EPIC Startups Present on Graduation Pitch Day2 min read
YEREVAN, Armenia — On February 2, 2022, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) officially concluded the Fall 2021 Incubation Program with Graduation Pitch Day.
This is the traditional final event of the 15-week EPIC Incubation Program, during which idea-stage startups follow an intense course schedule that covers rich content and includes workshops, discussions, lectures, expert consultations, and mentoring. Through this program, participants receive applied knowledge and skills to guide them through the incubation process, evaluate their startup ideas, identify customers, and determine the proper channels and opportunities for building their venture.
On the day of graduation, a packed auditorium provided the venue for EPIC startups to present their business ideas to mentors, faculty, students, alumni, and ecosystem partners.
“The event was organized with the goal of creating a platform for EPIC teams to present their startups and network with relevant community members,” said Anna Khachatryan, EPIC Operations and Community Manager. “We are proud to say that we have achieved this objective and five of our teams have successfully graduated from EPIC. Attending investors and other supporters approached the teams with interesting ideas and proposals, attesting to the great potential the teams have to continue growing their endeavors.”
Building a product can be challenging for novice entrepreneurs, but the five startups demonstrated on Graduation Pitch Day that they have already achieved and exceeded those milestones. Selected based on the strengths of the team, execution of the idea, traction, and growth potential, these five startups were invited to showcase their innovative ideas to the audience. The presentations were followed by a networking reception where the teams had the opportunity to interact with and field questions from interested attendees.
Eight teams participated in the incubation program, with the following five chosen to pitch their ideas on Graduation Pitch Day: Zleenk: a social-educational app for self learning, self-development, and professional orientation. OptimUs: a B2B marketplace to optimize and automate the corporate procurement process. VAU: a vibrating bracelet connected to a mobile app to help people with hearing disorders, autism, and ADHD solve attention problems through an inclusive educational process. Calendix: an AI-based voice assistant that will communicate with small business clients to make appointments, set reminders, and manage customer relations management. And What to Wear: a mobile AI-based app to support online shopping for clothes according to customers’ individual body types.
For some of the participants, the EPIC Incubation Program was their first hands-on experience with building a startup.
“At EPIC, we are provided with the facilities, as well as the necessary knowledge, skills, networking opportunities, and motivation for successfully launching our entrepreneurial journey,” noted Kima Arakelyan of the Zleenk startup.
A replay of the EPIC Demo Day presentations is available online.
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.