Startup Ecosystem Program in Turkmenistan

Yuriy Aronsky

Head of Union of Economists of Turkmenistan

In modern conditions, it is no longer natural resources, but science and education that determine the progress of any country. The key factors here include applying the intellectual potential of society and introducing scientific achievements in the economic sector. This process is based on the use of advanced technologies, basic and applied research.
In Turkmenistan, science and education are instrumental for building the capacity of state capabilities, as well as the driving force of society development. To increase the competitiveness of the national economy, in 2018 the government developed and approved the Concept for the Development of the Digital Economy until 2025, with the creation of innovative IT products playing important role.
We are starting a pilot program for creating startups – the search and development of new ideas for the economy. The goal of the program is to expand the potential of the innovation market in Turkmenistan through interaction with successful mentoring companies, allowing to provide these companies with the necessary knowledge and skills for their successful activity in this direction in the future. In addition, we hope to improve the conditions for the development of youth business and create more new high-tech jobs.
It should be noted, that both local and foreign experts (in online mode) will evaluate the results of the mentoring work performed by the companies and startups created under their auspices.

Co-organizers

Overview

“Startup Ecosystem Creation” is a pilot project of the “Startup Ecosystem” program. The program is carried out by the National Public Association “The Union of Economists of Turkmenistan” with the support of two projects of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – USAID Enriching Youth for Tomorrow, implemented in Turkmenistan by JA Worldwide, and Future Growth Initiative, implemented by the Palladium Group.

The program is aimed at creating and developing a business acceleration services market in the country. This, in turn, will lead to an improvement in the conditions for the development of innovative youth entrepreneurship and to creation of new employment opportunities.
Within the framework of the pilot project, six mentoring companies will select 90-100 young people aspiring to become entrepreneurs and having original innovative business ideas.

During the next phase, mentoring companies will play the role of business academies where participants in the program will pass a series of trainings and webinars on the basics of business, forming business ideas and teams, product development and other topics. Then, mentoring companies will select participants for the acceleration phase, combining seminars, consultations and mentoring by leading national and international experts. The project finale will be a competition for the best startup project with participation of two or three startup projects from each mentoring company.


Stages of the “Startup ecosystem creation” project:
1. Attraction and selection of participants
2. Education phase (“Academy”)
3. Acceleration phase
4. Semifinal of the competition for the best startup project (“selection day”)
5. Final competition for the best startup project (“Demo Day”)


As a result of the pilot project, six mentoring companies will gain experience and methodological skills in selecting, organizing and working with young entrepreneurs in creating new companies. 100 young people aged 18 to 30 will receive entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills. 10 start-up projects will be developed and launched, creaating 30 new jobs for young people in small businesses. The strategic result is the creation of the infrastructure and programme of the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan to support business incubators and business accelerators for startups.

Mentoring companies

Aydyn Netije ES was established in March 2015. The main activity of the company is management consulting, outstaffing services, outsourcing services for HR, office work, accounting, and other related administrative business processes for local and foreign companies operating in the market of Turkmenistan. Our experts advise, assist and support clients on issues of business in Turkmenistan.
Our main clients work in various sectors of the economy, such as oil and gas sector, construction, logistics, wholesale, services.
We follow our principles of building long-term relationships with our clients and providing high quality service and accurate deadlines.
Our goal is not only to provide services to our clients, but to become a company with which they can build long-term cooperation based on trust.
The structure of our company is organized in a way to provide an opportunity for clients to contact our specialists and partners directly at any time. The range of knowledge and experience of our key staff covers the issues of doing business in various sectors of the economy, which guarantees the effectiveness and practical value of our consulting.
Currently, we are developing the direction of business trainings within our company.


Startup program page
Contact information: Natalia Eremenko 414263/66; +99365857894,
e-mail: natalieremenko@outlook.com

Akylly Tilsimat is a dynamically developing company that successfully manages a number of independent departments that differ not only in functionality, but also in fundamental approach in building business processes. Our team consists of young specialists, whose potential allows us to take a fresh look at solving standard problems.
We are a broad-based company that offers a range of services that a business needs, from the creation of an idea to its implementation and stability. Our company makes a great contribution to the development of the digital industry. We create a business community in which it is interesting to work and live.

Startup program page
@mentelekechi
Contact information: Fatima Bakhetgareeva +99365102284 f.bahetgareyeva@akyllytilsimat.com

Geek Space is a platform for ICT startups. The main goal is to support young professionals in the development, acceleration and implementation of ICT products on the market.


