On December 21, 2021, within the framework of the “Youth Forum of Uzbekistan 2021”, the final event “Demo day” of the 5th cycle of the program to support youth innovative ideas and start-up projects “Startup Initiatives” was held, at which 40 of the most promising start-up projects from all over the republic received monetary rewards as gratuitous investments for the development of their startups.
“Startup Initiatives” is a comprehensive program designed to support the development (acceleration) of innovative ideas and start-up projects of young people, in particular students of higher educational institutions and graduates of vocational colleges and lyceums.
Online acceptance of applications for participation in the 5th cycle of the support program beat the results of previous cycles of the program in terms of the number of applications received. For participation in the program, 905 applications were received from all regions of the republic, which is 38% more than in the previous cycle. The total number of young people participating in the projects, including team members, was 1972 people, of which 559 were girls.
Based on a study of the applications received, the team of experts selected 601 projects, which were interviewed online using the Zoom program.
Based on the interview results, 247 teams from Tashkent and the regions got the opportunity to take part in an educational program, during which the participants learned the basics of launching startups, regularly worked with trackers (individual business mentors), attended master classes and consultations of qualified experts and successful entrepreneurs, were able to improve their projects through the Accelerator.uz platform.
92 teams successfully passed to the final of the acceleration program and had the opportunity to present their projects to experts online. A group of experts selected 40 of the most promising start-up projects from all over the republic (from 2 to 5 projects from each region) to be awarded at the final event “Demo day”, which was held on December 21 within the framework of the “Youth Forum of Uzbekistan 2021″in the building of the Ministry of Innovative Development.
Targeted grant funds in the amount of 1.0 billion soums were allocated by the Yoshlar-kelajagimiz Foundation and USD 100 000 by a joint project of the UN Development Program and the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations “Promoting Youth Employment in Uzbekistan”. Demo Day speakers also received free passes from the C-Space and Ground Zero coworking centers.
The fifth cycle of the support programme of youth innovative ideas and start-up projects “Startup Initiatives” is being implemented in cooperation with the Agency for Youth Affairs and the “Yoshlar-kelajagimiz” Foundation within the framework of a joint project of UNDP and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations “Promoting Youth Employment in Uzbekistan” financed by the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Japan.