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EPIC Launches 10th Incubation Cohort

YEREVAN, Armenia — On February 26, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) welcomed the Spring 2022 batch of startup teams to the EPIC Incubation Program. This is the 10th cohort to enter the program since its founding.

This year, thirty-eight startups applied to the EPIC Spring 2022 Incubation Program with applicants from various fields, such as IT and data science, education, health and wellness, and logistics. The startups accepted into the program were competitively selected in a three-phase process, including interviews and a final idea pitch stage before a jury panel of startup ecosystem representatives, namely David Tadevosyan, AUA Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Hayk Margarian, Director of the National Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Mane Yeganyan, Program Manager at SmartGate VC; and Nonna Khachatryan, Associate Professor at Yerevan State University. By recommendation of the jury, ten teams will progress to the next step of incubating their startups at EPIC.

Thus, on February 26, EPIC welcomed the new residents in a team-building workshop. This full-day event marks the kickoff of the startup process for the admitted teams. AUA Adjunct Lecturer Prof. Brent Anders led the workshop covering topics in communication, with emphasis on the importance of professional non-verbal communication, both internally within the team, as well as with external parties. 

Next on the workshop agenda were team-building activities organized by the Armenian Game Changer. The exercises aimed to improve role balance within teams, identify the leadership characteristics of team members, and nurture a collaborative environment. Throughout this first workshop of the Incubation Program, the teams worked on cultivating stronger communication skills, enhancing creativity, and increasing appreciation for the capabilities of all team members.

The final activity of the day was an EPIC Alumni Panel, during which EPIC alumni Tigran Mkhitaryan, Nina Shahmuradyan, Hayk Shahinyan, and Nver Kassis shared with the incoming class of EPIC entrepreneurs their experiences, lessons learned, best practices, and the current status of their startups.

For the first time since its founding, the number of female entrepreneurs entering the EPIC Incubation Program outnumbered male entrepreneurs. Also for the first time, EPIC boasted a team consisting entirely of high school students. 

The following startups are starting their venture at EPIC:

Compass Virtual Education Hub is a networking platform that connects recent local graduates of international universities with those who are just beginning the process of applying to universities abroad.

Brail is a cargo transportation platform that provides supply chain services that reduce transaction costs by excluding logistics intermediaries.

TherapyLive is an affordable E-platform that facilitates the process of matching clients with therapists.

Toon is an app that markets fine jewelry embracing Armenian cultural values to customers around the world. 

Day-Tripper is an app that uses AI to generate customized full-day itineraries for domestic travelers and international tourists. 

Mindy offers a prevention and mindfulness promotion platform for individuals with work-related health challenges.

PhotoShot is a multi-sided AI platform that connects photographers and photo studios with customers who need photography services. 

HogaTar is a SAAS transport scheduling platform aimed at organizing children’s transportation, as well as transportation of the elderly, disabled, and students.

Challchange is an app designed to help individuals set and achieve their goals. The app provides its users with sets of relevant challenges, deadlines, and opportunities.