Startup program page
Contact information: Maksat Astankulov, +99365817287, +99365626535

MCT Agency (Netijelilik ES) is a consulting company operating in Turkmenistan for 20 years (since 2000), leading company in the consulting market in Turkmenistan.
MCT Agency presents consulting services in accordance with international standards and professional codes of ethics. The directions of activity of MCT Agency are assistance to clients in the following areas: strategy and development of the company; human resource management; marketing and investment consulting; preparation of the company for export; development and implementation of management systems according to ISO standards.
MCT Agency has 10 years of experience working with startups. We helped founders and investors analyze more than 30 business ideas, and assisted in opening of more than 10 new businesses.

Startup program page
Contact information: Daniil Maykovskiy, +99361130225, 220807 maykovskiy@mctagency.com

Orlan IE is the first recruiting agency on the territory of Turkmenistan with state confirmation of the right to provide personnel services as a legal entity. Founded in early 2007, the company is a full member of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Industrialists of Turkmenistan, as well as the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan. Orlan offers companies and citizens of Turkmenistan services for organizing and conducting trainings, consulting projects, employment services, recruitment, outstaffing and outsourcing.
Leaders and actively developing participants of the World and Turkmen economies trust us. More than 4500 international and national companies operating in the territory of Turkmenistan are among the regular customers of Orlan.


Startup program page
Contact information: Jahan Hanova, тел. +99363597990, e-mail: training@orlan.org

The closed joint-stock company “Turkmen IT Park” was established in July 2019 by the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan and its members in order to actively participate in the implementation of the Concept for the Development of the Digital Economy in Turkmenistan.
The shareholder companies of Turkmen IT Park have been providing services in Turkmenistan for the development and implementation of IT projects, outsourcing, consulting, cybersecurity, robotics, and education for many years.
The Mission:
To promote the digital economy development within the framework of the state policy of digitalization in Turkmenistan
Objectives:
• Active participation in digitalization projects,
• Assistance in improving competencies in the field of digitalization,
• Assistance in the development of innovative small and medium-sized businesses,
• Strengthening links between science, industry and business.
Current activity:
• Establishment of a training center for the Turkmen IT park,
• E-learning system development,
• Active participation in government digitalization projects,
• Expansion of the base of partners and future clients; Cooperation with public organizations WomenTech and Google Developer Group has been organized.


Startup program page
Contact Information: Redjep Mahmudov, +99365811253, mredjep@gmail.com

Frequently asked questions

A startup is a young company founded by one or more entrepreneurs to develop a unique product or service and bring it to market. By its nature, the typical startup tends to be a shoestring operation, with initial funding from the founders or their friends and families.

A business accelerator is both a program that gives startup and developing companies access to mentorship, investors and other support to help them become stable, self-sufficient businesses, and an organization providing such a program.

Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. It is a learning and development partnership between someone with vast experience and someone who wants to learn.

A serial entrepreneur is an entrepreneur who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses. As opposed to a typical entrepreneur, who will often come up with an idea, start the company, and then see it through and play an important role in the day to day functioning of the new company, a serial entrepreneur will often come up with the idea and get things started, but then give responsibility to someone else and move on to a new idea and a new venture.

An angel investor (also known as a business angel, informal investor, angel funder, private investor, or seed investor) is an individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Angel investors usually give support to start-ups at the initial moments (where risks of the start-ups failing are relatively high) and when most investors are not prepared to back them

Business pitch is a brief presentation that provides an overview of your business, whether it’s showcasing your product, sharing your business model, giving a look into your monetization strategy, and introducing your team. The classic pitch is one delivered by startup founders to potential investors. That same pitch is also used in business classrooms and business plan and venture competitions, in which students and startup founders pitch to judges, who are usually investors.

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business ideas
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Consultants and Experts

