The Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) at the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a platform for promoting entrepreneurial education, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and start-up venture incubation. EPIC aims to develop knowledgeable, efficient, and experienced entrepreneurs to address the needs of Armenia and the world beyond. EPIC provides an ecosystem for AUA’s emerging entrepreneurs, consisting of first-class facilities and collaborative workspaces, programs and events, and a wide network of professional mentors, advisors, and investors. Teams made up of emerging entrepreneurs compete to enter EPIC programs where they receive further entrepreneurial incubation, education, mentorship, and other resources to grow and advance their start-ups.
EPIC teams enjoy the benefit of being located inside AUA by having access to the pro bono Legal and Technology Clinic, an engineering prototyping laboratory, library holdings and global digital databases, and a wide range of other AUA resources.
EPIC sponsors lectures, start-up conferences, hackathons, and industry treks. EPIC also collaborates with other ecosystem players to jointly host, organize, sponsor and participate in events and programs.
The mission of EPIC is to foster the understanding and application of entrepreneurship with students and faculty at AUA to craft high impact multidisciplinary ventures.
The Center is funded by the USAID’s Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) and by an AUA benefactor, Ms. Sara Chitjian who has generously established an endowment for EPIC.
EPIC is housed in AUA’s main building in recently renovated state-of-the-art collaborative and administrative space.
Our offices are distributed over 300 SM on two floors and consist of designated workspaces for startup teams, open workspaces with hot-desks, a large event space, a community kitchen, and various sized rooms for private meetings. EPIC startups have access to a sophisticated prototyping laboratory.
The prototyping laboratory is unique in Armenia and was designed to provide quick, easy and high-quality product prototypes. The sophisticated instrumentation includes the revolutionary FARO EDGE 3D scanner, multiple CNC Milling machines, 3D printers, and a highly versatile Vacuum Casting system.
A vibrant ecosystem of business and technical mentors, advisors, and investors form the core of EPIC community – many of whom have started, managed, funded, and advised numerous start-up ventures in Armenia and abroad. EPIC mentors and advisors, which include AUA faculty and researchers, provide domain and industry knowledge and expertise. EPIC maintains close ties to the large and diverse AUA alumni network, many of whom have committed to serve as mentors and advisors to our startup teams or to share their worldwide contacts and business network. AUA has a close-knit community of alumni and entrepreneurs.
Through AUA’s network of supporters worldwide, including the vibrant Armenian diaspora, startup teams can rely on advisors from around the globe to receive advice, mentorship, connections as well as legal, financial, and technological resources.
EPIC is closely connected to the blossoming entrepreneurial ecosystem in Armenia which provides opportunity for collaboration, idea sharing, experience and resources over multiple industries both technological and non-tech.
EPIC hosts a plethora of events covering various aspects of the entrepreneurial landscape. Our events are designed to bring interactive learning and growth among our entrepreneurs, program participants, advisors, partners, and professional network.