A group of young representatives from the IT sector are planning to develop mobile applications and other technological solutions for the most diverse of problems ranging from renovating one’s apartment to the provision of financial information, from a new approach to parking cars to conquering the global market through games. And these are not all simply ideas.
On March 25, at one of the meeting rooms at the Tufenkian Hotel, the 10 young Armenian participants of the Technology Goes Beyond Borders: Yerevan-Ankara project were given the opportunity to present the esteemed jury and all other interested audience members with their startup ideas, the success they have already achieved, and their upcoming actions to develop their companies further.
The jury, which consisted of well-known professionals in the sector, was impressed with the enthusiasm and creativity shown by the young participants. One of the main objectives of the event was to guide the young entrepreneurs by asking questions and providing advice.
The list below names each of the interesting startup ideas presented and the bright people behind them.
You can learn more about the ideas presented by watching the event video.
Emin Okutan, co-founder of Turkey-based Viveka, watched the presentations online and joined the event via video feed. During the 4 months of the project, Emin Okutan worked with the young entrepreneurs and provided advice on how they can become more competitive.
The event was also attended by a representative of the US Embassy in Yerevan, who emphasized that the Embassy is proud to finance such projects and congratulated the young entrepreneurs on their innovative ideas and their encouragement of entrepreneurship in Armenia.
The startup entrepreneurs considered their participation in the Technology Goes Beyond Borders: Yerevan-Ankara project to be very important, saying that they gained lots of knowledge and learned new skills while developing their business ideas.
“My participation in this project was very helpful from the point of few of coding and designing games. Although I had quite a bit of experience in this area as my profession, I didn’t think much in the past about who my users would be. After participating in this project, I began to pay more attention to who the users are and what needs and preferences they have,” said project participant Arbak Martirosyan.
“From a professional point of view, the project put me in contact with international experts and I learned a lot from them. Most importantly, I understood how a startup idea can be turned into reality step by step, and how I can achieve success,” said Narine Hovhannisyan, another project participant.
The participants noted the importance of providing IT professionals with the necessary knowledge and education, which will lead to the development of many innovative startups.
“I got the opportunity to network with new people and get feedback on my startup idea. In Turkey, I was amazed at how the information technology sector was supported by the state policy. In Armenia, the main problem for the development of the IT sector is that it is growing spontaneously and there are no educational institutions – and even those that exist provide low-quality education. The sector depends on a few individual coders and their own initiatives,” said another project participant, Gegham Jivanyan.
Participants from the PJC’s previous IT sector project were also an important symbolic presence at the event.
The Technology Goes Beyond Borders: Yerevan-Ankara project builds on the success of the first Technology Goes Beyond Borders project (February-May 2015) by the Public Journalism Club and Microsoft Innovation Center in the framework of which 6 startup teams from Armenia and Turkey were engaged in an acceleration program at Microsoft Innovation Center (Armenia). This project was cofounded by the US Embassy in Armenia and the European Union.
On September 13, 2018, Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development (UFSD) hosted a workshop on “Exchange of Best Practices in Plastic Waste Management between Armenia- and Turkey-based CSOs and Practitioners.” The workshop is part of a project that contributes to the development of cooperation between environmentalists, waste management practitioners, businesses and local authorities of Armenia and Turkey through sharing best practices in plastic waste management. The grantee, Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development in partnership with the Union of Diyarbakir Young Businessmen organized a 1-day workshop in Diyarbakir with participation of 20 representatives of local authorities, plastic waste management practitioners, environmental CSOs, businesses in the field of plastic waste separation and recycling from Armenia and Turkey. The workshop was followed by a study visit to Plastic Waste Recycling Plant in Diyarbakir, as well as a follow-up exchange workshop in Yerevan. Based on the results of the study visit and workshops UFSD will produce a booklet on the best practices of plastic waste management in Armenia and Turkey. The project will result in an increased awareness of stakeholders of the plastic waste management practiced on the other side of the border, as well as will provide an opportunity for networking between practitioners and businesses focusing on plastic waste management. Representatives of local authorities may consider replicating the best practices in plastic waste management in their own communities.
This activity took place within the framework of the Sub-grants Scheme implemented by Eurasia Partnership Foundation as part of the “Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process” programme, funded by the European Union and the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.