PicsArt Executive Management Team Visits EPIC, Meets Young Entrepreneurs

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YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ On June 19, 2018, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted the executive management team of PicsArt, which is a leading social photo editing mobile app that has been installed more than 500 million times across Android, iOS and Windows mobile platforms and is backed by Sequoia Capital.

EPIC staff and more than 30 EPIC entrepreneurs and guests welcomed the PicsArt executive team headed by CEO Hovhannes Avoyan (MPSIA ’95), an AUA Pillar and former lecturer, who was accompanied by COO Artavazd Mehrabyan (CIS ’03) and CTO & General Manager Mikayel Vardanyan (CIS ’04).

The Director of EPIC, Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian made opening remarks highlighting the close ties between AUA and PicsArt. He presented EPIC and mentioned the important role of the PicsArt founders in AUA students’ lives: “We regard the  founders of PicsArt as an inspiration. They are what all of us aspire to become as entrepreneurs.”

“AUA is our second home. It is made for smart, successful and energetic people, who want to change something,” said Avoyan. Talking about PicsArt, he continued: “A startup is not for making your living ‒ it is an aspiration to change things for the better. Startups are for changing the existing status quo. PicsArt was created with such an approach in mind: we wanted to give a tool to people to be more creative and to connect them within one network of like-minded people. That strong vision and motivation helps us to survive and go through all the challenges.”

PicsArt’s executive management team shared their experience with the attendees. Avoyan encouraged EPIC entrepreneurs to dream big and to be ambitious to achieve their goals. He highlighted the importance of having good partners and team members in building a successful business. Vardanyan advised the participants: “Do not try to do too many things: focus on one thing, but do it very well to succeed.”

The attendees had the opportunity to ask the PicsArt team questions on a number of topics, including new technologies developed by PicsArt, artificial intelligence (AI), and startup culture in Armenia.

The Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) is a platform for promoting entrepreneurial education, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and startup venture incubation. EPIC provides an ecosystem for the American University of Armenia’s (AUA) emerging entrepreneurs consisting of first-class facilities and collaborative workspace, programs and events, and a network of mentors, advisors and investors. EPIC fosters the understanding and application of entrepreneurship with students and faculty at AUA to craft high-impact multidisciplinary ventures.