EPIC Mobilizes National Effort for Entrepreneurship World Cup in Armenia2 min read
The Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) is the official national organizer of the Entrepreneurship World Cup (EWC) in Armenia. The program offers entrepreneurs across the country the opportunity to compete globally for a share of US $1 million in cash prizes, plus additional investments and another US $750,000 of in-kind support. EWC is now accepting applications for 2021, aiming to exceed the past mark of 175,000 contestants from 200+ countries in its first year.
“EPIC, through the Open Center of Excellence for Innovation Advancement, is proud to accept responsibility for national organization of this event in Armenia. We hope to use EWC as a platform for not only supporting and promoting Armenia’s entrepreneurs but also as a vehicle for collaboration and purpose with our local venture and industry partners. So far, we have assembled the national leadership committee for this event and have already lined up 16 ecosystem partners, five university partners, and four national sponsors to support this important event. Together, as national organizers, we will plan, promote and execute the national competition for the benefit of all,” shares Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian, director of the Open Center of Excellence for Innovation Advancement and EPIC. Besides EPIC, the National Leadership Committee consists of EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” project implemented by GIZ, Ministry of High Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia, Armenian National Agrarian University, Startup Armenia Foundation, Angel Investor Club of Armenia, and Krisp.
EWC is more than just a global pitch competition with a shot at securing life-changing prizes. It elevates entrepreneurs from all stages — idea-stage, early-stage, growth-stage or beyond — by providing them with tools and resources to grow their ventures.
EWC Accelerates is a virtual training and mentorship program that helps entrepreneurs hone their skills and increase their chances of winning in their national competitions, and advancing to the Global Finals.
The EWC online platform also offers all contestants who complete the application access to more than $25,000 in perks from partners such as Google Cloud, Hubspot, Stripe, and more.
“We strive to make the EWC Armenia a truly pan-national event that will include the entire spectrum of Armenia’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, from individual entrepreneurs to government and from IT industry to fine arts. Thus, we don’t consider any limitation for the type or nature of entrepreneurial ideas and ventures that may compete for the Entrepreneurship National Cup. As a growing entrepreneurial nation, we believe that Armenia must have at least one deserving representative in the EWC Global Finals in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” remarks Nejdeh Hovanessian, assistant director of the Open Center for Innovation Advancement and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at EPIC.
National Finals are held through July 2021 in Yerevan. In November 2021, the 100 winning startups from around the world will be flown to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to participate in the EWC Accelerates program for an intensive startup bootcamp and to compete in the EWC Global Finals.
The Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) is a platform of the American University of Armenia (AUA) for promoting entrepreneurial education, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and startup venture incubation. EPIC provides an ecosystem for 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 in students and faculty at AUA to craft high-impact multidisciplinary ventures.