2nd cycle of Innovation Matching Grants launched
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. It was highlighted that the 2nd cycle of the grants is open to companies and teams with a technology background, e.g. in the field of Engineering, CleanTech, Biotech, advanced ICT (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain) etc. Applicants are obliged to provide necessary co-financing of 50% of funding (i.e. up to 35,000 EUR) in Yerevan and 15 % in the regions. Up to nine start-ups will be provided with an amount of up to 35,000 Euro each with a duration of nine months starting in August 2018.
“The grant programme is directed to start-up companies, their expansion and sustainability, access to new markets as that are of high importance”, mentioned Amalya Yeghoyan, RA Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and IT. “The previous experience with the first cycle of the grants to start-ups located in the Marzes such as in Shirak where the Gyumri Technology Center operates, enabled a number of young start-ups to get established and operate achieving significant results within a short period of time. We hope to have a huge number of applicants for the 2nd cycle of IMG grants as well targeting innovation, engineering, clean-tech and creative sectors”, she concluded.
Mr. Stanislav Toshkov, International Aid/Cooperation Officer of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia stressed the European Union’s commitment to support the Armenian economy and in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are the backbone of the economy. He highlighted EU’s interventions through the EU4Business and EU4Innovation initiatives and support to SMEs and start-ups via different measures. “The European Union stands ready to support innovative SMEs that bring added value to the economy, and this support is channeled through our projects, including EU4Business’ flagship project SMEDA we apply different means, such as incubation, coaching, mentoring, R&D, and in this particular case - access to finance and seed funding for innovative SMES - which we announce at the press conference today”, he concluded.
The team leader of the “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (SMEDA) project Ms. Eva Naeher said: “This grant scheme will have a big impact for the development of the start-up ecosystem in Armenia. Not only the provision of grants is hugely important but much more the whole support chain. This allows start-ups and young teams to develop their necessary business skills and become strong units for the economy. We are sure that through this project we contribute to the promotion of the start-up ecosystem and there are already companies within the 1st cycle of IMG grants that show the potential to become international players by the end of the project”.
The director of the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), Mr. Bagrat Ynegibaryan, spoke about the application and selection process of the IMG grant. On EIF’s web page http://bit.ly/2FWhKJT applicants can learn more about the process and details for the application. Furthermore, he mentioned that several info sessions are being held to guide interested start-ups. Mr. Yengibaryan also highlighted that the grant scheme particularly targets engineering and high-tech companies, which is in line with the RA Government Strategy to develop the mentioned sectors.
The new cycle of IMG grants will promote start-ups and companies from the Armenian ecosystem to having an impact on the national and global stage.
Watch the life stream of the press conference here: http://bit.ly/2IrRFk3
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.
Recent activities VIEW ALL Activities+
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.