09:55 | 13.11.15 | Interviews | exclusive 10155

Israeli entrepreneur. Armenia is on the path of becoming a tech center

Today, Dilijan hosts “Armenia 20.18-2018: Armenia among the 20 most Innovative Countries” 2-day business innovation  forum.

The forum is organized by Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE, BetConstruct is  the general sponsor of the event.

One of the keynote speakers  is a top Israeli entrepreneur Elena Donets. She is also the Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Portal of StarTau University, Israel. She provides corporate consultations to companies on creation of innovation centers and implementation of acceleration programs.

Itel.am talked to Elena Donets before the forum started.

-Mrs. Donets, before arriving in Yerevan, what do you know about Armenian startup ecosystem. Can you name any Armenian startups that are interesting for you?

-Armenia has a Microsoft center dedicated to assisting startups and entrepreneurs achieve their goals. Intel has a development center as well, making the ecosystem well suited for growth and leading innovation. There are several innovation centers that produce startups and I think there's a great basis for development in the area. A startup that pops out is obviously Reddit, it's a proof that great things can come from Armenia if given the right encouragement (edit. - Reddit is an American portal, co- founded by Alexis Ohanian).

-Being one of the leading Israeli entrepreneurs have you ever witnessed any interest before from Armenian startups towards Israel’s startup market?

-I've yet to hear about interest from Armenia towards Israel, but a lot of countries in the region (Azerbaijan, Georgia) are beginning to link up with Israeli innovation, so Armenia should pick up!

-Would you advice Armenian startups to enter Israel’s market?

-Yes. Israel has a lot of knowledge, some in areas no one else has (i.e. agriculture, cyber), and we love to transfer this knowledge abroad and help whoever we can. Israelis can be mentors, business partners and even investors in some cases.

-Do you think Armenia has the potential to become a regional tech hub and what steps would you recommend for that?

-Indeed. As it already has big names like intel and Microsoft operating locally, it's on the way. What needs to be done is going bottom – up, creating as many programs to encourage entrepreneurship in youth, students etc.

-What would be your 3 main advices to Armenian startups?

a.    Think global from the start; aim your product at the world markets.
b.    Don't be afraid to fail, you'll succeed a lot more!
c.    Get advice and help from anyone you can.

Narine Daneghyan talked to Elena Donets