The Participation and Achievements of the Armenian Startups in “Startup Istanbul”

Our Government should implement such programs that foreign investors make investments in Armenia,” Jorj Seyradaryan, representative of LiTech newly established company, said during his participation in “StartupIstanbul»” regional forum.  

Jorj together with 9 startups from Armenia had an exceptional opportunity to participate in the “Startup Istanbul” Regional Forum held in Istanbul on October 6-10, 2016, due to the coordination of Public Journalist Club /Armenia/ and TEPAV Foundation /Turkey/ within the framework of the “Exchange of EntrepreneursProject.  

The participants from Armenia highlight several peculiarities of the participation in this event: the scale of the event, the direct contact with investors, establishment of business contacts, mentors consultations and lectures.

“Just 2 minutes ago I was talking with the representative of Sri Lanka who expressed her interest in the implementation of our application. I think that I would not have any opportunity to meet Sri Lanka business representatives,” Hrachuhi Barseghyan, HurryApp company representative, expressed her impressions. 

Startup Istanbul is the leading startup event, which brings together founders, investors and executives in the region. The event is an exclusive gathering of the leading startups, internet companies, angel investors and venture capitalists from Europe, Middle East, Western Asia and the USA where startups from different countries have an opportunity to present their innovative business ideas, get advice from international experts and maintain business relations with investors.

The “Scycryptor” and “EarlyOne” startups were the most successful ones. They were chosen among top 50 startups by the outstanding mentors and pitched to the investors on the 8th of October from the stage.

Aram Jivanyan, Founder of Skycryptor, overcome the next contest too and was among the best 5 startups and pitched his idea and startup to more than 4000 guests on the final stage on October 10.

Aram Jivanyan considers the participation in Startup Istanbul to be an invaluable experience. He said that he had obtained business networks with those people with whom he had a desire to collaborate.

Aram highlighted also the role of the lectures held within the event: “I was present at 2 interesting lectures, you don’t have the opportunity to listen to such people every day.”

Arthur Karoyan from ArmNomads was impressed by the speech of Twitter Deputy President. He said that one can learn from him how to behave on the stage, how to change the intonation, how to strengthen your ideas with gestures. “StartupIstanbul was a multicultural platform, there was a great atmosphere for networking,” he said.  

Flora Babajanyan, Representative of Earlyone Startup, indicates also the importance of the mentors. “They helped us to prepare for our speeches in two days, gave right advice what to change, how to pitch better, due to their assistance we achieved such results.” 

Haykaz Bagratyan, Representative of Bookoholics, used the opportunity to conduct some interviews and gather data about the feedback of people on their product. “Bookoholics is not only for the Armenian market and to predict people’s perceptions is not right and professional.”

His studies showed that many people need that project but it is necessary to make some changes. “I made negotiations with potential investors which made me more confident in terms of our developed strategy,” Haykaz said.

Hasmik Hovhannisyan, Founder of HY PICTURES, thinks that the productivity of the event should be assessed some months later when the obtained agreements and networks came to reality.  

However, she emphasizes the fact that there was much interest in their projects and the Turkish publishing houses were interested in the comics of the western Armenian Literature. It is possible that they are translated and published in the Turkish Language. 

The selected startups from Armenia represent various projects: 

  1. Heltun - smart home systems
  2. Scycryptor – cloud data security
  3. LiTech – innovative lighting technologies
  4. HY Pictures - interactive graphic novels
  5. Bookoholics –  mobile application for booklovers
  6. EarlyOne - electronic queuing management system
  7. HurryApp – creative marketing tool for organizations to get new customers
  8. DressZone – online system  for women to save and earn money through renting their dresses
  9. FortuneCup – mobile app through which real fortune tellers read fortune on users’ coffee mug
  10. ArmNomads – indie game development

Lusine Avagyan, Project Manager of the Public Journalism Club, highlights the participation of the Armenian startups in the event and underlined that the goal was to take the Armenian startups to a bigger market. It was an opportunity for startups not only to familiarize themselves with the Turkish and international market but also to learn investment opportunities and showcase the talent of Armenian startups.

This year 24.646 startups applied for “StartupIstanbul” leading forum from 135 states, and only about 500 startups will participate in the event. 15 best startups will have an opportunity to pitch from the stage in front of the audience of 4000 attendees. The Armenian 10 startup companies are among those 500 startups. 

The project is a part of the “Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process” (ATNP) Program with the funding of the European Union. 


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