Azat Seitmukhamedov
Founder and Director of the Arzuw NEWS Agency
He is also the founder of one of the largest online stores in Turkmenistan, Wabrum.com. Has extensive experience in e-commerce and e-marketing consulting. Since 2012, he has been a consultant partner of the EBRD under the BAS (Business Advisory Services) program, under which he has implemented more than 20 e-commerce projects. Has experience in public speaking at international events such as the Go Viral festival, the InternetCA forum and the OSCE Central Asian Media Conference.
Max Gurvits
US/European Entrepreneur and Investor
Graduated as a lawyer, Max founded an online legal services company in Amsterdam in 2008. In 2011, he sold the business and moved to Bulgaria, where he was on the founding team of one of the biggest regional tech acceleration programs Eleven Startup Accelerator. Active in Europe and the Middle East as startup advisor and angel investor, Max has organized over 12 TRACTION Camp series of events since 2014, connecting startups and investors. In 2016, Max joined Cross Border Angels as Director for CEE and MENA. In 2020, Max has launched a new EUR 20m seed-stage venture capital fund for CEE; Vitosha Venture Partners based in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Vepa Ashirov
Legal Counsel, Trainer in Business Law
Has more than seven years of experience in teaching legal disciplines in higher educational institutions of Turkmenistan and the School of Entrepreneurship of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan. Completed postgraduate studies in civil law. He is an author of a number of scientific articles. Participated in dozens of trainings conducted in Turkmenistan, and currently he himself successfully conducts trainings.
Sabina Ismailova
Business Trainer / Consultant
Has been involved in consulting since 2006, including activities in the field of audit of financial statements, financial analysis, development of business plans and financial forecasts. Collaborates with more than 60 local and foreign companies, as well as international organizations / projects such as USAID/JA Worldwide project, EBRD. Since 2015, she is a member of the Department of Consultants of the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan. Has a teaching experience since 1998 till the present, including conduct of lectures / seminars at Turkmen State University, teaching at the School of Business at the UIET, cooperation with international projects of Pragma Corporation, Counterpart Turkmenistan, USAID/JA Worldwide, and others.
Zhenya Rozinskiy
US-based Entrepreneur, Investor, and a Startup Junkie
Educated in mathematics and physics, Zhenya turned his skills into software engineering and later from engineering to business of software. Since the start of his career in 1991, he founded a number of product and service companies and is considered a go to expert for distributed development teams. During his career he helped build and grow companies of different sizes and maturity levels from startups in areas of healthcare, real estate, e-commerce, SaaS, and others to launching new products for household names such as Visa, Ticketmaster, Experian and others. Since 2014 Zhenya has been actively involved in the Eastern European startup ecosystem as an angel investor and advisor helping companies scale their products and launch them in the United States.

Mentors

Akmammedov Akmammed

Economist – entrepreneur Director of the first insurance broker in Turkmenistan 15 years of experience in the banking industry of Turkmenistan. Contributed the number of analytic articles to the state periodicals of Turkmenistan. Active member of Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan. Currently engaged in business in such areas as insurance, finance, construction and agriculture both at a national level and at an international level. Adheres to the principle of healthy lifestyle.

Brian
Marrinan

Brian Marrinan is an investor, international speaker and innovation leader. He created the world’s first Fintech incubator in Boston, USA, 20 years ago, and then went on to establish the first startup accelerator in Ireland 14 years ago. Brian is now the Managing Partner of Journey Partners, a specialist innovation company focused on assisting start-ups to scale and internationalise, and larger organisations, both public and private, with internal innovation. They have built the world’s first Aviation Leasing innovation lab, the first aviation and travel innovation lab in Latin America (www.VivaAirLabs.com) and several other programs. Brian has also invested in 19 companies internationally through the Propeller Shannon fund.

George
Dimitriou

Advisor at the Alexander Innovation Zone S.A. He has an M.Sc. in Mathematics & Computer Science, from the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany and a Business Administration degree from the University in New Orleans, U.S.A. George has extensive and significant experience (over 35 years):
· As Project Director, Team Leader or Expert of large international donor technical assistance projects in 20 countries,
· In policy, planning, human resources, risk management, Governance structures, and monitoring and evaluation of development programs and projects,
· In design, implementation and evaluation of ICT Systems, e-government (Tax and Customs organizations), e-business,
· In capacity building including training and the development of training material in Information Technology and Business Planning in public bodies in transition countries.

Olga
Troyan

CEO of Startup «Imagery Ward". She is a professional lawyer for over 11 years. She has 5 years of management experience. She has been a mentor for over 12 years. Many of her mentees have become lawyers, judges, managers. She has curated and advised startups (FakesKiller; NASA Space Challenge Dnipro app, etc.). She is a jack of all trades. She participated and learned more than 40 different skills (psychology, photography, public speaking, etc.).

Nenad
Nikolin

Serial entrepreneur, business consultant and startup mentor. Co-founder and CEO of the ICT consulting company Fractal Dimension, which specializes in planning, managing and supervising projects. He is specialized in designing and planning projects in the field of business process optimization and application of new technologies and solutions in modern business. He works as business consultant for startups Anoris technology, ECG4Everybody, ServerBytes, Race Duels. The total value invested in startups in which he is business consultant or mentor is 500KEUR. Founder and CEO of CCS Solutions, a company specializing in the development of software solutions and mobile applications. Founder of startups CouchCoach, MojeVino, MojaVizitKarta, S&N Winehouse, Zelena Maska/Green Mask. CouchCoach is a participant in the Euroleague TechChallenge 2018 in Barcelona and was selected in the TOP8 European startups in Vienna, at the B2B Software Days 2019.

Amanmuradov Bayram

Lawyer, entrepreneur and investor. Founder of the "Degirmen Group" company. He started his business activities in Turkmenistan and Russia since 2006, as the founder of a company for the import of fasteners to Russia from China, Taiwan and Poland. Over a 14-year period, he participated in a number of projects related to construction, production, trade and agriculture. The Degirmen Group operates in trade, greenhouse, textiles, food processing and commercial real estate.

