On October 21, the official opening ceremony of the five-day event — part of the “Neruzh 3.0” Diaspora Startup program — was held in Dilijan and attended by Minister of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia Robert Khachatryan, Executive Director of the “My Step” Foundation Mkhitar Hayrapetyan and other officials.
Robert Khachatryan welcomed the participants of the program and guests and touched upon the goal and importance of the program, as well as the expectations that the Ministry of High-Tech Industry has from each and every participant.
“There is a very important component that lies at the core of the program, and that component is professional repatriation. In this context, you can share the experience of other countries in Armenia. By living, studying and working in different parts of the world, you have become the bearers of the cultures, lifestyles and mindsets of your respective countries. Here, through this program, you also serve as the ambassadors of the technology sector in those countries.
Dear participants, by applying to participate in this program, each of you has assumed a major mission, that is, to make a contribution to the advancement and development of our country by returning to the homeland and implementing your innovative ideas and projects in the homeland. We have great expectations from this program. We look forward to seeing you present new and interesting ideas, approaches, developments and solutions, and we are certain that after the end of “Neruzh 3.0”, we will see the creation of new values in the Armenian technology sector that may become serious preconditions for the development of the technology sector in Armenia,” Robert Khachatryan said, adding that the Ministry of High-Tech Industry is ready to use all of its resources to support the participants of the program so that they can settle in Armenia very quickly and turn their respective startups into sustainably growing businesses.
Mkhitar Hayrapetyan stated that what is extremely important for the “My Step” Foundation is the concentration of the human capital of all Armenians of the Diaspora in Armenia and around pan-Armenian programs, for that matter.
“The greatest national wealth of the Armenian people is human capital, and man is the nucleus of that. Unlike natural resources, if human capital and especially the potential of the Armenian Diaspora is used the right way and in a targeted manner, it can continue to be regenerated. When this program was being held for the first time back in 2018, our goal was to promote professional repatriation and make a contribution to the economic advancement and the development of the startup ecosystem in Armenia. Even today, we are in need of the engagement of professionals. Able forces, new ideas and fresh approaches will help change our attitude toward work and shape a new culture. Dear participants of “Neruzh 3.0”, each of us needs to find his or her inner strength and look reality in the eye, and in that reality there are many trials and challenges. Instead of moving forward, we have found ourselves in the eternal search for people who are to blame. So, I suggest exiting this cycle of seeking people to blame and directing our energy, efforts and potential to show resistance to the challenges and identify new horizons for development,” Mkhitar Hayrapetyan stated.
Wishing the participants of the program success, RA Deputy Minister of High-Tech Industry Davit Sahakyan briefly presented Armenia’s startup ecosystem, as well as the strategy and vision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia for development of the ecosystem.
“Neruzh” is a state program aimed at promoting professional repatriation in order to contribute to Armenia’s economic advancement and the development of the startup ecosystem. This year, the program, which is being held for the third time, is being held by the RA Ministry of High-Tech Industry, in association with the “My Step” Foundation.
Through this program, Armenia has hosted 22 startups from Canada, Russia, Georgia, France, Australia, the United States of America, Togo, Cyprus, Germany and Austria this year.
The creators of the best projects will receive grants this year as well, and this will provide the participants with the opportunity to enhance their ideas and turn them into sustainably growing businesses.
The prize fund comprises AMD 45,000,000.
The creator of the startup project that wins the first prize will be granted AMD 20,000,000, while the second and third prize winners will be granted AMD 15,000,000 and AMD 10,000,000, respectively.
Registering and operating a startup in Armenia and residing in the Republic of Armenia for at least one year are among the major preconditions for receiving a grant.