EPIC will assign desk space and computers located on the 5th and 6th floors of AUA Main Building to the teams. The teams will have access to the common space to work on their startup ideas to develop and refine their products and services. Additionally, lab space in the basement of the MB will be available for EPIC residents to use for the duration of their residency. Lastly, conference rooms will be available for the teams to reserve and use free of charge.
Shared working space and computers on campus
Advice and guidance from experienced mentors
Office resources and opportunity to use prototyping lab at AUA and at other facilities in Armenia
Intellectual property and legal advice
Devote a significant amount of time to their startup over the incubation period
Spend time at EPIC’s co-working space on campus
Utilize the mentoring available through the program
Attend regularly organized workshops and events
Commit to nurturing a safe and collaborative environment during their residency
Teams must have at least one current AUA student, or
At least half of the team members are AUA alumni
Applications for residency will be accepted from November 17th 2016 to December 12th 2016
Teams will be notified by December 19th on the decision of advancement to the next round
Interviews with final round candidates will be held on December 22nd and 23rd
Decisions will be announced on December 28th
EPIC’s startup incubation program will officially kick off on January 17th 2017 and desks will be assigned to finalists
The Center will provide mentorship and coaching opportunities for the teams. Both group and one-on-one mentoring sessions will be organized regularly. Technical and business mentors will be selected to match the needs of each team.
Peer learning and mentorship is a significant aspect of the development process. Teams will provide weekly updates to their cohort and program managers. This will also be an opportunity to ask for help and pose any questions that the teams may have. Peer mentorship will also be instituted to encourage residents to help each other critically assess their ideas and progress.
Every month the teams will be evaluated based on their progress by a panel of experts. The evaluations will be used to provide the teams with regular and impartial feedback, as well as help the teams improve their presentation skills. At the end of each phase of the incubator program, evaluations will be used to make a decision on whether the teams will keep their resident status, as well as on providing seed funding for the next stage of startups’ development.
EPIC will organize workshops, guest lectures, and seminars for resident teams. The topics will vary depending on the needs of the teams and availability of guest speakers/experts. Also, networking events will be organized for the teams to meet angel investors, venture capitalists, and like-minded individuals.
At the end of residency period, each team will pitch their businesses to investors, students, invited guests, public and media as well as have the opportunity to showcase their products. Also, in April-May timeframe, EPIC will hold its annual ‘Open Doors day’ event to encourage the public to visit AUA and get acquainted with EPIC’s facilities, startups, incubation processes and students.
After successfully completing EPIC residency, some teams can be selected to receive stipend to allow team members to fully focus on their startups. The exact stipend amount will be determined by EPIC leadership two months prior to the start of the summer program and will be sufficient to allow recipients to have a comfortable living lifestyle.
Additionally, teams that have made significant progress can be awarded a seed grant to further accelerate their progress. Grants of up to 5,000 USD can be awarded to the teams.
Generally, AUA or EPIC will not own IP created during teams’ residency period. However, if significant AUA resources are used during the idea development and incubation stages, AUA may own the IP. However, to make the process transparent for all parties, EPIC management will communicate directly with the team if there are potential IP (co)owning / licensing prospects.
The selection process will be held in two rounds. In the first round teams will be assessed based on their application forms and submitted videos. Second round includes in-person interviews. An appointed committee will be responsible for reviewing the applications and conducting the interviews.
AUA Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC)