EPIC Launches the Fall 2021 Incubation Program2 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — On September 27, 2021, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) welcomed the ninth batch of venture startup teams to the 2021 EPIC incubation program. After a year and a half of remote online learning, everyone was excited to resume face-to-face interactions as the program returned to full function in the EPIC collaborative space at AUA.
The startups accepted into the EPIC Fall 2021 batch went through a competitive selection process, including interviews and an entry idea pitch in front of an independent panel of judges. Overall, 31 teams had applied to the program. Applicants included students and alumni from AUA and other universities, professionals from various fields of business, IT and data science, hospitality, law, and economics.
Of the 31 applicant teams, 19 advanced to the interview stage. The interviews were conducted by EPIC Director Dr. Michael Kouchakdjian, Assistant Director Nejdeh Hovanessian, and Anna Khachatryan, the incumbent operations and community manager of the incubation program.
The final hurdle for entry into the EPIC incubation program was an idea pitch presentation to a jury consisting of AUA adjunct lecturers Khachik Badeyan, senior product owner at Synergy International Systems; Ruben Osipyan, co-founder and CEO at Himnark; and Artashes Tonoyan, founder and CEO at AMAT Solutions; together with Elyanora Avetisyan, head of the Trade Promotion Division at the Ministry of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia.
At the conclusion of the selection process, eight teams were accepted into the Fall 2021 incubation program.
Genie Robotics proposes to develop a machine-as-a-service system with an automated smart factory of the future. Equipped with 3D printers that use a web service and IP protection by blockchain technology, Genie Robotics will create innovative products. The startup will use a franchising model for scaling.
VAU is designed for people with hearing disorders and autism. It offers a high-tech vibrating bracelet connected to the users’ mobiles via an application that ensures improved communication.
Zleenk is a social media platform for knowledge sharing. It makes high-quality alternative learning accessible to every child regardless of their financial situation and physical location.
Aneev aims to create a platform where small shops and startup businesses in Armenia’s regions can present their products and services to consumers or potential investors.
Walnus strives to create conversation chatbots using machine language (neuro-linguistic programming/natural-language understanding) technology to provide automated AI customer support to businesses. Their technologies will target the banking, healthcare, insurance, and IT/software support markets.
OptimUs offers a B2B marketplace to optimize and automate the corporate procurement process. Using a reverse auction and visualization approach in tenders, the platform will allow the lowest price purchases while limiting risks of fraud and bribery, improve turnaround time and human resource engagement.
Calendix is developing an AI-based voice assistant that will communicate with small business clients for making appointments, setting reminders, and maintaining customer relationship management.
What to Wear is a mobile application using AI to support online purchases of clothing based on the customer’s individual body type.
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.