Itel.am summarizes #TechMay, featuring large grants, new startups and successful entries to the international market.
Unleash the Future tech event took place on May 30, Yerevan. The event gathered more than 200 representatives of tech entrepreneurship and science community. 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.
The winners of Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship program (STEP) grant schemes were announced last month. The ten winners of Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) received funding of EUR 30,000-50,000 each, while 5 winners of STEP got EUR 15,000.
Armenian Inapptics announced last month that its Artificial Intelligence-powered analytics platform for mobile apps was already available for everyone. Inapptics has finished Estonian Startup Wise Guys accelerator program a few days ago. In June they will have meetings with potential investors in Austria, Poland, Latvia and Bulgaria.
9th BarCamp Yerevan annual unconference was held (in Armenian) on May 27-28 at American University of Armenia. The event gathered about 1500 participants.
Itel.am was informed last month that 15 Armenian startups will have the opportunity to participate in Startup Academy in the beginning of autumn, Berlin. Eva Naeher, Team Leader of Support to SME Development in Armenia (SMEDA) project and the initiator of the event, told us about the start of accepting applications from June of 2017.
The prize fund of Sevan Startup Summit 2017 annual camping business forum to be held on July 24-31 on the shore of Sevan Lake was announced to comprise USD 40 000. More than 100 teams will take part in the Summit this year, around 15 of which will get prizes.
The winners of the funding project for innovative startups, organized by Global Credit UCO and Renesa Investment Company, have been revealed. The winners are AR Magic and Webex Technologies teams, which will receive financial investment of AMD 10 million each.
On May 4 Yerevan hosted Nurturing Innovative Growth in Armenia - Support and Financing Opportunities for Innovative SMEs and Startups event, which featured discussion on financing opportunities for Armenian SMEs.
Chuss Lozano, Spanish entrepreneur, business angel and Founder of Silicon Seeds, told in an interview to Itel.am that he was going to move to Armenia next year with his family.
“I am thinking now of investing here. I would especially prefer to get involved in education programs. I think it would be a great opportunity to work on training the Armenian startups, helping them to get international. Currently I am still researching the ecosystem. I prefer to be a smart business angel in Armenia... I have already observed two startups that I think have interesting products, which I would like to invest in.”
Itel.am also talked to the Head of Regional Office of Microsoft in CIS Ronald Binkofski, who said that modern world gave us a lot of opportunities to go far faster and broader.
“Young specialists of modern world should take into consideration 2 most important circumstances. You need to be very educated, as technology is already a part of our lives. Secondly, you should be open to the world and different cultures. I think young people should leapfrog some steps in their development, still trying to learn from others and build their own brand without being afraid,” he said.
Legal Advisor at Business Support Office of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Isabella Hovhannisyan told (in Armenian) Itel.am that the extension of terms on state support for IT startups was conditioned by the current demand.
Touching upon the possible changes in the Armenian law on State Support for Information Technologies, efficiency of the support mechanism and main challenges in the sectors, she remarked that the extension of tax benefits would contribute to opening new companies, as well as their further development and transition to normal tax system.
We told last month about Armenian-based One-Click Key, which developed data protection device recognizing users with the help of finger vein authentication technology.
Founder of One-Click Key Tigran Jhanyan told Itel.am that the project had not been yet realized, though the startup already received EUR 15 000 grant within the frames of Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP). According to Tigran Jhanyan, the grant will be used for deep technology research and further development of the device.
We have touched upon Armenian-based Volterman startup, which has developed a smart wallet, giving you the opportunity to secure your wallet and easily find it in case of losing. Similar products on the market have only Bluetooth Alarm and Power Bank functions, while this wallet offers photo camera, WiFi and GPS as well.
And finally, we also talked to the representatives of TripPlannera, which developed a platform for planning trips abroad. TripPlannera’s current target destinations are New York, Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona and Munich.
Investor and mentorship day for Armenian startups
The aim is to find local early stage startups looking to go global