Startup Weekend events are well known amongst the entrepreneur community. During this 54 hour event, attendees get to pitch their ideas, form teams and work on their startups.
Since the first Startup Weekend began in Tehran in September 2012, Iran’s startup ecosystem has flourished rapidly. The tremendous impact this program has had on educating the young entrepreneurial enthusiasts in Iran, is undeniable.
Iran Entrepreneurship Association (IEA), the official representative of the Startup Weekends, is the main organizer of the event. So far 62 events have been held across the country with the support of The Innovation Acceleration Center of the Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology and a number of universities, NGOs and institutions. Not to forget that behind every Startup Weekend event, there’s a team of passionate volunteers who work hard to make these events happen.
“Startup Weekend is a great way to learn how to validate your ideas, work with others and taste what it’s really like to start your own business.”, says Iman Davoudian, Iran’s Startup Weekend Country Manager.
This year for the first time, 5 startup weekends were held in Tehran simultaneously. The 5 universities of Science and Technology, Tehran, Sharif, Beheshti and Amir Kabir were hosts to this event.
7 teams out of the total 13, who won the first place during the events held around the country in March, were given a chance to attend the TEDxKish event. The teams got to pitch their ideas there, and 7 of which were granted a full scholarship to attend the iBridges conference in Berlin. After the iBridges, 2 of the teams were selected for a tour around Silicon Valley to visit some of the companies there.
The innovation Acceleration Center started its work in June 2014. IEA and The innovation Acceleration Center plan to organize 100 Startup Weekend events, with each event consisting of at least 100 attendees in the next three years as the “100×100 project”.
There are many well-known startups that were initially formed at Startup Weekends. Here are 3 of them:
Mamanpaz: found in 2014, this website has a network of mom chefs at home. The chefs cook food and deliver them to their online customers who prefer homemade food.
Packfood: This website is an online food order service in the city of Ahvaz. You can choose your food from the online menu, compare different places and share your recommendations with other users.
2nate: A crowdfunding platform where everyone can easily create a campaign and start raising funds for their project or cause. After the Startup Weekend, 2nate joined Avatech’s first acceleration cycle.
Here is an infographic, illustrating Iran’s Startup Weekends statistics: