On December 1-2 the event Startup Boost Weekend Vol3 aimed at promoting entrepreneurial mentality among students was held at the National Polytechnic University of Armenia.

The initiative was funded by EU and during the two days of the event students from different universities had the opportunity to work together, form teams, generate ideas and try to realize them through integration into Startup culture. Participants met and worked with experienced mentors, entrepreneurs and investors. At the end of the second day they presented their summarized ideas to the experienced jury.

Head of Cooperation Section of EU Delegation to Armenia Mr. Gonzalo Serrano, Project Manager of “Support to SME Development in Armenia” project as part of EU for Business initiative Mariam Babayan, CEO of “Rostelecom” Armenia Hayk Faramazyan, and Project Manager of ImpactAim Venture Accelerator Ruzanna Safaryan had greeting speeches at the opening ceremony.

The CEO of “Rostelecom” Armenia Hayk Faramazyan said that he attaches great importance to the participation of students from the leading universities of Armenia in the project. Startup mentality must be formed at university years. Our company started as a startup, and today is considered as one of the leading operators in the country. As a result of the event, he said he would look forward to seeing new and interesting projects”.

“It is the third time we support Startup Boost Weekend project, because the youth has the potential to develop the country’s innovative and IT spheres. This event is the first step for them to enter the entrepreneurship sphere and to create successful startup companies in the future for the benefit of the country’’, - mentioned Project Manager of “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (co-funded by EU and realized by GIZ) Mariam Babayan.

Head of Cooperation Section of EU Delegation to Armenia Mr. Gonzalo Serrano presented the events supported by EU, which are targeted at innovations and startup eco-systems development, because EU considers these spheres as cornerstones for the economic development of Armenia and supports the aim of the Government of Armenia to make the country a center for innovative and advanced technologies.

Startup Boost Weekend Vol3 united students from 6 partner universities: American University of Armenia, National Polytechnic University of Armenia, Russia-Armenian Slavonic University, Yerevan State University, French University in Armenia and Armenian State University of Economics.

Hambardzum Kaghketsyan, co-founder of the “Catalyst” High Technology and Entrepreneurship Development Foundation, noted that Startup Boost Weekend is an initiative of the Armenian startup ecosystem, aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in Armenian universities. Experienced entrepreneurs help the teams to set entrepreneurial mindset through mentoring. The organizers anticipate the results of this initiative at least 5-7 years after some of the participants establish their own companies, being more prepared and rich in knowledge.

In 2 days there 10 teams were formed. The teams presented their ideas to the jury at the end of the second day. The winners were:

• Eventor - Organizing free and fast birthday events in accordance with the preferences available on social pages.
• EyeZ- device designed for people with visual disabilities, which will help them to accurately orientate while moving.
• PromoCar- A platform that combines brands and drivers who prefer additional income and are ready to drive a branded car.

“Rostelecom” awarded the winner teams with 600$ and 400$ for the 1st and 2nd places. Second team got the opportunity to participate in ANEL Startup Incubator project as well.

The project Startup Boost weekend was realized by “Catalyst” High Technology and Entrepreneurship Development Foundation in cooperation with EU and GIZ to support SME development in Armenia, National Polytechnic University of Armenia, Armenian National Engineering Laboratories Innovation Incubators and Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center at AUA.

The realization of Startup Boost Weekend Vol3 was supported by “Rostelecom” Armenia, Impact Aim, Creatr, Hero House and CA Training and Consulting.

"Support to SME Development in Armenia" or SMEDA project

The "Support to SME Development in Armenia" or SMEDA project commenced in 2016. It is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and it is implemented by GIZ’s “Private Sector Development in South Caucasus Programme”.

SMEDA is part of the EU4Business ( and EU4Innovation initiatives of the European Union.

The project is implemented in cooperation with different partners aiming at strengthening the private sector, strengthening the capacities of Armenian SMEs to foster competitiveness, linking research and economic institutions, ensuring proper implementation of innovation business management practices, promoting and developing economic clusters, free economic zones, incubators, and techno-parks.

The focus of SMEDA is in general the support to small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in Armenia. To do this, SMEDA works on different levels to strengthen the business environment – for example through supporting the development of national strategies for private sector development, the implementation of the SME strategy in Armenia and the development of a statistical overview over the SME in Armenia in order to target strategies and initiatives on their particular needs. The key partner in this area is the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments (MEDI) as well as the SME Development National Center (SMEDNC).