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The seond cycle of EU4Business STEP grants is open now! The grant scheme is designed for startup companies with technology and science base idea in Engineering (including IoT, IIoT), CleanTech, Biotech, Advanced ICT (e.g. Artificial Inteligence, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Big Data). The grant scheme will be impemented by Enterprise Incubator Foundation in the framework of EU-SMEDA project.
Activity Highlights VIEW ALL Activities+
The Startup Boost Weekend – Volume 2 (SBW) – a unique 54-hour event targeting around 120 university students not only form Yerevan but from various marzes of Armenia, took place from Sept. 14-16, 2018. In the framework of SBW the students had a chance to define and shape their startup ideas, develop teams, and under the supervision of experienced mentors present fresh and creative startup ideas.
The second Women Enterprenuar's Club was successfully held on August 30, 2018. Around 100 active women leaders representing Creative Industries, Tourism, IT and Business Consulting gathered to exchange their experince, get new business connections and cooperation opportunities in a format of free networking and Speed Business Dating around tables.
For the third time in a row Sevan Startup Summit took place on the shores of Armenia's beautiful Lake Sevan, from 22 - 29 July, 2018. Among other partners and supporters, EU through its EU4Business Support to SME Deevelopment in Armenia (EU-SMEDA) project was among the major supporters. Watch the video by VNews to learn more: Sevan Startup Summit
The winners of EU-supported Innovation Matching Grants competition (IMG) were selected at IMG Vanture Forum, held on June 29, 2018 at Vanadzor Technology Center (VTC).
The first-ever Fashion Forum was held in Yerevan, Armenia from June 2-4, 2018 bringing in fresh re-start and aspiration to the fashion world of Armenia. It united Armenian designers under one roof to exhibit their most sleek, elegant and glamourous sets to the fashion gurus, trend-setters, guests and general public. Truly, dozens of dazzling dresses, layered pieces and stylish outfits were showcased in Aram Khachaturian house-museum created by 50 talented Armenian designers from Armenia and diaspora coming from Germany, France, Lebanon, Syria, Ukraine, US and Russia.
New startup bids to become the most favorite one for the people who feel uneasy at the kitchen and for the gourmets who prefer a variety of tasty meals every day. This application is called Cookmenu, a new venture offering various recipes with the ingredients you have at home.
''This is substantial assistance, especially for the women who are unable to cook anything in the kitchen. This application is for those who are getting married and can’t cook except, for example, fried potatoes. So, we suggest all of them use our application,'' said Narine Manukyan, the founder of Cookmenu.
The Armenia Startup Academy, which is an EU-funded initiative implemenetd in the framework of the "Support to SME Developmenr in Armenia" (EU-SMEDA) project, is excited to announce that SmartGateVC led the investment round in Embry, a startup tapping into the future of wearable devices to meet the evolving needs of weight control. Radik Verdyan, advisor to CEO at Citymobil, co-invested in this pre-seed round. Embry is a thin smart insole with built-in scale designed for sustaining healthy weight. It’s a patent-pending technology, which unlike the existing activity trackers and smart insoles in the market, does automated weight tracking and alerts weight gain. Based on accurate activity tracking and analysis of how activities impact weight change, it provides personalized nutrition, physical activity, and healthy habit coaching via a user-friendly application. Embry aims at solving today’s global overweight epidemic as after dieting, 70% of people gain back more weight than they originally had lost. It’s a revolutionary solution for busy people, who need hustle free weight control.
This video showcases the Armenia Startup Academy initiative supported by EU-SMEDA project and implemented by Catalyst foundation. It offers a unique pre-acceleration programme of 12 weeks for selected Armenian tech companies and startups that guides them through the process of customer development using advanced tracking methodologies and instruments to enter and expand in new markets.
Supported by EU-SMEDA, four Armenian Precision Engineering and IIoT companies, namely RAFA Solutions (rafasolutions.com), Bitlis-MEN (www.bitlismen.com), Volterman Inc. (www.volterman.com) and Grovf (www.grovf.com); representatives of the three Free Economic Zones in Armenia namely Alliance FEZ (www.fez.am), Meridian FEZ (www.meridianfez.com) and Meghri FEZ (www.meghrifez.am); Gyumri Technology Center (www.gtc.am) and Vanadzor Technology Center (www.vtc.am), as well as the Union of Precision Engineering Enterprises (www.upee.am) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia had the opportunity to be part of this year's Hannover Messe 2018, the world’s biggest trade fair for engineering.
