Baku, Azerbaijan, March 6
“I2B- From Idea to Business” project launched in 2018 with the aim to support the expansion of the startup movement and implementation of citizens’ innovative ideas continues its successful operation. With “Azercell Telecom” LLC acting as the partner, the project, which is implemented by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, jointly with Public Association “Regional Development” of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, The Youth Fund of Azerbaijan Republic, United Nations Organization Develeopment Program (UNDP) and the company “Microsoft”, made its first startup tour of 2019 to Mingachevir. More than 100 participants from not only Mingachevir, but also from Ganja, Shaki, Tartar, Shamkir, Ujar, Balakan, Yevlakh and Aghdash have joined the tour.
Head of Azercell’s Barama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Imran Bagirov spoke out at the event. He emphasized the successful implementation of several startup projects by public and private organizations. He also highlighted the vital role of such events from the point of recognizing IT projects, developing innovative ideas into successful business, providing mentorship and arranging meetings of startups with local and foreign investors.
The informative part of the event held in Mingachevir was followed with small business-training. The participants were divided into 8 teams in order to prepare them for main competition. In the second session, the teams presented their ideas to the jury. Each presentation was proceeded with interactive Q&A session and the project discussion. At the end, the jury announced the winners of the first, second and third places. The projects “Self”, “Way Friend”, and “Scash” were awarded top three places, respectively.
The next startup tour was arranged at Sabirabad. More than 150 young people joined the event held in Heydar Aliyev Center of Sabirabad district. After the discussions, “OSHE01”, “AVP”, “2SI” projects won the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd places, respectively. Notably, the winning projects gained the right to participate in National Final to be held in Baku. Top three winners of the National Final will be awarded and receive financial support to develop their ideas into businesses.
It is worth noting that, startup tours were arranged in 8 districts, 16 universities and 3 secondary schools within the framework of “I2B” project, last year. This year the project expected to cover cities like Sumgait, Ganja, Goychay, Nakhchivan, Baku, Lankaran, Zagatala, Tovuz, Shamakhi and Shaki.
With the support of “Azercell Telecom” LLC and PASHA Bank, Barama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, the first business incubator of Azerbaijan, has made a huge contribution to the implementation of numerous projects during 10 years and assisted about 20 startups to turn into substantive businesses.
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The leader of the mobile communication industry, the largest taxpayer and the biggest investor of the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan “Azercell Telecom” LLC was founded in 1996. With 49 percent share of Azerbaijan’s mobile telecom market Azercell’s network covers 99.1 percent of the territory (excluding the occupied territories) and 99.8 percent of population of the country.
Currently, 4.5 million subscribers choose Azercell services. Azercell has pioneered an important number of innovations in Azerbaijan, including GSM technology, advance payment system, mobile internet services, Metro coverage, 24/7 call center service, 7 day/week Front Office service, M2M services, one-stop-shopping approach Azercell Express offices, mobile customer services, Online Customer Care and Social Media Customer Care services, mobile e-signature service “ASAN Imza” etc.
Azercell deployed first 4G – LTE services in Azerbaijan in 2012. According to the results of mobile network quality and wireless coverage mapping surveys by international systems, Azercell’s network demonstrated the best results among the mobile operators of Azerbaijan. Azercell is the only company in Azerbaijan and CIS region which has been awarded Gold Certificate of International “Investors in People” Standard.