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EPIC Launches STRIVE: Cultivating Entrepreneurial Mindset

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YEREVAN, Armenia — On May 3, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) launched the inaugural STRIVE program to offer participants the opportunity to delve deeper into entrepreneurship. The program constitutes the fundamental aspects of entrepreneurship and nurtures the entrepreneurial mindset, including attitudes, behaviors, and skills necessary for success in a constantly evolving world. 

The STRIVE program provides an opportunity for curious minds to become the leaders of the next generation of entrepreneurs in Armenia. The primary objective of this new program offered by EPIC is to provide the foundation for participants to learn, discover, and acquire the vital elements of an entrepreneurial mindset. STRIVE affords the right milieu for participants to develop the key characteristics that stimulate curiosity and foster creativity to begin thinking like the world’s greatest entrepreneurs.

STRIVE program leader Alisa Chalakhyan elaborates, “What we are seeing in the Armenian startup ecosystem is rather fascinating. With the increasing emergence of successful startups, a larger group of locals are starting to consider entrepreneurship as a way of life well beyond merely a career choice. This holds true for people from all segments of society. STRIVE is the perfect representation of this changing trend in entrepreneurship.  Among the 55 applications we received, there were candidates 16 up to 75 years of age, from over 15 different industry backgrounds and seven regions of Armenia. Needless to say, it is truly encouraging to see a booming interest among females.”

“Our goal with the STRIVE  program is to assemble a diverse talent pool. It is only with the blending of diverse creativity, innovation, and passion that we will cultivate the capabilities necessary for impacting our knowledge economy,” asserts Director of EPIC and Professor in the Manoogian Simone College of Business and Economics (CBE) Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian.

The program follows an experiential, problem-based teaching methodology that encourages participants to apply what they are learning to real-world, ambiguous, resource-constrained circumstances, enabling them to develop entrepreneurial attitudes, behaviors, and skills.

STRIVE provides an enriching entrepreneurial learning experience, offers access to a strong network of national and international experts, and embraces aspiring startuppers into an incredible community of thriving entrepreneurs.

Participants will examine case studies featuring a variety of real-world “unlikely” entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges by embracing the core tenets of an entrepreneurial mindset. Over the course of this eight-week STRIVE in person program, participants will develop their personal visions  and move on to achieving them.

Through the program’s experiential learning methodology, the process involves identifying problems, finding solutions, and establishing connections beyond the classroom. STRIVE is inspired by the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program of Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (USA), which is designed to motivate and engage participants in the fundamental aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset as an essential life skill.

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.