From April 12-15, 2018 the EAVE on Demand film producers' workshop was held in Yerevan. The workshop was aimed at the selected Armenian producers of feature films who during the intensive training had a chance to enhance their know-how on contemporary methods and techniques applied in Europe, UK and Israel in feature film production starting from the basic planning, selection of topics, and script writing to acquiring funds, and forming strong film producers' unions.
Following the four expert missions on SME statistics organised by EU-SMEDA aiming at enhancement of capacities of the National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia (NSSRA) in SME Statistics in line with EU standards and best practices (check out the highlight here), SMEDA has organised a study tour for the respective staff of NSSRA to Statistics Denmark from 9-11 April, 2018.
The second part of the hackathon continued with sessions on Tourism perspectives in Armenia, Tourism as a sector of opportunities, Competitive analysis, product-market fit, pricing, and go-to-market and B2B sales and objection handling to equip the competing teams with better understanding of the sector. The sessions were conceived so that teams learn about how to advance their business knowledge as their business ideas. In the meantime, the teams focused on developing their ideas and prototypes for 24 hours. After intense internal discussions and hard work within the 49 teams, they were ready to pitch their ideas and prototypes in front of the jury on April 8, 2018.
The hackathon aimed at generating innovative ideas for tourism was launched on April 7, 2018 in Vanadzor Technology Center (VTC) – located at Armenia’s Lori Region. Around 50 young and enthusiastic teams gathered at VTC to compete around innovative and ingenious ideas that could be turned into models and embedded into regional tourism development. The idea is supported by the European Union and Armenian Government and thus, EU-SMEDA project partnered with VTC and Enterprise Incubator Foundation to make this happen.
Thirteen Armenian BMOs (Business Membership Organisations) participated in a study tour to Austria and Czech Republic in the framework of the BMO Academy from March 12-18, 2018. The BMO Academy is a 4-stage capacity building initiative consisting of trainings, on-line coaching, study tour and on the job training, supported and organised by EU-SMEDA project aiming at strengthening the overall capacities and know-how of the selected Armenian BMOs to ensure that the latter will engage in improved and more efficient dialogue with governmental entities and ministries, will be able to better interact with their members, will achieve more effective membership management and enhance their PR, communication, surveying and networking skills.
The 2nd cycle of the Innovation Matching Grants competition for innovative technology start-ups is launched and open until April 03, 2018. The grants scheme is supported by the EU4Business SMEDA project in partnership with the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF). All relevant details for the call for applications were announced on March 14, 2018 at a press conference. Watch the life stream of the press conference here: http://bit.ly/2IrRFk3
The Business Club for Fashion and Design has become a reality thanks to the efforts of a group of young Armenian designers from the Fashion and Design Chamber jointly with the Business Club for Impact, supported by EU4Business Support to SME Development in Armenia SMEDA project. The club will serve as a platform for the development of the fashion and design cluster.
What are the business do-s and don’t-s in Germany, the business etiquette and ways to interact with and attract potential partners and investors? These and similar topics revealing the German business culture were under discussion led by Martin Reinfeldt, international expert specialised in organisational development, at an “enlightening” training organised by SMEDA for the Armenian Delegation prior to heading to Hannover Messe 2018.
On February 3 2018, Armenia Startup Academy with its pre-acceleration programme held its first Demo Day in Yerevan, during which 11 startups showcased their projects. The acceleration programme is being financed by EU4Business SMEDA and implemented by Catalyst Foundation. EU is actively supporting the development of the Armenian tech ecosystem.
With an objective to improve and harmonise SME statistics in Armenia with international and EU standards, and enhance the capacities of the National Statistical Service of the Republic Armenia (NSSRA) in that regard, SMEDA has supported two missions with Lithuanian and Danish experts who have worked with the respective NSSRA staff to reveal where the agency stands on 1) SME statistics and estimation of GDP or GVA by size; and 2) statistics on structural business and indicators on sole proprietorships.
The Press Conference held on January 10, 2018 aimed at announcing broadly about the Eave on Demand Producers' Workshop in Armenia 2018. The initiative is supported by SMEDA project targeting producers, both fiction and documentary, who are interested in developing their feature film project during a 3-day intensive training program from April 12 to 16, outside of Yerevan.
