Startup in Uzbekistan raised $650k, while Georgian innovators go to Italy

25 May, 2022

Tax breaks for three more startups in Azerbaijan and UN assistance for women entrepreneurs – these and other news  are there in the weekly digest of Startup Central Eurasia.

Azerbaijan issues startup certificates to several more SMEs

According to Azernews, Azerbaijani Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA) under the Ministry of Economy issued startup certificates to three more SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). The certificates were issued for projects of online organization of legal consulting services (E-legal LLC);  intermediary service for organizing online psychologist services (Psikhosan LLC);  platform for online sale of agricultural products of individual entrepreneur Javad Ibrahimli. According to the SMBDA, the number of SMEs in Azerbaijan which received startup certificates has reached 42. A startup certificate exempts SMEs from paying income tax and tax on income from innovation activities for a period of three years from the date of its receipt.

Two Georgian young innovators awarded study at Italian innovation hub

During the Italian Innovation and Research Day in Tbilisi, Mariam Maisuradze and Davit Danelia won a Georgian innovation competition and received a scholarship for a trip to Italy, reports Agenda.ge. The competition was held within the framework of an agreement between the Italian Foundation for Technological Innovation (COTEC) and the Georgian Agency for Innovation and Technology (GITA). The startups will go to the Digital Academy for the Promotion of Innovation, Scientific Cooperation and Internationalisation (SPICI) for 3 months to develop solutions for the digital transformation of companies and public administrations.

25 women entrepreneurs from across Europe and Central Asia meet potential investors at the “Investors Pitch Finale”

UN Women announced that female startups including those from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova met with investors and businessmen and presented their early-stage projects with MVP and business projects. Before that, women participated in the workshops that provided a framework to learn about developing an effective Investors Pitch, defining different components of the Business Model Canvas, creating Efficient Presentation Techniques and preparing to answer Potential Investor Questions. Women entrepreneurs also had the opportunity to work individually with their dedicated Entrepreneur Coaches.

Quest Ventures leads Uzbekistan SaaS firm’s $650k raise

Uzbekistan-based Billz, a retail business management software, has raised $650,000 in a funding round led by Quest Ventures, TechinAsia informs. Sturgeon Capital also returned after making a $150,000 investment in an earlier round. This will fund the firm’s expansion plans within the Commonwealth of Independent States as it grows its development team and marketing efforts. Billz provides point of sale, inventory management, customer relationship management, ecommerce, and analytics services with SMEs as its target users. It also links to social media platforms’ marketplaces. Ecommerce in Uzbekistan is considered to be in its early stages. The platform aims to address digital pain points for business growth within developing countries, saying that unstable data connection, unmanaged processes, lack of digital education, and low access to financial services have been the main blockers.

The finalists of mGovAward were determined in IT Park Uz

IT Park Uz announced  the interim results of its $100,000 mGovAward public services mobile app development competition. mGovAward is a mobile app development competition for public services with a prize fund of $100,000. A total of 104 applications were submitted and 20 teams made it to the final. Among them are Braille Recognition, a mobile application for recognition of Braille characters from images captured with a smartphone camera (without using special equipment); Metaverse Medic, an educational platform for those interested in medicine, which can be used to see parts of the human body in AR and 3D views; Uzdevs, an online platform for learning programming and other startups. The finals of the competition will be held on 4 June.