“I2B – From Idea to Business” project continues its successful operation to support startups and help realization of innovative ideas.

This time, the most successful startup teams of Sumgayit and Ganja were determined within the framework of the project. The project conducted by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, jointly with Public Association “Regional Development” of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the company “Microsoft” and “Azercell Telecom” LLC gained huge interest of the youth in Sumgayit and Ganja. More than 100 participants joined the startup tour held in Heydar Aliyev Center in Sumgayit. The event was opened with info session, which covered the information about the concept of “From Idea to Business”, the aim of startup tours, achievements and future plans. The tour was followed with training held by project organizers on how to establish startup teams, how to develop the presentation correctly, how to attract investors to the project, other urgent issues, such as market study. Then, the participants were divided into teams and trained by professional mentors for the competition. Teams presented their ideas to the jury. According to jury’s decision, “Part of me”, “Keep hot” and “Military module” projects took I, II and III places, respectively.

After Sumgayit, the next startup tour took place in Ganja. The information session was followed with small business training to prepare startups for main competition. Then the participants were divided into teams. Business scheme of each project was developed in accordance with “Canvas” model. The second session included presentation of ideas before jury. Each presentation was followed with discussion and interactive Q/A session. Jury announced “Biobone”, “Sağlamqida” (Healthy Food), “P4Y” startups the winners of I, II and III places, respectively.

The winning projects gained a chance to join national finals to be held in Baku. Top 3 winners of the national finals will receive major awards. In addition, the winners will be provided with mentor services, fundraising and gain opportunity to travel abroad to participate in international events.

Notably, Barama Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center sponsored by “Azercell Telecom” LLC and PASHA Bank supports the projects aimed to boost business innovation, develop a digital and entrepreneurial ecosystem. The major goal of the center, which will celebrate its 10th year of operation is to support startups to build their businesses, provide modern services and attract new customers.

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The leader of the mobile communication industry, the largest taxpayer and the biggest investor of the non-oil sector of Azerbaijan “Azercell Telecom” LLC was founded in 1996. With 49 percent share of Azerbaijan’s mobile telecom market Azercell’s network covers 99.1 percent of the territory (excluding the occupied territories) and 99.8 percent of population of the country. Currently, 4.5 million subscribers choose Azercell services. Azercell has pioneered an important number of innovations in Azerbaijan, including GSM technology, advance payment system, mobile internet services, Metro coverage, 24/7 call center service, 7 day/week Front Office service, M2M services, one-stop-shopping approach Azercell Express offices, mobile customer services, Online Customer Care and Social Media Customer Care services, mobile e-signature service “ASAN Imza” etc. Azercell deployed first 4G – LTE services in Azerbaijan in 2012. According to the results of mobile network quality and wireless coverage mapping surveys by international systems, Azercell’s network demonstrated the best results among the mobile operators of Azerbaijan. Azercell is the only company in Azerbaijan and CIS region which has been awarded Gold Certificate of International “Investors in People” Standard.