16 teams out of 35 pitched their products today at Tumo Center for Creative Technologies. Forkize and Express Curate, the second and third best teams respectively, were both invited to attend Seedstars World Competition in Geneva. Lionsharp was awarded the special prize of Ameria Management Advisory Services for the most creative startup idea.
At the pre-event press conference Alisée de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO and co-founder, said that though Armenia is a small market, it has a great potential to expand which, coupled with the influential diaspora, turns Armenia into an interesting startup scene.
The speakers included: Arpine Zurfulah, Director of Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia; Manuk Hergnyan, co-founder of Granatus Ventures; Alisée de Tonnac, CEO and co-founder of Seedstars World; Mikayel Vardanyan, representative of Monitis Company; Kristine Gevorgyan, representative of Azad Pharmaceuticals; Dmitry Galperin, representative of Runa Capitals; Lucas Gasser, Ambassador of Switzerland to Armenia, and Gayane Ayvazyan, PR Officer at Tumo Center for Creative Technologies.
Lucas Gasser believes that Armenia’s geopolitical situation doubles the importance of the Armenian IT sphere. Thus, it is essential to have a progress in the given sector.
Arpine Zurfulah also prioritized the development of the IT sphere in Armenia, noting “we have the necessary startup scene and we have talented and promising startups which must be introduced to the world.”
“We would consider it a real success to have several promising startups which will be an attractive investment target,” said Manuk Hergnyan.
According to Mikayel Vardanyan, there used to be more problems in the IT sphere while presently the main issue is education. The possible solution to current problems is to carry forward the spirit of innovation in children who are future startup entrepreneurs.
“The three keys to success are market, people and technologies, and Armenia has a great potential in these three fields,” believes Dmitry Galperin.
Seedstars Yerevan 2014 is organized by Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia, Seedstars World and Tumo Center of Creative Technologies with the support of the Embassy of Swizterland in Armenia and Azad Pharmaceuticals.
Seedstars Yerevan 2014 is implemented within the framework of 'Innovation through Technologies' Program which is an illustrative example of cooperation of public and private sectors. It involves Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia, Microsoft RA, USAID, RA Government, Enterprise Incubator Foundation and Armenian State Engineering University.
The official media partner is the Public Journalism Club.