Startup-Mentor Matching Network: U.S. Embassy Grant Project Launched at AUA2 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia – The Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) was awarded a U.S. Embassy Grant to implement the Startup-Mentor Matching Network (SMMN) project. The project was initiated by Arman Arakelyan, CSE adjunct lecturer, working closely with U.S. Government (USG) alumni.
SMMN creates a portal for startupers to meet potential mentors among alumni of exchange programs sponsored by the USG. In addition, it provides a platform for USG alumni to network, share their experiences with young entrepreneurs and contribute to the economic growth of Armenia.
The project kick-off event was held on September 9, 2019, followed by the first networking event on September 27, 2019, which provided participants with the opportunity to introduce their ideas for the mentors’ appraisal and initial feedback.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to use the expertise of USG alumni in a new type of network where ideas will grow with guidance from mentors and bear fruits that we’ll enjoy. The U.S. Embassy in Yerevan has always supported innovations and initiatives like this. We are very excited,” said Lusine Mkrtchyan, USG alumni coordinator at the U.S. Embassy, Yerevan.
The project will create a startup-mentor matching portal in the project’s official webpage. Through this portal, participants will be able to register, introduce themselves, as well as search and find people with the skills they need to bring their ideas to fruition. Following the launch of the project, a series of networking events is being held to ensure that participating startuppers find the right mentors from their search and are able to build a rewarding startup-mentor relationship.
“The project has a big potential. We’ve tried to listen to and answer the needs of many mentors and startuppers to create this portal, which will hopefully succeed in achieving its purpose,” said Arakelyan, who also is the manager of the project.
Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.