European Union Initiative
Technology Goes Beyond Borders Project Enters its Final Stage
Armenia | Public Journalism Club

On May 11 the third and final stage of the Technology Goes Beyond Borders (TGBB) Project will kick off in Yerevan. Six teams of young startup entrepreneurs from Armenia and Turkey are involved in the project. Throughout May 11-13 they will participate in a number of project completion events in Yerevan, Armenia.


On May 11 representatives of TGBB teams will work with their mentors Arsen Babayan, Nazaret Seferian and Emin Okutan to finalize their pitch presentations in preparation for the next day’s pitching session.


Also on May 11, at 17:00 the project will host a special lecture featuring Emre Ozbek, a guest speaker from Turkey. The lecture will be held at the Public Journalism Club (Saryan 30) and will be open to all young entrepreneurs who have an interest in the topic.


On May 12, at 14:00 the participants will pitch their business ideas and prototypes created in the previous 4 months to a highly representative jury panel, comprised of  members from Armenia and Turkey, including: Ashot Arzumanyan -Associate, Granatus VenturesPavel Snkhchyan - Vice President, Sourcio IT Consulting Company, Yervand Aghababyan  - COO, SFL, Vazgen Karapetyan-deputy director, Eurasia Partnership FoundationMarina Mkhitaryan - head of UNDP’s innovative Colba LabNigel Sharp - CEO, Lion Sharp  (from Armenia) and  Cansu Sarac, Research Associate, The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) and Emre Ozbek, Partner, Istanbul Startup Angels (from Turkey).


At 16:00-17:00 the jury will have a deliberation session to finalize their evaluation of the presented ideas based on the following criteria:  business opportunity match, marketing, novelty, idea execution, and the business model.  The results of the evaluation will be made public at a press conference on May 13, at 11:30 at Public Journalism Club.


Press conference speakers will include Artashes Vardanyan, head of the acceleration project of the Microsoft Innovation Center, Seda Muradyan, president of the Public Journalism Club, project mentors Arsen Babayan and Nazaret Seferian, and Emre Ozbek and Ashot Arzumanyan, jury members. 


The team that ranked highest on all criteria will be recognized as the winning team and will receive financial support from the European Union funded Support to Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process Programme to implement their business ideas. Motivational awards will be given in three nominations-the best technological solution, the best pitch and the most viable idea.


TGBB kicked off in February and was implemented in three stages. During the first-capacity building stage (23 February -23 March, 2015) the six teams from Armenia and Turkey received online mentorship from Armenian and Turkish experts, who also assessed their needs. The teams then came together at a four day crash course in Armenia (March 26-29), which was followed by another round of online mentorship during which the teams reviewed and finalized their ideas and prepared for the pitching on May 12.  


TGBB is implemented by the Microsoft Innovation Center and Public Journalism Club in collaboration with the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) with financial support from the U.S. Embassy in Armenia and co-funding from the European Union. 


Technologies Goes Beyond Borders builds on the success of the Armenia-Turkey Startup Weekend implemented by PJC (Armenia) and TEPAV (Turkey) during the InnoWeekend 2014 as part of the Exchange of Entrepreneurs project financed by the European Union within the framework of the programme Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process.


The InnoWeeekend 2014 regional innovation forum was held on November 8-9 at Gyumri Technology Center under the financial support of the U.S. Embassy in Armenia and the European Union.


The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV)

The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey is a non-partisan, non-profit think tank based in Ankara, Turkey. TEPAV was established in 2004 as an independent research institute and is Turkey’s largest economic policy think-tank employing highly talented researchers and experts. 
TEPAV’s mission is to develop innovative policy strategies for public and private sector development within Turkey and the surrounding region. Our interdisciplinary approach focuses on fostering competitive business environment, improving regional development within Turkey and supporting international economic integration. TEPAV’s approach is to accomplish our mission through project based innovations by bringing together different players and experts for a common goal.  


Public Journalism Club

Established in March 2011, the Public Journalism Club (PJC) unifies journalists, social media experts, and advocates to improve information dissemination through collaboration between new technologies and media.
The organization's mission is to promote freedom of expression, diversity and pluralism in Armenia developing participatory and public journalism by bridging public reporters and professional journalists, mass media and social media, IT and social sector specialists. During the last 3 years PJC has succeeded to establish a positive reputation in the field byeffectively implementing a few targeted innovative, trailblazing projects collectively reflected at public reporting platform and Hackathon{YAN} contest of innovative ideas.


Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia

The network of Microsoft Innovation Centers operates worldwide, providing local IT communities with programs and services to expand the local startup community, strengthen innovation and improve competitiveness. In May 2011, the Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia (MIC Armenia) was created and joined this global network of innovation and development efforts initiated by Microsoft. MIC Armenia focuses on providing support to the local community to stimulate the development of new startups that are competitive and successful in the marketplace. We provide services and support to the Armenian IT community and students to create business from their ideas.


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