In April of 2017 Armenian IT highlighted a number of contests, visits of foreign mentors, as well as another 7-digit investment in U.S.
Itel.am sums up #TechApril.
Armenia-based Teamable, which provides recruiting software for businesses, announced the funding of USD 5 million, led by True Ventures. The new capital will be used to further develop Teamable’s data engine, improve the matching algorithms, and hire more people in sales and marketing.
FAST (The Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology) announced the formation of the Advisory Board and the appointment of the Chief Executive Director.
17th Annual Summit of Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE) took place (in Armenian) in Yerevan, within he frames of which the new strategy for 2017-2021 was adopted, while Alexander Yesayan was appointed new President of UITE.
KEID startup, operating in Armenia, set an example of crowdfunding by making the world’s first interactive necklace, which allows downloading pictures and gifs to the necklace from smartphone. The startup collected 40% of the required sum during the first days of the crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
Representative offices of Armenia’s IT sector were announced to be opened in USA, France, Belgium and Bolivia within the Armenian Science & Technology Center’s (ASTC) program.
IT Chess Cup took place (in Armenian) in Yerevan, where Synopsys Armenia became the winner, followed by BetConstruct and OMD. The contest involved 27 teams from 20 companies.
NASA Space Apps Challenge 2017 hackathon took place (in Armenian) on April 29-30, Yerevan. Winners of the contest Locotech and Von teams will be nominated for NASA Space Apps Challenge 2017 international contest.
Winners of Smarter Transportation Data hackathon became known on April 16. 33 teams were selected to participate in the 24-hour competition. This event was aimed at creation of innovative solutions with a functional prototype in transportation sector, using a variety of datasets, APIs, and hardware provided by industry-leading brands.
10 Armenian startups participated (in Armenian) in Startup Olé conference, held on April 26-27 in Salamanca, Spain.
Ayb School’s robotics team won a bronze medal in Combat Robot nomination of National Robotics Challenge (NRC), which took place in Marion, Ohio, USA.
Itel.am talked to Director of Investor Relations at Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) Noa Segre, who noted that Armenian II might become as attractive as the Israeli one.
“I think that Armenian IT lacks some research. Armenia should create conditions for doing research inside universities. Armenia may interest global groups as a developing economy, which will boost innovation as well. First of all, you need to pay attention to education, and secondly, involve and bring in Armenia global multinationals. Armenia needs such a precedent to change the ecosystem. If one similar company succeeds here, it will definitely attract more companies. I really believe that talent attracts talent and success brings more success.”
Founder and Director of Stanford ChangeLabs Banny Banerjee told Itel.am within the frames of Impact Investment for Development Summit 2017 that Stanford ChangeLabs discussed the idea of supporting the establishment of the first of its kind national SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) laboratory in Armenia.
On April 26 Itel.am talked to Central and Eastern Europe SAM & Compliance Director at Microsoft Laurent Signoret, who arrived in Armenia on World Intellectual Property Day. He shared with us his concern on cyber-attack rate (86%) in Armenia.
“The establishment of cooperation between the public and private sectors (corporations, startups) is required to tackle this issue in Armenia,” he said calling on Armenian lawmakers to not be afraid of going after “bad guys” and let education and enforcement become a good habit.
In April we also talked to Programming engineer at Google Alen Zamanyan, who conducted lectures on machine learning for students of Tumo centers in Yerevan and Stepanakert.
“This visit was in a way experimental for me. One of my priorities was establishing connections with professionals and representatives of new generation, involved in the sphere. I plan to move to Armenia further to be able to do business here, contributing to the development of Armenian IT at the same time,” he said.
Within the frames of “IT yesterday, today and tomorrow” series Itel.am talked to co-founder of SoloLearn Yeva Hyusyan, who remarked:
“We invested everything we could. However, some time later we needed money to solve basic issues and at least pay the salary to several web developers in order to enter the global market and attract foreign investors. Although we had much larger investments later, it was the USD 50k grant that helped us a lot. There are only a few such investors in Armenia. The government doesn’t give grants, unlike Israel that financed promising startups for years”
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