Demo Day for Startups
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.
The event was a successful start towards a Business Angel Network in Armenia, a platform for Armenian Business People to put investment in Armenian companies and generating mutual value. The BANA gives the opportunity to build a network and together sustainably strengthen the in-country investment climate. With the help of such a network, investors can get together, meet high-profile companies and may diversify their investments and thus enhance the possibility for creating value - through investments as well as through mentorship for the companies.
“BANA creates an ecosystem, a network where the validity of a startup-idea can be proven and everyone can learn from each other. If we support Armenian companies in terms of internationalisation, this will help the overall Armenian economy” Gevorg Poghosyan, Founder of Global AM, highlighted.
Speaking of the potential investors, Chus Lozano, who himself created a Business Angel Network in Madrid, emphasised: “Invest in a Startup, where you can add value. Only then you will be a smart investor, a Business Angel.” So besides capital investment, Maurice Backend Verwee from Crosspring VC, speaks of expertise, network, and experience that are also essential for a startup’s success.
Armenia will be represented at Hannover Messe 2018
SMEDA supports 4 Armenian Precision Engineering and IOT companies, namely Rafa Solutions(http://rafasolutions.com/), Bitlis-MEN (www,bitlismen.com), Volterman Inc. (www.volterman.com) and Grovf (www.grovf.com); several representatives of Free Economic Zones: Alliance FEZ (www.fez.am), Meridian FEZ (meridianfez.com) and Meghri FEZ (www.meghrifez.am); Gyumri Technology Center (www.gtc.am) and Vanadzor Technology Center (www.vtc.am), the Union of Precision Engineering Enterprises (www.upee.am) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia to be part of this year's Hannover Messe 2018 trade fair under a joint stand.
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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.
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.