Azerbaijan, 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 successful business ideas.

Baku Business Factory (BBF) 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 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.

Start-ups are always on the lookout for potential investors to provide the necessary funding to boost new innovations, thus, promoting forums and conventions to attract “Angel” or “Venture” investors need to be more commonplace. Muslumov and Zviadadze understand the importance of a strong market to sell future products and agreed to push for bilateral entry liberalizations for start-up companies.

The agreement aims to foster not only cooperation, but sees the organization of 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’ve had meetings with several international organizations, representations, companies and embassies. The main topic of our discussions is benefiting our start-ups from local and foreign sources of missions based in our country, experience-sharing, and benefiting start-ups while travelling to Azerbaijan with opportunities created in the BBF.”

Well-known Azerbaijani businessman, Anar Alizade, founder of the Union Grand Energy PTE Group of Companies, established the Baku Business Factory in May 2015 with the goal of creating 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 and is trying to spur a young and dynamic start-up scene in Baku, which otherwise lacks the support network needed 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 support of the 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 have involved the setting up of infrastructure which also facilitates the dissemination of venture capital and research projects.

Benjamin Music

12 March 2018 19:25