07:24 | 01.06.16 | Articles | exclusive 9334

#TechMay with Al Eisaian

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 May with businessman Al Eisaian, founder and CEO of US based IntelinAir company.

#TechMay for Armenian IT

I know that a couple of investments for Armenian tech companies happened in May. I think the news will be announced soon.

I live in two cities - Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, and I see that almost every week someone from Armenia comes there. This was the thing we were advocating for years, that it doesn’t matter how many people come from there to Armenia and talk about importance and tools of founding a startup unless you go there even for one week. It opens your eyes, and you see how things in Silicon Valley actually work.

Al Eisaian gives a lecture at Impact Hub Yerevan

I won’t mention any specific events of this month. I want to talk more about the peculiarities of Silicon Valley.

It’s the epicenter of everything, and if you want to achieve something, you need to be there.

One of the biggest news for me from the recent months was that Wakie got included in Y Combinator’s acceleration program.

I would like to note that Armenian entrepreneurs are becoming bolder. What is different is that there is so much noise in Silicon Valley, so many announcements and meet-ups that it sometimes does not let you concentrate on your product. Being in Armenia lets you focus on your own product development. The amount of noise in Silicon Valley is crazy. Armenia has that advantage.

I think if you want to go to foreign markets, you need to take a year, build some staff, raise a little bit of capital in Armenia, and then possible go to Israel, it’s my recommendation. It’s closer than Silicon Valley. You may go to Silicon Valley any time, but do it only when you are really ready for that.

I have to note that prices for living are crazy in San Francisco and in neighborhood.

The U.S. market continues to be the easiest and at the same time the toughest market. It’s the easiest in terms of entering, but it’s difficult to go on. 

I’ll pinpoint Iran among new markets, it’s next door to Armenia, and it has wonderful technology traditions.

Armenian startups need to learn to build for very specific markets. Initially be very specific, don’t follow facts. Yes, they say wearable technologies are hot, that’s great, but it doesn’t mean you need to do that, maybe you have better ideas that are not trendy now.

#TechMay in the world

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop received major investment of USD 80 million in venture capital funding. This was also big news for May. 

The company announced that it is changing its name, and is now called Hyperloop One. It’s a conceptual high-speed transportation system. The first test track was done in Nevada this month.

#TechMay for Al Eisaian

I started to read 2 books in May. The first one is called “Sprint”, written by 3 partners at Google Ventures. The book reveals surprising ideas. It tells that solving big challenges requires less time than you thought, individuals develop better solutions than teams, and that you can test anything in a week and get the real picture.

“Sprint” presents behind-the-scenes stories of the most successful American startups, telling how they solved difficult issues in a short period of time.

The second book is “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. The author of the book is Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics. Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions.

I am currently working on my own startup, which is connected with Artificial intelligence  and image. I cannot open many brackets yet.

P.S. Several more events of May we’d like to tell about.

- Silicon Valley Open Doors (SVOD) technology investment conference 25-26 May, where TreeScale Armenian startup received an opportunity to pitch.

- The 5th anniversary of MIC Armenia.

- Big Data Science competition-hackaton took place in Armenia for the first time - Armenia Big Data.

- Armenian Immersive Education Solutions project passed the final stage of GIST Tech (Global Innovation through Science and Technology) contest, getting an opportunity to present their product in Silicon Valley.

- Startup Armenia launched the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem map of Armenia

- Armenian-British WICASTR Limited became one of 12 European startups to be picked for participation in ChallengeUP! joint acceleration program of Intel, Deutsches Telekom and Cisco.

Narine Daneghyan