Daniel
Zaretsky

is an American entrepreneur who has worked many years in Central Asia and founded and has run Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Tajikistan. GEW takes place in 170 countries. As well, he was on the team that wrote the plan for the Ministry of Innovative Development of Uzbekistan and is the Co-Founder of World Influencers Network (WIN). In 2019, WIN held the first-ever World Influencers Congress, which took place in Uzbekistan. 100 leading influencers from 40 countries came to Uzbekistan to shoot content to promote tourism to Uzbekistan and the resulting content has had millions of views on various social media and a multi-million dollar media value.

Kyrylo
Skyba

Founder of RD-Lab Since 2004 he has been engaged in project management for high-tech solutions. Since 2008, he has also been involved in the management of developments in the field of wireless technologies and their subsequent support in production. Since 2015, he has opened his own company for the development and support of projects and production. He helps companies to manage projects related to development and production. He has 2 higher educations - economic and technical in the field of radio electronics.

Robert Alexandriysky

Mr. Robert Alexandriysky is a private sector development advisor with over a decade of experience in development projects in Eastern Europe and Africa. He brings world class knowledge from field work with businesses, mezzo level, government and international organizations. He was involved in competitiveness projects in Bulgaria, Moldova and Nigeria. Mr. Alexandriysky worked as entrepreneur in Mozambique (3 years) and in Bulgaria (15 years) and as a lecturer in China (6 years), before he started consulting apparel and handcraft manufacturers in Tunisia (2013), China (2014), Kosovo (2014/2017), Ethiopia (2015/2016), Uganda (2018), Ghana (2019), and Nigeria (2019).

Marat
Smagin

Owner of FBROKER.UZ. Has mixed experience in creating and managing existing sales systems for over 16 years. He has a combined base of 22 million clients under his personal marketing management. Under his leadership, 47 current leaders during the period of work reached the level of top managers. In his portfolio there are 6 projects with "0" and the current re-engineering of Contact centers in the CIS, and 2 capital and 9 republican sales systems with "0". He is competent in strategic marketing, restarting the Company's paradigm in terms of market share in key metrics and synchronizing to overall strategy; organizing and reformatting the existing processes in the Company, based on the objectives of the owner or structural changes in the CIS markets; and also has a “playing coach” approach to work, within the existing Company in terms of the implementation of commercial development tools

Agamurad Bayramov

CEO of Nur Asia Group of Companies based in Turkmenistan, which was established in 2009. Nur Asia Group is a general manufacturing and trading company which grew out of his previous distribution company. In 2017 Agamurad began a first water heater production in Turkmenistan. In 2016, Nur Asia mainly business sector is Heating distribution for domestic market. Nur Asia is exclusive distributor worldwide brand Ariston. Group established a factory in Turkmenistan for manufacturing wet wipes under brand “Deniz”. Agamurad holds BA in physics-mathematics from State University of Turkmenistan

Dritan
Mezini

The founder and the Executive Director of DM Consulting Services (www.dm-consulting.biz) in Albania and in Kosovo. He is also the founder of the well-known online job portal www.duapune.com. Dritan holds a Bachelor of Science in C.S and two Master degrees – MBA and MPM from US universities. Dritan lived in the USA starting from 1996 till early 2004. Dritan is active in the majority of digital transformation, startup, entrepreneurship and innovation activities in Albania, Kosovo and in the region. He has participated as a juror and mentor in many startup activities in Albania and in the region.

Marina
Shellest

Co-founder of a hardware startup with a $ 500K investment She worked 2 years in Silicon Valley. Marina has 7+ years of experience in service IT companies. She studied at Stanford University

Arian
Stipić

Digital Transformation Advisor Digital Transformation Advisor officially certified for Digital Business Transformation Management with more than two decades of experience in managing enterprise and solution architectures and leading global teams to envision, architect, design, deliver and coordinate digital transformation projects and solutions in medium (+5M$), large (+25M$) and mega (+100M$) projects. More than 20 years of experience in combination of management, executive level consulting, presales, sales and software development activities with emphasis on advisory, IT strategy consulting, business development and program management. Supervised and managed small and medium-sized (up to 50 people) multinational teams. Whenever possible, more orientated towards long term strategy, context, outcomes and benefits as opposed to short term tactics, content, outputs and deliverables.

Olga
Goldina

CEO at Startup Kharkiv, 1st municipal startup center in Ukraine. She is an expert at the Ukrainian Startup Fund, Chapter Director at Startup Grind, as well as the Ukraine Ambassador at Future Females and Co-Founder at Ukrainian Hub. Entrepreneur Olga Goldina founded her 1st startup still in 2008. Olga is often engaged as a mentor for startups at pre-seed and seed stages, both in Ukraine and aboard. Has 15+ years of experience in marketing, communications, business development, project management, investor relations, partnership, team building.