YEREVAN, Armenia – Last year, the American University of Armenia (AUA), as well as its Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC), teamed up with Impact Hub Yerevan in establishing a fellowship program designed to support AUA undergraduate and graduate students interested in developing projects that aim to tackle social problems in Armenia. This week, the collaborating parties are proud to announce the winning team selected to further develop their project at Impact Hub Yerevan.
The team includes Samvel Grigoryan, a graduate student of the Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health, Levon Harutyunyan, a graduate student from the Department of Sustainable development and Ecology at the Armenian State Pedagogical University, and graduate student Maria Antonosyan from the Department of Zoology at the Yerevan State University. Their project, AlterVedi, aims to revive and transform an ordinary small town in Armenia, into a regional ecological and tourism center, perhaps unrivaled in the region.
Vedi is a town in the Ararat Province of Armenia, located along the Vedi River, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital Yerevan, and 18 kilometers (11 miles) southeast of the provincial center Artashat. According to the 2011 census, the population of the town is 11,384. Through the AlterVedi project, the team intends to spearhead an agenda to transform this remote town into an eco-friendly and healthy tourism hub within Ararat Province, and serve as the epicenter of environmental and tourism development on a sustainable basis.
The team of finalists is also a contributor of the Tree of Life non-for-profit organization, registered in Vedi in 2016. The organization’s mission is to implement various educational, environmental, and research projects that engage citizens of different age groups in the development of civic society. Thus, the Tree of Life NGO advocates the participation of the local citizenry in events on topics of environmental protection, rational use of natural resources, health education, healthy lifestyle, and cultural preservation.
While working out of Impact Hub’s offices in Yerevan, Samvel, Levon, and Maria will have access to a unique ecosystem including workspace infrastructure, entrepreneurial support, a collaborative community, as well as educational programs and events. The AUA / Impact Hub Yerevan fellowship aims to inspire, connect, and enable student fellows to develop and realize new ideas to address social issues and to do their best work in a supportive environment, which includes over 100 of Armenia’s best and brightest social entrepreneurs with over 40 organizations/enterprises/initiatives represented. The duration of the fellowship is six months.
The AUA, EPIC, and Impact Hub communities are committed to the continued support of entrepreneurship and innovation in Armenia and look forward to the team’s next chapter of success.
Impact Hub Armenia Social Innovation Development Foundation (also known as Impact Hub Yerevan) is a professional membership organization dedicated to individuals, enterprises, start-ups, and organizations making a positive impact in Armenia and around the world. To learn more, click here.
The EPIC (Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center) is a platform for promoting entrepreneurial education, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and startup incubation at AUA. EPIC aims to develop knowledgeable and efficient entrepreneurs to address global and local needs. By combining classroom lectures, prototyping capabilities, and experience of a diverse network of business and technical advisors, EPIC allows students to effectively utilize their knowledge and develop new ventures. To learn more about the EPIC, click here.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides US-style education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.