SMEDA has implemented numerous activities in 2017 within its five main result areas and beyond to support & promote SMEs, Startups, Innovation, Precision Engineering, Free Economic Zones, Technoparks, Creative Industries, Regional development, and many more as highlighted in this video: http://bit.ly/2BMn9kl
The Armenia Startup Academy (ASA) was officially launched at the Hero House and is now contributing to the Startup Ecosystem of Armenia. The initiative is supported by SMEDA and implemented by Catalyst Foundation aiming to boost the startup ecosystem and bring the Armenian startups to the next level. With the help of a team of advanced mentors, advisers, instructors and entrepreneurial assistants it offers a pre-acceleration programme to guide tech companies and startup teams through the process of customer development using advanced tracking methodologies and instruments.
SMEDA has organised a 4-day training for 12 selected startups interested in crowdfunding techniques. With an expert from UK based Tom Fleming creative consultancy they were introduced to the journey that businesses need to go on to successfully achieve funding, with a particular focus on gearing up for crowdfunding, learning how to promote, raise interest and eventually obtain investments and funding for their innovative products and services, ideas and solutions.
On November 30, 2017 the Business Angel Network Armenia (BANA) held an event supported by SMEDA with the aim of bringing together Business People and selected Armenian Startups. During this invitation-only Investor Demo Day, 10 high-profile Armenian Startup-ups presented their businesses to 15 experienced business persons, potentially interested in investing in promising companies.
150 young people from the regions of Armenia got together with representatives of the government and international organisations to participate in the “Empowering Regions Through High Tech” conference in Gyumri on 17-18 of November 2017.
The film is an introduction to Bizprotect platform created to help Armenian small and medium businesses to protect their rights. It is an anonymous reporting tool for businesses enabling them to report any kind of violations, corruption risks and unfair treatment they may encounter during their business operations. SMEDA encourages Armenian businesses to use it widely and follow up with their rights just like the featured businesses in the film.
The official presentation of the Bizprotect platform aimed at announcing about the unique tool developed for the Armenian small and medium businesses (SME) to help them protect their rights against all kinds of violations, corruption risks and unfair treatment they may encounter during their business operations.
The 5th Business Innovation Forum has kicked of on November 10th, 2017. It gathered the main stakeholders of the Innovation, IT and High Tech sectors to discuss the key areas highly important for the development of the economy in Armenia, such as Digitization, Research & Development, Innovation Strategy, Education & High-tech, Intellectual property and Information Security.
The 5th Annual Business Innovation Forum (BIF) will be held under the slogan "Step Forward into The New Reality”. BIF will take place on November 10-11 in Dilijan. SMEDA is supporting the Business Innovation Forum as innovation is an important aspect for SME development, with the Forum offering a good possibility for discussion of innovation, digitalisation and IT topics with different stakeholders from public and private, research and science sectors.
A dozen local Armenian journalists from online, broadcast and print media attended a four-day workshop (October 19 - 22) to learn about creative news writing and news gathering from a UK journalist. The training was tailored to Armenian journalists who regularly report on economic, business, innovation and startup issues, and the goal was to help boost the local journalists’ business reporting skills with a mix of theory and practical exercises.
Within SMEDA’s focus areas, and more specifically SMEDA’s commitment to support the development of clusters, techno parks and free economic zones (FEZ) in Armenia leading to sustainable economic development of the country, SMEDA has organised the second workshop on free economic zones on October 4, 2017 following the initial one held on August 8, 2017.
October 3, 2017, Yerevan Armenia: The press conference held today announced the launch of the Armenia Startup Academy, a pre-acceleration programme commencing as of October 16, 2017 by Catalyst Foundation. The programme intends to develop the Armenian startup ecosystem and is designed for startups who are at the so called “pre-seed stage”, aiming at helping them to upgrade their skills and scale-up to local and global markets.
DigiTec EXPO 2017 has officially kicked off today gathering over 150 companies presenting high-tech, IT, and innovative products and solutions, some of them quite new to the market but with significant growth potential. This year a special section was devoted to the sector of Precision Engineering for the first time, which is defined as a priority sector for development by the RA Government. This was made possible by the Support to SME Development (SMEDA) Project. Hence, 9 companies and institutions presenting the Armenian PE were given the opportunity to present their products and solutions to the technology world.
The first Armenian-Iranian Nanoscience and Technology Forum took place in Yerevan, Armenia on September 22-23, 2017. The Forum focused on high-tech and innovation policies, presentation of nano-tech products, equipment, commercialisation experience, along with discussions on potential directions for cooperation between Armenian and Iranian institutes and companies. As such it has resulted in the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding between Armenian and Iranian companies, namely: New Plast CJSC and Arya Polimer Pishpam Company, Azad Pharmaceuticals and Eksir Nano Sina Company, Tonus Les and Eksir Nano Sina.
