07:26 | 02.05.16 | Articles | exclusive 5438

#TechApril with Harutyun Arakelyan

Itel.am continues the #TechMonth series: at the end of each month, Armenian IT specialists will conclude the month, speaking about Armenian and international tech achievements, as well as gains of their own company.

We sum up technological April with Penny founder Harutyun Arakelyan. The Penny app, which is a financial advisor and assistant in saving money, participated in the 10-day HyeTech Entrepreneur Immersion Program for Armenian startups in Silicon Valley, as well as made first steps on the American market.

# TechApril in Penny

The participation in the Entrepreneur Immersion Program organized by HyeTech group on April 1-9 in San Francisco was very important for us. The program aimed to introduce Armenian startups to local processes of the Silicon Valley. The days were rich, filled with meetings with representatives of IT industry.

The classes mostly focused on how to present a startup to investors and potential users, find financial sources, understand the legal matters of founding and registering a startup company in USA.

Communication with IT persons - entrepreneurs, investors and people from local Armenian IT community was especially important for me. Only here you realize the importance of being open, - you’re open in expressing your thoughts, sharing your ideas, listening to opinions, and what the matters the most you’re open in discussing your product with conditional users and understanding their problems. You have to do it quickly, as they say there - “fail fast”.

Penny has been in alpha testing phase since January in the U.S. Testing is mainly done by students in America, as they are in the age group targeted by the application. We mostly received positive feedback till now, which is rather encouraging.

We’ll launch the iOS version of the app in June.

We’re finishing the registration of the company at the moment and holding negotiations on cooperation with a number of American banks. Furthermore, we reached agreements with two of them to include Penny in their banking systems.

We’ll have the first agreements signed in the first half of June. Owing to that, users’ saving accounts will be deposited in those banks, and each will have insurance of USD 250,000 provided by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It will allow to ensure the highest security for the users, which will increase trust for the application.

A number of investors show rather strong interest, and we stay in touch with them.

#TechApril in Armenia

I have to touch upon HyeTech Showcase again, because I believe it was the biggest event of the month in Armenian IT community. In my opinion this event of April 9 at Berkeley University, organized by Roger Strauch and Nerses Ohanyan, was called to unite Armenian IT community and show that Armenian companies have something to say on the global market, and it’s important to unite on our way to it. It wasn’t for nothing that over 200 entrepreneurs, investors and Armenians from around the world participated in the event.

HIVE Pitch Competition took place during the event, where Penny participated as well. The winner was Armacad.

#TechApril in the world

Top two events of April were related to Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. The first one was the presentation of the Tesla Model 3 car. 

According to Musk, it will be one of the safest cars in the world. It will appear in the market in 2017 and cost starting from USD 35,000.

The second event of no less importance is related to SpaceX. Its Falcon 9 missile made the first successful landing on the drone ship in the ocean.

I consider these two events to be very important achievements for the humankind. They prove that startup companies can do even impossible things with their confident vision and persistence. Tesla managed to throw a gage to the whole car industry working on combustion engine and succeed (which I believe), and SpaceX managed to become the first private company in history to make space flights with such super-countries as USA, Russia and China.

Narine Daneghyan