On October 21, Dilijan hosted the official opening of the 5-day event of the “Neruzh 3.0” diaspora tech startups program, which was attended by RA Minister of High-Tech Industry Robert Khachatryan, Executive Director of the “My Step” Charitable Foundation Mkhitar Hayrapetyan and other officials.
Robert Khachatryan welcomed the participants and guests of the program, touched upon the purpose and relevance of the program, the expectations that the Ministry has from each participant of the program.
“Professional repatriation is a very important part of the project. In this context, you can bring world experience to Armenia. Living, studying and working in different parts of the world, you have become the bearer of the culture, way of life and thinking of this country. And here, within the framework of this program, you also act as ambassadors of the technology sector of these countries.
Dear participants, each of you, applying for this program, has undertaken an important mission by returning to your homeland, implementing your innovative ideas and projects in your homeland, contributing to the progress and development of our country. Our expectations from this program are high: we expect new, interesting ideas and approaches, developments and solutions from you.
And we believe that upon completion of “Neruzh 3.0”, new values will be created in the technology sector of Armenia, which can become a serious prerequisite for the development of the Armenian technology sector,” Robert Khachatryan said, adding that the Ministry is ready to support the project with all its resources for the participants, so that they can quickly establish themselves in Armenia and turn their startup into a steadily growing business.
Mkhitar Hayrapetyan noted that the “My Step” Foundation attaches great importance to the concentration of Pan-Armenian human capital of the Diaspora in Armenia, and around Pan-Armenian projects in general.
“The greatest national wealth of the Armenian people is the human capital, the core of which is the human being. Unlike natural resources, human capital, and especially the potential of the diaspora, can be continuously reproduced if used correctly and purposefully. Back in 2018, when this program was held for the first time, we aimed to promote professional repatriation, contribute to the economic progress of Armenia and the development of the startup ecosystem. Today, too, we need to attract new professionals. Potential forces, new ideas, fresh approaches will lead to a change in our attitude to work and the formation of a new culture.
Dear “Neruzh” participants, we must find the strength within ourselves and look into the eyes of reality, and this reality is full of trials and challenges. And instead of moving forward, we have found ourselves in the eternal search for perpetrators. And therefore, I propose to get out of this vicious circle of searching for the guilty, and direct our energy, efforts and opportunities to overcome challenges and open up new horizons for development,” Mkhitar Hayrapetyan said.
Davit Sahakyan, Deputy Minister of High-Tech Industry of RA, wishing success to the program participants, briefly presented the startup ecosystem of Armenia, the strategy and vision of the RA government to develop it.
“Neruzh” is a government program aimed at encouraging professional repatriation, contributing to the economic progress of Armenia and the development of a startup ecosystem. The program, which is being held for the third time, is being implemented this year by the Ministry of High-Tech Industry of the RA in cooperation with the “My Step” Foundation.
22 startups from Canada, Russia, Georgia, France, Australia, USA, Togo, Cyprus, Germany, Austria took part in the program this year in Armenia.
The best projects this time will receive a grant that will allow participants to develop their ideas, turning them into a sustainable business.
The prize fund of the project is AMD 45 million.
The startup project that won the first place will receive 20 million drams, the second place winner will receive 15 million drams, and the startup that won the third place will receive 10 million drams.
It should be noted that one of the main conditions for receiving a grant is the registration of a startup in Armenia, the implementation of activities and residence in Armenia for at least one year.