Startup Azerbaijan – 2014 finalizes in Baku

By: Nigar Orujova

The final presentation of “Startup Azerbaijan 2014” project and the conference called “Provision of support by the state, private sector and private investors for the formation of “Startup” environment (ecosystem) in Azerbaijan” have been held in the capital city, Baku.

The project was aimed at improving the investment climate in the ICT sector, identifying best internet and IT projects and turning innovative ideas into successful business fields.

Addressing the conference, Communications and High Technologies Minister Ali Abbasov emphasized the important role of the state economic policy in the development of innovative entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan.

Abbasov said that the government of Azerbaijan was taking concrete steps towards developing the country’s economy, improving the business environment and developing both oil and non-oil sectors of the country.

Touching upon “Azerbaijan 2020: vision to future” Development Concept, he noted that the concept provided an appropriate ground for investing oil revenues in different fields like innovations, high technologies and production of competitive goods.

“These measures will help considerably reduce Azerbaijan’s dependence on oil,” Abbasov added.

“The National Entrepreneurship Support Fund, State Fund for Development of Information Technologies and the Science Development Fund under President of the Republic of Azerbaijan provide grants and preferential loans to startups in order to develop innovative entrepreneurship, increase local companies’ activities and enhance the competition environment in the country,” he said.

Abbasov also pointed out that the Ministry was preparing proposals for providing special privileges to the investors who make investment in startups and, in this way, promote the development of innovative entrepreneurship in the country.

He also stressed the importance of easing tax burden for innovative entrepreneurs and strengthening the knowledge potential for facilitating the transition to a knowledge-based economy.

President of the Azerbaijan Internet Forum and Director of “Multimedia” Information Systems and Technologies Center Osman Gunduz also addressed the conference.

Gunduz spoke about “Startup Azerbaijan” project, which was launched this April.

“Since that time, a team has been formed, experts and mentors have been identified and project’s official website “www.startup.az” has been updated. A total of 47 projects were presented for a 2-month competition, 28 projects out of them, which met the competition rules, were admitted to the competition,” he said.

“These projects were sent to experts for evaluation, and a special Evaluation Table and a Evaluation Guide were developed for experts. Based on the initial evaluations, 15 projects were selected out of the 28 projects for the semi-final,” he said.

He went on saying that the semi-finalists presented their projects to the experts on June 22. Each semi-finalist made a 3-minute presentation of his or her project before eight experts.

Based on the result of the expert evaluation of the presented projects, the following six projects were selected for the final as the winners of the competition: “Beth Clip”, “Butarek”, “İwork.az” “WEARn”, “Al-gətir”, “xercim.az”. The competition winners were awarded with diplomas and valuable gifts from “CyberNet”, “SINAM” and “Smart Systems” companies.

SOURCE: AZER NEWS