It took a village to raise a child. Just over 3 to 4 years ago there was barely any farsi search results on Google about the term “startup” from Iran. Now the term really wants to make itself viral through newspapers and magazines.
Startup events had a crucial role in spreading the entrepreneurial mentality and the term startup within university students and the youth. 4 years ago, the major population body of Iran didn’t even consider internet based companies as businesses. Tech journalist used to write about Iran tech infrastructure and new innovative inventions in Iran and outside. Not much was said until all eyes went on entrepreneurs using technology as the key innovation factor to create businesses. Peivast, a monthly subscription magazine founded by tech journalist focused on the tech entrepreneurship movement in Iran and covered startup stories and the entrepreneurs behind it. Donya-e Eghtesad newspaper, the famous Iranian business and finance magazines also opened up its tech section, and so did its subsidiary monthly business magazine Tejarat Farda.
Many ecosystem players also thought of many ways to expand awareness of this movement, and of course to get some PR out of it. Just launched 2 weeks ago, a new weekly newspaper called Shanbe (meaning Saturday in farsi) started printing which focuses purely on startups and tech entrepreneurs. This is the first time we see a newspaper focusing 100% on Tech entrepreneurship. The majority of the newspaper’s content is based on Sarava Ventures, The most well known venture capital firm in Iran, and its few dozen portfolio companies. The newspaper also provides educational content on entrepreneurship To-Dos. Newspapers are a good way to raise awareness to wider local non niche audience. Shanbe could cause great impact in educating a wide non-tech savy audience if it covers Iran’s startup ecosystem in total, and not just on a VC and its investment portfolio companies.
The rise of hardcopy old school printed media outlets focusing on startups indicates a potential audience demand on this subject. With this growth of media attention and rising numbers of startup enthusiast, 2016 may also be a huge turning point for Iran startups.