with distinctive entrepreneurial and finance experience to cover the important aspects of company formation, leadership, and value creation.  BIE Summer School’s week-long intensive curriculum prepares leaders to create social and economic value through an experiential learning curriculum of human-centered design innovation, entrepreneurial execution, social value and globalization, policy and diplomacy, character development

Apart from the expertly designed academic program, we want our participants to enjoy themselves while learning. Therefore, in collaboration with one of the best tour operators in the region, Albania Experience, we have included some unique highlights to our program such as fieldtrips to Kosovo (Prishtina and Gjakova) as well as evening tours of Tirana and the surrounding areas. International and local students will visit the main attractions in the city, enjoy local culinary delights and Albania’s beautiful nature, and learn that there is much more to Albaniathan meets the eye!

BIE Summer School 2016 is a mix of rigorous work and recreation. We are here to change your mindset so that you can create social and economic value wherever you choose to live and work. This program is an introduction in how to be prepared for global scale opportunities while contributing to the local economy at home, in the Balkans!

Join the international ranks and success stories this summer with our exceptional program!


Gregg Fairbrothers
President of Groups-Recover Together

Mr. Fairbrothers is the President of Groups-Recover Together, a for-profit medical startup that provides affordable treatment helping people to recover from opioid addiction. He is also a founder and board member or chair of currently active technology companies in biotechnology and medical information technology, and two nonprofit organizations, The Institute for Biomedical Entrepreneurship and the Eleazar Wheelock Society. Previously and for fourteen years, Mr. Fairbrothers was the founding director of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network, Dartmouth College, and an adjunct professor of Business Administration in entrepreneurship at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. In 2004 he founded the Dartmouth Regional Technology Center (DRTC), Inc. a free-standing New Hampshire non-profit corporation that operates a 55,000 sq. ft. technology incubator facility developing technology-based innovations with the potential for significant social impact, and in 2006-2009 co-founded the Apologia student journal at Dartmouth and the Eleazar Wheelock Society, where he still is a trustee. In 2016 he joined the Institute for Biomedical Entrepreneurship in Cambridge, MA as a co-founding board member. Mr. Fairbrothers has more than 22 years of experience in almost all operational and investment-related aspects of the upstream oil and gas industry, including exploration, exploitation, production, marketing, acquisitions and divestment, joint ventures, and corporate finance through banks, multi-lateral institutions, limited partnerships and public markets (including IPOs and unsolicited purchases). Prior to returning to the Upper Valley in 1999, he was President and founder of a mid-sized international oil and gas producer, Samson International, Ltd., as well as President of Samson Resources, Inc., and a Director of the companies’ parent holding company, Samson Investment Company. Mr. Fairbrothers earned an MS in Geology from Rutgers University, and received his MBA from the University of Tulsa. He graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College.

Gazmend Haxhia
Owner, Albania Experience Travel Company

Co-founder and shareowner, POLIS University<br /> Co-founder and Co-Chairman, of ACMS-Albanian Centre for Management Services<br /> Gazmend Haxhia is President of Albania Experience (Landways), Avis Rent-A-Car Albania and Budget Rent-A-Car Albania, part owner and principal shareholder of OPEL dealerships and POLIS University in Tirana. An ardent promoter of entrepreneurship, he is currently lecturing at several universities in the Balkans and has lectured at Harvard Business School and Tuck School of Business. He serves on numerous boards, such as the American University in Kosovo, Business Advisory Council (BAC), the Central Eastern European Management Association, and has formerly served on the Advisory Board of BKT, the Albania-based bank. Mr. Haxhia has been an active member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) since 2008 and was selected as a Young Global Leader to the Davos World Economic Summit the same year. He serves on numerous boards, including serving as a board member of the American University in Kosovo, Business Advisory Council (BAC) and on the board of the Central Eastern European Management Association. Gazmend won the prize of “Most Successful Entrepreneur” during the Sarajevo Business Forum in May 2016.<br /> A graduate of Tirana University, Mr. Haxhia has earned a Master’s degree in Business and International Relations from Columbia University (USA) with additional business education coursework completed at Harvard University (USA) and London Business School (UK).

Christopher Hall
President of International Horizons College, Dubai

Dr. Christopher Hall has more than 30 years’ experience in business, government and higher education, focused on marketing and economic development. He has worked as Vice President of Marketing for a large steel company, as a State Senator in the US and as President of three Colleges including six years at the American University in Kosovo. He has taught marketing and public policy at the postgraduate level in Tirana and Prishtina. He is based in Maine where he has extensive experience in rural economic development, infrastructure and public policy, both as a consultant and as an elected official. He is a visiting Professor of Marketing in Polis University’s MBA program.<br /> Chris Hall has a Ph.D. in history from Oxford University and an M.S. in Marketing from Columbia Business School, New York.

Catalina Gorla
Founding CEO, TruDataRx, Inc.

Catalina serves as the Chief Executive Officer for TruDataRx. In this role, Catalina works closely with the clinical team and clients of TruDataRx to ensure an exceptional customer experience that results in meaningful savings in pharmacy benefits driven by rigorous evidence-based analytics. Catalina also works with the TruDataRx development team to build the analytical tools and software that drive the value for clients. Catalina has spent the past 6 years working in healthcare in a range of roles involving research commercialization, enterprise formation, and operations development. Previous to founding TruDataRx, Catalina was the founding COO of Informulary, Inc, a company committed to improving health by providing doctors and patients with the information they need to make wise decisions about prescription drugs, and also held positions at Dartmouth College as the Program Manager of innovations in translation and new initiatives at the Dartmouth Center for Healthcare Delivery Science. Through these roles, Catalina worked with researchers and business professionals to create self-sustaining entities that address needs in the health care delivery system. Prior to Dartmouth, 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. Catalina graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College.

Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner is a licensed psychotherapist who provides individual and group counseling in the US. She specializes in helping people identify the internal issues that hold them back and helps them develop successful psychological strategies to achieve their dreams. She has started several small businesses of her own, and she brings that experience to her work with young entrepreneurs.

Dave DeLucia
CEO and co-founder of ImmuNext, Inc.

David DeLucia is a successful entrepreneur who enjoys mentoring young professionals in the US and around the world. He helps mentees develop effective business plans, sales presentations and leadership skills. Mr. DeLucia is the CEO and co-founder of ImmuNext, Inc. ImmuNext discovers new medicines that use the immune system to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases. The company has $100,000,000 USD in cumulative revenue and has out-licensed patents with over $1,000,000,000 USD in potential milestone payments. Prior to ImmuNext, Mr. DeLucia was CEO and co-founder of ImmuRx, a company that failed. Mr. DeLucia shares lessons with his mentees from both his successes and his failures.