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Winners of the Armenia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition Have Been Announced

Armenia StartUp Cup Helps to Shape Business Models for New Products in the Armenian Market

November 12, 2012 – Yerevan, Armenia – Today, on November 12, the names of the top three winning business models have been announced from the nearly 11 applicants who first submitted their business model ideas to Armenia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition in September. The award ceremony, which kicked off the first Global Entrepreneurship Week in Armenia, took place at the American University of Armenia (AUA).

The winning Armenia StartUp Cup teams, TECTVM,, and Innovative Greenhouse.

This was the first year for the Armenia StartUp Cup, part of a growing global network of StartUp Cup Business Model Competitions.

The winning team, TECTVM (pronounced “tectum”), developed and introduced a business model for goat cheese production in Armenia. “It is a fully organic product that prevents the dysbiosis and can be used during and after the treatment”, believe the team members.

The 2nd place was took by ArmAudioBooks team, who developed a business model of  “a complete voice talent recording studio with professional staff and tools, specializing in Audio Books, Audio Guides, and other Audio Recordings. The Innovative Greenhouse with a business model of “a unique, patent-pending technology to convert lost energy from natural gas stations into heating to grow fruits, vegetables, and roses in a year-round greenhouse environment” took the 3 rd place.

Since August, the participants were developing and improving their business models. In September, the participants attended an intensive Build-A-Business workshop at AUA, led by the founders of the StartUp Cup from the United States.

“The entrepreneurs of Armenia have inspired us,” says Sean Griffin, CEO and Founder of StartUp Cup. “We look forward to seeing the winners of the 2012 Armenia StartUp Cup impact the economy, grow jobs, and inspire a new generation of Armenia entrepreneurs to follow their dreams by starting their own company.”

The 3 Winners – TECTVM, ArmAudioBooks and Innovative Greenhouse – will receive monetary prizes from the USAID funded Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) Project to assist them in starting and expanding their businesses.

“EDMC support is aimed at developing a competitive process that educates entrepreneurs to design a viable business model, develop relations with potential customers, and accelerate their start-up into the marketplace through a comprehensive competing and coaching process; thus transforming business-models into viable businesses and creating jobs,” says Gayane Dallakyan, EDMC’s Acting Chief of Party.

Armenia StartUp Cup is co-organized by the Association of Technology Startups, USAID/EDMC Project, and the American University of Armenia, and is supported by Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), UITE, Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED), DoIt!Lab, Deem Communications,  and the School for Young Leaders.

CEED will provide a customized training program to the finalists of the competition to enhance their ability to implement their ideas and successfully launch the proposed products and services.  The teams will strengthen their skills in marketing, finance, and other business disciplines and will work on their business plans.  The program will use elements of CEFE methodology (Competency-based Economies through the Formation of Enterprise) and will leverage CEED’s network of mentors to provide further guidance as the participants embark on the entrepreneurial journey.

“Since August, we’ve been watching our participants improve their business models, build teams, test assumptions, and today some of them have already registered their businesses and are developing actual products and services. We share their excitement when we see their dreams come true, and we are even more excited to see them create jobs which are so important to our economy”,  says Hayk Asriyants, the organizer of the competition. “This year’s competition was a huge success, and we are anticipating even greater results at Armenia StartUp Cup 2013.”

About StartUp Cup
StartUp Cup is global network of a locally driven business model competitions open to any type of business idea. StartUp Cup can be replicated in any community and is a proven model to create viable businesses, grow jobs, and enhance entrepreneurial ecosystems. Visit for more information.

About Global Entrepreneurship Week
Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. Over 100 countries joined the GEW this year. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

The USAID-funded Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) Project seeks to improve Armenia’s business environment and support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This five-year project aims to increase employment and income in Armenia by promoting growth in select value chains that have strong export potential – information technologies and engineering services, the hospitality industry, food processing, and pharmaceuticals/biotechnologies.

About the American University of Armenia
The American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia.  Founded in 1991, AUA is affiliated with the University of California.  Through teaching, research, and public service, AUA serves Armenia and the region by supplying high-quality, graduate and undergraduate education, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting democratic values.The AUA is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001.


Armenia StartUp Cup Judges Announce Top 7 Finalists

Congratulations to the Armenia StartUp Cup Top 7 Finalists. The Top 7 advance into the final round of the business model competition and will receive additional coaching and judging.

The Top 7 Finalists are:

Arm Audiobooks
Dazing Systems
Innovative Greenhouse
Isabel Levonian Handmade
Perfume Bubbles
Probiotic Goat Cheese

Armenia StartUp Cup Judges Announce Top 11 Semi Finalists

Congratulations to the Armenia StartUp Cup Top 11 semi finalists. The Top 11 advance into the semi final round of the business model competition and will receive additional coaching and judging.

