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EPIC Applauds Two Armenian Startups Advancing to EWC Global Competition

YEREVAN, Armenia — The Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of  Armenia (AUA) together with the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) National Leadership Committee congratulates the startups that won top prizes at the EWC Armenia 2022 National Finals. As National Organizer of EWC, EPIC is proud of all the startups that participated in the competition.

By decision of the independent jury of the EWC Armenia 2022 National Finals, two Armenian startups, Text’nPayMe and Hopshop, took first place and will represent Armenia in the EWC Global competition. They will compete for a chance to win $1 million in prizes. 

According to EWC Armenia National Organizer Nejdeh Hovanessian, “In comparison to last year, the startups participating in the competition this year were more advanced and their pitches more refined. Competition for the top prizes was intense, and the National Finals jury had to make tough decisions in choosing the winners. I am glad that as a result of the National Finals, we have two teams that will be strong competitors against startup teams from the rest of the world. I am confident that they will again provide global visibility for Armenia.”

The National Finals took place at AUA on August 13. The event opened with an inspirational keynote address by Hayk Chobanyan, CEO of the Union of Advanced Technology Entreprises. The opening ceremony featured speeches by the Global Entrepreneurship Network President Jonathan Ortmans, AUA Provost Dr. Brian A. Ellison, and AUA Professor and Director of EPIC Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian. A panel of representatives from the local startup ecosystem then debated how to accelerate the maturing process of Armenia’s startup ecosystem. 

Serving on the National Finals jury were Deputy Minister of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia Dr. Davit Sahakyan, Founding Partner at Strategic Value Ventures Karen Gyulbudaghyan, Managing Director at ServiceTitan Armenia Ashot Tonoyan, International Expert at the European Union Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia (ITTD) Project Christian Schellenberger, and CEO of the National Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Dr. Hayk Margarian.

In addition to getting the EWC trophy, both winning teams received a prize of $10,000 from the sponsors of the event.

Text’nPayMe is a banking keyboard that enables bank clients to send money by way of any messaging application or other application that contains an input field. 

Hopshop is Shazam for fashion. It helps customers find and purchase clothes or accessories that are available on the Internet and social media and even those they might spot others wearing on the street.

Another team, Biocentric, received a special prize from Team Telecom Armenia: a one-year subscription to an internet connection with speed up to 1,000 Mbps.

“Organizations with scientific orientation are always at the center of our company’s attention,” remarked General Director’s Advisor on Data Analytics at Team Telecom Armenia Zaven Navoyan. “I am glad that there were such startups in the National Finals of the 2022 competition, one of which received a prize from Team Telecom Armenia. I hope that this prize will serve as a small investment in advancing this startup from idea stage to growth stage.”

From over 110 submitted applications, 99 startup teams had passed the initial screening stage, and 34 were later selected as semifinalists. Of those, the jury picked 12 startups to advance to the National Finals. Over 60 judges from Armenia and abroad played a central role in the evaluation stages of the competition.

This is the second year of organizing EWC competitions in Armenia. Thanks to the active ecosystem and high-level of participation in the competition, there will be two startups representing Armenia in the Global Stage of the competition. EWC Global 2022 will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in November 2022.

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.