More than 200 representatives of tech entrepreneurship and science community gathered for Unleash the Future tech event, held on May 30.
The event was initiated by SmartGateVC in partnership with the Foundation of Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), with the support of EU4Business and EU4Innovation initiatives.
The goal of the event was filling the communication gaps between generations of Armenian entrepreneurs and scientists. Global technological trends and Armenia’s stance in that context were also discussed.
“Everything starts from a dream. Today is a great day. We are celebrating the future, our awesome and diverse community. We start defining together a new bright page in research, entrepreneurship and friendship,” Co-Founder of Teamable and partner of SmartGateVC Vazgen Hakobjanyan told.
The keynotes for the event were Hovhannes Avoyan (CEO and Co-Founder of Picsart) talking on the future of AI, Aram Salatian (Armenia Country Director of National Instruments) introducing the future of hardware, Aram Pakhchanian (Principal of Ayb School) presenting the future of education, Naira Hovakimyan (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, FAST) discussing the future of cutting edge research, as well as Vaagn Toukharian (Qaulys) and Samvel Martirosyan (security enthusiast, council member at Internet Governance Council of Armenia) presenting the future of Cybersec.
The event also hosted a fireside chat with Ruben Vardanyan (Co-Founder of IDeA and FAST foundations), Naira Hovakimyan, Fr. Mesrop Aramyan (Co-Founder of Ayb and FAST foundations), Armen Orujyan (Executive Director of FAST foundation, Founder of Athgo Corporation), and Artur Alaverdyan (FAST foundation).
“When we talk about the future industries, the question is: what kind of skills and vision you need to have? It is important to be consistent: if you believe in one scenario, don’t do every day something, which is not consistent in your own belief. I believe the polarization will increase and AI will be widely spread, however, people will still look for real relationships,” Ruben Vardanyan said.
Armen Orujyan talked on the dramatic changes that are taking place today with the evolving AI. “I don’t think that any of the industries like education, health, food will be relevant in 20 years,” he said.
The panelists indicated that the launch of FAST foundation, Araratian Baccalaureate and other initiatives are part of the Armenian nation’s long term response to these developments. According to them, the impact of what is being done now will be visible in a decade, but this type of initiatives lay the foundations of a strong and competitive nation.
While closing the conference, Co-Founder of SmartGateVC Hambardzum Kaghketsyan addressed the community with the call to be “capable, unstoppable and unbreakable teams”, as this is the key to the success.
Co-Founder of SmartGateVC Ashot Arzumanyan remarked in the interview to Itel.am that the Unleash the Future event was aimed at establishing dialogue between different generations.
“There is an awesome community of tech entrepreneurs, scientists and education professionals in Armenia with different generations involved. All this is a solid ground to get united and gear Armenia to the next level. We are going to achieve huge success thanks to this talented and bright community: the future is ours as we unite,” Ashot Arzumanyan said.
Newly launched SmartGateVC is a seed fund for Armenian startups. The key focus areas are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cyber Security, Internet of Things (IoT) and emerging Quantum computing, Biotech and Fintech.
Investor and mentorship day for Armenian startups
The aim is to find local early stage startups looking to go global