The Top 11 semi finalists are:

Arm Audiobooks
Dazing Systems
DZO Solutions
Innovative Greenhouse
Isabel Levonian Handmade
Perfume Bubbles
Pro-biotic Goat Cheese
Revitalization Project

StartUp Cup Business Model Competition Launches in Armenia

Armenia StartUp Cup Announced
A business model competition to create jobs

August 17, 2012 – Yerevan, Armenia – The kick-off of the first ever Armenia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition was announced today. Online submissions will be open until September 7th at 11:59p.m. at

StartUp Cup is an international grassroots, locally driven, business model competition open to anyone with any type of business idea. Entrepreneurs receive coaching and mentoring from local seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders throughout the competition.

“This is a great opportunity for Armenia’s entrepreneurial community,” said Hayk Asriyants, the organizer. “Most important, it is a proven model to grow an entrepreneurial ecosystem and comes with the added value of being able to connect with entrepreneurial StartUp Cup organizers from around the globe.”

Armenia Startup Cup is co-organized by the Association of Technology Startups and is supported by Eneterprise Incubator Foundation and CEED Armenia.

“We are very excited about Armenia joining the StartUp Cup community,” said Sean Griffin, CEO of StartUp Cup. “Communities are challenged to support a diverse entrepreneurial climate. StartUp Cup does not glamorize the startup process and moves beyond idea generation programs by focusing on the mechanics of what is required to design and build a business that can last over the long haul.”

Entrepreneurs who participate in the Armenia StartUp Cup Business Model Competition will design a viable business model, develop customers, and accelerate their startup into the marketplace through a comprehensive four-month judging, coaching, and mentoring process. An award celebration will be held in November to announce the winners during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

About Startup Cup
StartUp Cup is an international business model competition designed to provide community-based long-term support to participating local entrepreneurs during their early growth phase. This proven model to build businesses and create jobs can be replicated in any community.  For more information visit



The 98% Entrepreneurship Reality

An Entrepreneurial Renaissance

There is no question about it. It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur wherever you live in the world. There is more attention being given to entrepreneurialism as a viable career path and way to innovate than at any other time in history. We are at the beginning of a full-blown entrepreneurial renaissance.

Organizations and programs that support new technology companies to launch and gain access to the tools, resources, and capital that accelerate building scalable, high growth businesses are being introduced on a daily basis.

Startup programs like Startup Weekend, Lean Startup Machine, TechStars, and YCombinator are highly successful at filtering large numbers of technology companies with mentoring and funding designed to test their business models in an effort to grow big, fast.

Let’s face it, you are hard pressed to go a full day without being fed a news story about a technology company that has raised their first and second multi-million-dollar investment or the latest IPO making the founders into millionaires and billionaires. Very exciting times indeed. At least for those that are able to turn their startup into piles of cash.

Over Promoting Unrealistic Behavior

There is a little known fact behind every startup story that puts a newly funded company on a pedestal, and very few people are talking about it. What is this little know bit of information?

Only 2% of all startups are funded by angels, accelerators, or venture capitalists. Let’s state this in a different way so that it will fully sink in. Only 2% of all startups have a business model, experienced team, connections, and scalability, usually technology based, to raise money from investors.

Funding is for the elite. More and more the funding is going to ivy league college graduates and teams that have a proven track record of generating huge returns for investors.

This means that 98% of all entrepreneurs and startups are not gaining access to the tools, resources, and financing opportunities that will give their new company the opportunity to grow.

It’s Not Always a Technology World

It is time to think different about what it means to be an entrepreneur. The myth is that you have to be a rock star and grow a technology company to be the next Facebook or Google. This does not reflect the true reality of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurialism is a lifestyle, a mindset, a way to live a life with greater purpose and meaning. If we are to overcome the economic challenges we face as a world we need to focus more energy on supporting the 98% of entrepreneurs who are starting new companies.

The challenge is that the 98% do not meet the capitalistic nature of our economy today. That is to say, that they do not have a company that can grow big fast and generate handsome returns for investors. No wonder so many have so much anger towards Wall Street.

The World Needs Small Businesses

The entrepreneurial reality of the 98% is that they are low-tech or no-tech companies, have done little or no planning, are made up of unproven teams, have little to no experience starting a company, and are not graduates of ivy league universities. In addition these companies only require a few thousand dollars to start generating revenue and will only grow 2 – 20 jobs.

Startups do not need to be a technology company. They do not need to change the world. They just need someone with an idea and the passion to take that idea into the market place. Just think about how different the American economy would be if we were giving small business startups a similar level of access to networks, coaching, and team development as the 2%.

We are over promoting unrealistic behavior. Instead of focusing on raising lots of money let’s focus on the development of viable business models that connect with customers willing to pay for the value created by the startup. By focusing on the generation of revenue that drives profitability there is less and less need to raise money.

Small business is at the cornerstone of entrepreneurship. Some will become the next Apple and most will become the next corner drugstore owning their business for 20 years. Both deserve the same support and regard for making a difference in our lives.

StartUp Cup is born out of this frustration to see entrepreneurs armed with any type of idea gain access to the coaching, resources, and tools that the 2% have access to.

It’s time to start celebrating the real heroes of our economy, the 98% who work to make our lives better each and everyday.