Start-ups in Armenia: Fresh ideas for digitalisation
IT experts are in demand, and many start-ups are looking for international partners. A triangular cooperation arrangement brings the two together.
When it comes to technology and innovation, Armenia is still a well-kept secret. The digital economy is one of the country's most rapidly growing sectors. Information technology (IT) is one of the most important factors driving economic development, accounting for around five per cent of gross domestic product, and this figure is growing. In the past three years alone, there were periods when the technology sector grew by more than 30 per cent.
Around 20,000 people in some 1,500 companies work in the IT sector, many at start-ups. These businesses advance the economy and create jobs, but it is also crucial for them to establish a long-term presence.
This is where the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH comes in. On behalf of the German Development Ministry and the European Union, GIZ advises the Armenian Ministry of High-Tech Industry with the aim of making IT companies fit for the future and encouraging innovations. To achieve this, GIZ is committed to business partnerships and promotes collaboration between start-ups and large digital companies.
Cooperation for innovation
GIZ, along with the software company SAP and the Business Angel Network of Armenia (BANA), supports the SAP Startup Factory, which was founded in 2020. The Startup Factory advises start-ups on developing business models and facilitates the sharing of experiences. Grigor Hovhannisyan, director for BANA, says, 'The project provides unprecedented opportunities for Armenian start-ups. The start-ups collaborate with the top experts and specialists and also expand their customer base. This offers great potential for the entire region, including areas outside Armenia.'
At the Startup Factory, the business founders work closely with international IT experts and receive individual support. This cooperation benefits everyone. So far, 19 start-ups have participated. 80 per cent are now working with SAP and thus gaining access to the international market. This promotes Armenia as an IT location and has global impacts at the same time, since the digital innovations are available worldwide.