The Armenia Startup Academy (ASA) was officially launched in Yerevan this month, based at the Hero House in the Armenian capital. The initiative is supported by the EU4Business SMEDA project (Support to SME Development in Armenia), and implemented by the Catalyst Foundation, with the aim of boosting the startup ecosystem and bringing Armenian startups to the next level.
With the help of a team of advanced mentors, advisers, instructors and entrepreneurial assistants, the startup academy offers programmes to guide tech companies and startup teams through the process of customer development.
“The Armenia Startup Academy is an important milestone in developing the startup ecosystem, a step forward for startups, tech entrepreneurs and innovators who believe in a high tech future,” said Ashot Arzumanyan, co-founder of ASA, in his welcoming remarks.
“This initiative would not come true without our result-focused partners from GIZ and the European Union, and the hands-on participation and encouragement of our ecosystem – tech entrepreneurs, government, and people who believe that the future of Armenia is tech,” he added.
Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, highlighted the EU’s readiness to contribute to Armenia’s innovative growth through its equity fund, acceleration, seed funding and other support projects implemented with GIZ and other partners.
The team leader of the SMEDA project, Eva Naeher, said: “This is a House of future heroes, a great place for young innovative people to learn and develop further. SMEDA is honoured to support this initiative.”
The Armenia Startup Academy offers a high quality programme incorporating innovative instruments, methods and topics as well as access to a pool of high-profile mentors to facilitate the business success of participating startups. Apart from lectures and talks, the startups get access to mentorship while keeping the utmost focus on the business development. Moreover, the programme includes weekly review meetings, evaluations, and regular demo-pitching sessions to analyse progress and upcoming plans.
The EU4Business SMEDA project supports the improvement of the business and investment climate for SMEs in Armenia. It aims to strengthen the private sector, support SME coordination mechanisms, and foster links between research institutions and the private sector, as well as providing access to finance for SMEs.