The fifth cycle of the Startup Initiatives program was launched
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- From 3 to 7 August, within the 5th cycle of the program to support youth start-up initiatives, implemented by a joint project of the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations and the UN Development Program "Promotion of Youth Employment in Uzbekistan", trainings were held for 128 start-ups. projects from Andijan, Namangan, Fergana, Syrdarya, Jizzakh and Samarkand regions.
In the near future, similar seminars and trainings will also be organized in other regions of the republic for 273 project teams selected based on the results of the competition.
In this cycle, the program is conducted online for the first time and covers all regions of Uzbekistan. Despite the restrictions associated with the pandemic, a record 905 applications were received, up 38% from the previous cycle.
With a small analysis of the statistics of project participants based on the results of the peer review and interview stage, the following interesting information was obtained:
out of 273 projects that passed the educational course, over 50% (or 144) were initiated by active students from higher educational institutions;
122 projects (45%) are at the idea stage, another 121 (44%) already have a prototype, 30 (11%) projects have been launched and they already have their first customers and sales;
each project team has an average of 3 members. The ratio of male to female participants is 4 to 1.
By providing a link between the educational and private sectors, the support program contributes to the creation of an effective interaction mechanism for the search, selection and testing of promising ideas, technologies and youth projects that meet the needs of the parties, and the development of the country's innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Innovative Development, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan, the Khokimiyat of Tashkent, IT centers, the International Westminster University in Tashkent, DataSite Technology, coworking centers are also involved in the implementation of the program this year. Ground Zero and C-Space.
"EdTech" are the most popular directions for young people - 52 projects, followed by "Trade and Services" - 51 projects. The top three popular directions are closed by "Social Technologies" - 26 projects. This year, young people also see the prospects for the development of start-ups in the areas of "AgroTech and FoodTech" and "Transport and logistics services".
The support program kicked off with an intensive two-day workshop where participants learned the basics of launching a startup using the Lean Startup methodology. After the educational part, young startups moved on to the practical implementation of their project - drawing up a "roadmap" for project development, testing the value propositions of their projects, studying the needs of the target audience, creating working models and testing "manual" sales.
Trackers will guide and advise projects during the program, i.e. experienced mentors who accompany the development of the team and advise on how to achieve the set goals. Over the next month, master classes and expert consultations of specialized experts and successful entrepreneurs on various issues of implementing start-up projects will be organized for the participants.
This year, in addition to Tashkent, individual seminars and educational programs, tracking of trackers, master classes and expert consultations will be held in all regions of the country online, in which more than 273 youth projects are planned to participate. Upon completion of the regional stage of the program, the best projects selected by the expert group will have the opportunity to present their projects in the final “Demo Day”.
The support program is implemented by a joint project of the United Nations Development Program and the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations (MLTO) "Promotion of youth employment in Uzbekistan" with financial support from the Russian Federation in cooperation with the Agency for Youth Affairs, the Yoshlar Kelajagimiz Foundation, the Center for Support of Youth Entrepreneurship, the Technological Park software products and information technologies (IT-Park).
The best 40 projects across the country, based on the results of the final presentations of their projects, will receive targeted grants of up to 50 million soums for the implementation of their startups (up to 3 projects from each region and up to 10 projects in Tashkent). Grants are provided by the Yoshlar-kelajagimiz Foundation and the United Nations Development Program in Uzbekistan at the expense of funds allocated by the Government of Japan to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.