First Pre-accelerator program for Central Asian Startups launches
TECH CENTRAL ASIA
TECH CENTRAL ASIA
February 7, 2019, Astana
The U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, in collaboration with the Astana Business Campus (Innovation Cluster of Nazarbayev University), launched the first Pre-acceleration Startup Program – "Tech Central Asia." The Accelerator for Central Asian Startups program is one of the first stages that will build the base for high-quality hardware startups in Central Asia, which will provide assistance, services and funding. The program will help budding entrepreneurs to develop their ideas into workable prototypes, and to learn to develop sustainable businesses. It will promote a network of start-ups that will extend not only to regional cities in Kazakhstan, but also in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The program that will run in seven cities across Central Asia will begin in Uralsk at the American Corner. The American Corner is a community center and collaborative laboratory where citizens of Uralsk can explore new ideas and develop new skills.
The program is aimed at students, innovators, and inventors interested in launching or developing their own startups. As part of the program, training sessions on developing and pitching ideas for potential startups in each of the Central Asian cities will take place. After this session participants will pitch their ideas to a selection committee.
Over ten months, 70 selected startups will receive small grants, access to training materials, and one-on-one mentorship to develop their ideas to the prototype stage. Training will cover the startup process, including developing a business model, financing, marketing, promotion, and Intellectual Property law. The program focuses on both the product (technology) or service, and business development. Those who complete the program and successfully develop a prototype and business plan will have an opportunity to pitch their product during "Demo Day" which will take place in Astana (Kazakhstan).
Key factors that can boost the technology and entrepreneurship in Central Asia are decent infrastructure, education and networking. Another thing which is essential for tech entrepreneurs is to find a community that supports them. We hope that this program will become a driving force for nurturing a favorable environment, and creating a network of innovators across Central Asia
— stated Christian Wright, Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan