Azerbaijan and Georgia Work Together to Strengthen Start-ups

The largest start-up initiatives in Georgia and Azerbaijan have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to promote the exchange of knowledge and technology needed for a successful business idea. 

Baku Business Factory Director, Alovsat Muslumov, and Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency Chairman, Giorgi Zviadadze, aim to accelerate the process for start-ups to become profitable. The memorandum focuses on a closer cooperation in non-oil sectors by directing attention to rising industries, such as ICT, but also pushing collaboration in the sectors of science, engineering and agriculture. 

Furthermore, start-ups are always on the lookout for potential investors to provide the necessary funding to boost a new innovation, thus promoting forums and conventions to attract these so-called “Angel” or “Venture” investors. Muslumov and Zviadadze understand the importance of a strong market to sell future products; agreeing to push for bilateral entry liberalizations for start-up companies.

The agreement aims to foster not only cooperation, but also plans to organize numerous events and meetings for rising businesses of both countries to expand their network and disseminate their ideas.

BBF Director Muslumov emphasized the importance of foreign partners on the scene: “We have done a lot of work in this direction. Since the last quarter of 2017, we have meetings with several international organizations, representations, companies and embassies. Main topic of our discussions is benefiting of our start-ups from local and foreign sources of the missions based in our country, sharing of experience, as well as benefiting of their start-ups while travelling to Azerbaijan from opportunities created in the BBF."

Well-known Azerbaijani businessman, Anar Alizade, founder of Union Grand Energy PTE Group of Companies, established the Baku Business Factory in May 2015 with the goal to create a co-working and incubation space for business ideas and start-ups. Its mission is “to develop business-thinking of young people with business ideas, and provide them with a financial base in order to form new business skills in our country.” Alizade believes in the importance of social responsibility trying to spur the young and dynamic start-up scene in Baku, which often lacks the network and support to generate a profitable business.

Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency is incorporated with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, and was established in 2014. It focuses not only on the support of a rising start-up scene, but runs elaborated strategies to commercialize innovations and technology stemming from all sectors in Georgia’s economy. Over the past years, GITA’s strategies involved the set up of an infrastructure, which also facilitates the dissemination of venture capital and research projects.

By Benjamin Music

07 March 2018 16:05