Winners of project "I2B – From Idea to Business" for 2019 determined
The national final of the project “I2B – From Idea to Business”, which is implemented jointly by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, the Regional Development Public Union of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Azerbaijan Youth Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, Innovation Agency, Microsoft Corporation and Azercell, was held. During the final ceremony, organized at Heydar Aliyev Center within the InnoWeek – Innovation Week, the winners for 2019 were determined from among the finalists of startup tours held in Baku and regions.
Delivering an opening address at the event, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade congratulated the project participants and wished them success.
“One of the activities of the ministry is to support innovative development. The Innovation Agency established under the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies provides support to startups in the implementation of their business ideas. Various projects, trainings, and competitions are held to expand the startup movement, develop innovative thinking among young people, and actively involve them in this process. The “I2B – From Idea to Business” startup tours held in Baku and regions also serve precisely this purpose,” Ramin Guluzade said.
The Minister also noted that this year over two thousand startuppers joined the project. This shows that the project aroused great interest among young people and was successfully implemented.
Speaking about the opportunities created for startuppers at the InnoCamp innovation summer camp in Shamakhi, Ramin Guluzade stressed the importance of such events for the formation and development of an innovation ecosystem in our country.
Note that 153 teams took part in the startup tours held in 12 regions of the country. During startup tours, trainings and workshops were organized for participants by representatives of government agencies, various incubation centers, technology parks, as well as well-known ICT companies. They were provided with information about the ecosystem of startups, ways to turn their ideas into business.
17 teams reached the semifinals in the startup tours organized in Baku, Sumgait, Shamakhy, Shaki, Zagatala, Tovuz, Goychay, Ganja, Lankaran, Mingachevir, Sabirabad and Nakhchivan. And 10 teams that were successful in the final qualifying round – Heal With (Baku), Health Bag (Goychay), PayPort (Nakhchivan), Palliativ Plus (Baku), “Chameleon” (Baku), OSHE-01 (Shirvan), “Professional” (Nakhchivan), Nano Desal (Baku), Biobone (Ganja), Agroshare (Baku) gained the right to compete in the national final of the project “I2B - From Idea to Business”.
In the final, the projects were presented to a jury consisting of experts. During the allowed time 10 of the abovesaid teams also answered questions related to projects.
The finalists’ projects were evaluated by the jury of experts according to criteria such as uniqueness of idea, market potential, the period of return on investment, the time required to develop a preliminary service / prototype, the ability of the team to implement the idea.
Thus, the team “Heal With” became the winner of the “I2B – From Idea to Business” project for 2019. The winner was awarded by Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade.
The second place winner “Chameleon” team was awarded by Farid Jafarov, Executive Director of the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation.
UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan Alessandro Fracasseti awarded the team “Palliative Plus”, which took the third place.
The winners of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places will be provided with financial support by the organizers and partners to turn their ideas into business.
It should be noted that the winners will be able to present their projects at the 25th Anniversary Azerbaijan International Telecommunications, Innovations and High Technologies Exhibition Bakutel to be held on December 3-6.
Startup tours within the framework of the project “I2B –From Idea to Business” are planned to continue in the years to come.