15 Armenian surprising startups participated at the Armenian Startup Academy Berlin (ASAB), which took place from September 3-10, 2017 in Berlin. ASAB included 4 days of intensive trainings on investor readiness, business modeling, pitching, marketing and sales, individual meetings with potential partners, clients, and investors.
The Armenian Startup Night organised in the frame of the Armenian Startup Academy Berlin (#ASAB) turned into a true success. The 15 surprising Armenian startups were presented to representatives, investors and guests of the German startup and innovation ecosystem. The audience discovered the dynamic Armenian startup world and learned about true potential for successful cooperation to follow.
With SMEDA's support, 12 Armenian designers participated at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Days held in Kiev, Ukraine from August 31 to September 3, 2017 and presented the Armenian fashion culture internationally, through the unique garments collections inspired by Armenian spirit and cultural elements.
More information about the participating designers may be found here!
SMEDA’s team leader Eva Naeher and Armenian designers Vahan Khachatryan and Aram Nikolyan were at the Public TV today to talk about the participation of 12 Armenian designers at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Days to be held in Kiev, Ukraine from August 31 to September 3, 2017.
July 25, 2017 – The first sessions of Sevan Startup Summit kicked off today gathering more than 70 Armenian startups at the beautiful shores of Lake Sevan. The first panel focused on the importance and role of startups, opportunities and motivations for the development of the ecosystem in Armenia and beyond. The panelists, with Peer Priewich (SMEDA), Christian Schellenberger (Berliner Strategen) Ashot Arzumanyan (Smartgate VC), Vahan Kerobyan (menu.am) and honorary guest H.E. Matthias Kiesler, Ambassador of Germany to the Republic of Armenia, shared their insights and experiences with Armenian startups.
SMEDA has organised a Design Thinking training for the representatives of Armenian Startup ecosystem aiming to enhance their capacities by introducing them to User-centered thinking methods, based on customer needs. The participating mentors and trainers for startups learnt new and creative methods and approaches to design and build prototypes that are based on customer needs through innovative research processes.
The "National Competitiveness Report of Armenia 2017" focusing on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the global spread of disruptive technologies and their complex impact and emerging opportunities for Armenia, was launched on July 14, 2017 at Tumo Center for Creative Industries. The report has been prepared by EV Consultng and Economy and Values Research Center with the support of SMEDA project within the EU4Business initiative, as well as the Asian Development Bank and OSCE.
On July 12, 2017 SMEDA hosted a Round Table for representatives of Business Membership Organisations (BMOs) to present the final report on the mapping of BMOs in Armenia conducted for SMEDA, Support to SME Development in Armenia Project.
The EU Energy Days was concluded by the “Energy Talks for Businesses: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Armenia”, organised jointly by the European Business Association and the Support to SME Development in Armenia (SMEDA) Project. The forum was aiming at raising the awareness on the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energies for small and medium sized enterprises and presenting the international best practices that could benefit the Armenian economy.
On June 28, 2017 SMEDA organised an Info day session for Armenian startups interested in the Armenian Startup Academy Berlin (ASAB), which will take place from September 3-10, 2017 in Berlin. The participants were provided with first-hand guidance and advice from SMEDA’s experts, received answers to their inquiries and learnt about necessary steps on filling in and submitting complete applications to SMEDA to be considered for the ASAB.
The “Support to SME development in Armenia” (SMEDA) Project has signed a MOU for the partnership with the Startup Armenia Foundation, Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center of Armenia (SME DNC), and Global AM NGO.
SMEDA has organised a training on EFQM’s “Journey to Excellence - Quality Management” for the staff of the SME DNC Armenia Foundation. This training is developed by EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management, based in Brussels) and adapted to the
On May 5th the winners of the application process for Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship program (STEP) grant schemes were announced - as a result of 2-day pitching events where the 38 shortlisted startup teams
The Innovation Matching Grants Pitching event with 24 great Armenian innovative start-ups.
Nurturing innovative growth in Armenia- Support and financing opportunities for innovative SMEs and startups
The website www.bizprotect.am has been officially launched. It is an innovative web tool for gathering information from the businesses ensuring their privacy to make corresponding analysis of the main impediments for businesses, identify the corrupt
Ten Armenian technology-based startup founders and representatives enjoyed their exclusive chance to participate at the Startup Olé 2017 event, held in the historical Hospederia Fonseca, University of Salamanca, Spain, on April 26-27, 2017.
Final networking event of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) in Armenia, following mapping activities with four round tables on CCI-s