YEREVAN, Armenia – On April 21, the American University of Armenia (AUA) welcomed some of Armenia’s most promising students from the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies. At the University, students were taken on a tour of the campus and were introduced to opportunities available to them through AUA’s Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC).
During the tour, students visited the AGBU Papazian Library, the Collaborative Study Space, and EPIC facilities. Here, Operations Manager Aram Keryan showed the EPIC prototyping labs and highlighted the state-of-the-art facility that is configured to promote applied research, prototyping and industrial design, education and training, creative brainstorming, and outreach and public engagement all related to product innovation. Tumo students were introduced to the concept of reverse engineering, digitization of objects for further processing, principles of additive (3D printing) and subtractive manufacturing (CNC machining), and an easy-to-operate Vacuum Casting Machine capable of casting high-quality parts in a wide range of resins and plastics.
Later in the EPIC offices, Tumo students engaged with four teams of young entrepreneurs and innovators who thanks to EPIC support and mentorship have turned their startup ideas into growing realities. The teams present were OnQuark, a B2B platform enabling businesses to cover all stages of building and maintaining customer relationships; TaxiBus, an affordable taxi service for students powered with social network elements; Bridge, an online platform that connects companies with interns; and Gugas, a taxi pooling service.
Mr. Keryan also emphasized that it’s “never too early to start a company”. He cited examples where teenagers started companies driven by their dreams and became successful entrepreneurs with millions of dollars in revenue per year. One example he referenced was Nick D’Aloisio, who began coding at the age of 12 and at 17 sold his company to Yahoo for 30 million dollars. Overall, the event proved to be an excellent opportunity for Tumo students to experience real-life examples of how they could apply their skills toward innovation.
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 a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.