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Drivers of Change: Meet Fall 2022 EPIC Startup Teams

YEREVAN, Armenia — The American University of Armenia’s (AUA) Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) welcomed 13 teams in fall 2022, each with a dream to launch a successful startup. Since the start of the program, the teams have built knowledge and skills through EPIC workshops, speakers, seminars, and other resources, and successfully progressed in the incubation process validating their ideas and building the business models of their startups.

Below, EPIC introduces a number of the startups from the fall 2022 batch. The teams come from various backgrounds: there are AUA students and graduates, students from other universities, and professionals from industries including information technology, finance, insurance, and law. Most of the startups are software platform-based, while two are focused on hardware.

SignLang is a mobile app that uses a phone camera and AI to translate the sign language of the deaf into readable text in real-time. The team members are the youngest in this batch, all of them 18-year-old aspiring software engineers.

Encerta.in is a math-backed decision-support SaaS platform that facilitates decision-making by scoring calculations and visualization. Of the two co-founders, one is based in Uruguay, and the other is a Russian currently living in Armenia; they work around the clock despite the time zone difference between them.

Contract Extractor uses natural language processing to identify custom patterns, extract the corresponding information from contracts, and articulate them through visualization to save time and effort for busy attorneys. The two co-founders are lawyers who studied at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, and Indiana University in the United States. Realizing that many of the tasks attorneys perform are repetitive and could easily be automated, they dropped the idea of dedicating their careers to practicing law and decided to jump into legal tech instead. 

ManyPack is a fully customizable backpack that enables customers to create their desired backpack with various features, designs, and other innovative features. The team came up with the idea during an AUA marketing course homework assignment.

Timeless is a platform that simplifies shopping for clothes by automatically creating purchase lists of mixed and matched clothing from any e-commerce site, mall, or department store. The founders of Timeless met when they were children. Years later, they coincidentally started working in the same company and initiated their startup together.

Car Sharing Yerevan is a membership-based service that provides 24-hour access to a wide network of shared vehicles available at automated self-service rental stations. It’s the Armenian version of Zipcar. The idea of the startup came to the co-founders when one of their cars was stolen and this technology helped them find the vehicle faster than the police. 

Reputation Matters is an AI-driven platform that automates the analysis of prevalent reputation trends associated with businesses and competitors through quantitative and qualitative insights. The algorithm can give recommendations for enhanced reputation-driven content and customer engagement․ 

IN-Turn is a global platform that will make finding internships more accessible, faster, and with greater success. One of the co-founders is a professional musician and tennis player, while the other is a former professional dancer. They started their journey at the STRIVE pre-incubation program where they won awards in the “Best Entrepreneur” and “Best Startup Team” categories.

BeeGraphy is an e-commerce platform for selling bespoke products by providing manufacturers with robust online product configurators created in a no-code environment, thus reducing setup times from weeks to hours. It is a blend of Etsy and Shopify designed especially for selling highly customizable products that can be CNC machined or 3D printed. 

Oor provides users with a platform to customize personal experiences, travel, and other activities. Three team members studied in the same school, and the other three attended the same university. Half of them currently work at INGO, and the other half at Picsart.

BrushUp is a smart device attachment that tracks proper tooth brushing. It is primarily targeted for childrenWhile one of the team members was conscripted into the army a day after joining in, the rest of the team kept developing the startup. 

The teams are already in the sixth week of the program and have conducted customer interviews and completed their initial customer discovery validation, assumptions mapping, hypothesis development, and interview guide. EPIC mentors guide and support all the teams. EPIC is excited to be part of their entrepreneurial journey and is always ready to assist them along the way.

The Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) is a platform of the American University of Armenia (AUA) for promoting entrepreneurial education, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and startup venture incubation. EPIC provides an ecosystem for emerging entrepreneurs consisting of first-class facilities and collaborative workspace, programs and events, and a network of mentors, advisors, and investors. EPIC fosters the understanding and application of entrepreneurship in students and faculty at AUA to craft high-impact multidisciplinary ventures.