Startup Boost Weekend: RAU and AUA Students Building Startups
On March 17-19, students from RAU and AUA gathered at Russian-Armenian University to build new startups in 54 hours and learn about how to develop, organize and pitch startups effectively.
Russian-Armenian University (RAU) and Entrepreneurship & Product Innovation Center (EPIC) at American University of Armenia (AUA) combined efforts to create a platform for Armenian students to gain relevant, real-time experience for building and growing startups.
Aram Keryan, Operations Manager at EPIC AUA, mentioned that the collaborative work between two different universities was to lead to greater mutual benefits and friendly connections and help the startup ecosystem to develop.
The event was the first of its kind in Armenia to target university students and spread startup culture in the academy. Startup Boost Weekend aimed at promoting startup culture among Armenian students and at contributing to the startup ecosystem development. Representatives of successful tech companies in Armenia and abroad acted as mentors and passed on some valuable advice. Among them were Sergey Bogdanov (YellowRockets), Arkadiy Seleznev (Startup Samara), Valeria Arzangulyan (Granatus Ventures), Dmytri Chumak and Dmytri Chisnikov (RVC).
“A successful introduction of startup culture to Armenian students will determine an overall success of startup ecosystem in Armenia, which is bound to boost IT entrepreneurship and ensure technology development”, said Hambardzum Kaghketsyan, Chief Adviser to RAU Rector.
The event created an exciting environment for students of all backgrounds who are willing to make a difference through entrepreneurship. Young software developers, designers, marketers and entrepreneurs came together to build new startups in just 54 hours. During the weekend, the students tried their hand at startup pitching, customer development, prototype building, design and business model generation.
On the last day, student teams pitched their ideas to the judging panel - Armine Saidi (WiCastr), Vazgen Hakobjanyan (Teamable), Gevorg Safaryan (Early One), Peer Priewich (GIZ), and Artashes Vardanyan (MIC) - who determined the winners. The winning teams were Bridge, Send to Soldier and Quick Survey. They won the chance to participate in EPIC incubation program and Sevan Startup Summit, a bundle of mind blowing books and cash.
Pepsi Armenia and Jur Jur sponsored the event with beverages.
“It was an amazing startup-event in Yerevan, very interesting startups with global ambitions. Armenia surprised us”, shared his impressions one of the mentors, Sergey Bogdanov.