EPIC Launches its Fall 2021 Incubation Program
YEREVAN, Armenia – On September 27, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) welcomed the 9th batch of venture startup teams to the EPIC startup incubator. After a year and a half of remote online incubator sessions, all were excited to resume face-to-face interactions as the program moved back into EPIC’s collaborative space at AUA.
The startups accepted into the EPIC Fall 2021 batch went through a competitive selection process, including interviews and an entry idea pitch in front of an independent panel of judges. Overall, thirty-one teams applied to the program. Applicants included students and alumni from AUA, from other universities, professionals from various fields such as business, IT and data sciences, hospitality, sustainable development, law, and economics.
Of the thirty-one applicant teams, nineteen advanced to the interview stage. The interviews were conducted by the EPIC Director Michael Kouchakdjian, Assistant Director Nejdeh Hovhanessian, and Anna Khachatryan, incoming Operations and Community Manager for the incubation program.
The final hurdle for entry into the EPIC incubation program was an idea pitch presentation to a jury consisting of AUA adjunct lecturers Khachik Badeyan (Senior Product Owner at Synergy International Systems), Ruben Osipyan (Co-founder and CEO at Himnark), and Artashes Tonoyan (Founder and CEO at AMAT Solutions), together with Elyanora Avetisyan, Head of the Trade Promotion Division at RA Ministry of High Tech Industry. In the end, eight teams will move forward to incubate their startups at EPIC.
Please meet the eight startups that were accepted into the incubation program this Fall.
GENIE ROBOTICS develops a machine-as-a-service system consisting of the automated smart factory of the future with 3D printers that use a web service and IP protection by blockchain technology to produce innovative products. Genie Robotics will use a franchising model for scaling.
To address the needs of people with hearing disorders and autism, VAU offers a high-tech vibrating bracelet connected with a mobile application for providing advanced communication and specific applications.
Zleenk is a social media platform for knowledge sharing. It makes high quality alternative learning accessible for every child regardless of one’s financial situation and physical location.
Targeting small businesses in Armenia’s regions, Aneev aims to create a platform where small shops and startup businesses can connect their products and services to investors.
Walnus strives to create conversation chatbots using machine language (NLP/NLU) technology to provide automated AI customer support to businesses. Their technologies will target the banking, healthcare, insurance and IT/software support markets.
OptimUs offers a B2B marketplace to optimize and automate the corporate procurement process. Using a reverse auction and visualization approach in tenders, the platform will allow lowest price purchases while limiting fraud and bribery risk, improve turnaround time and human resource engagement.
Calendix is developing an AI-based voice assistant that will communicate with small business clients for making appointments, setting reminders, and maintaining CRM.
What to Wear is a mobile application using AI to support online purchases of clothing based on the customer’s individual body type.
The Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) is a platform for promoting entrepreneurial education, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and startup venture incubation. EPIC provides an ecosystem for the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) 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 with students and faculty at AUA to craft high-impact multidisciplinary ventures.