For the first time in Iran, a series of startup pitch competitions will be held in 8 cities of the country in 10 days. The 10 best startups from these cities will be selected to pitch during the finals in Kish Island in front of the local and international jury. Registration for startups is now open.

Silk Road Startup will be the first ever invite-only startup and entrepreneurship event in Iran which aims to gather the best startups from around the country in one place next to European leaders for a two-day conference in Kish Island. The nascent startup ecosystem in Iran has shown remarkable growth in the recent years and has caught the interest of European and Asian investors to this market.

Despite the achievements of Iranian entrepreneurs and the active role of a couple of European investors, this market is still a black box for many European VCs, corporates and accelerators. “No other country competes with the talents and young educated population in the region. Our dream is to turn Iran into the largest Startup Hub in the Middle East,” said Moojan Asghari, Lead Organizer of Silk Road Startup. “We are constantly discovering new horizons by crossing frontiers, and events are the best excuse for this,” she added.

Prior to the main event in Kish Island, a team from Silk Road Startup along with the local and international jury team will take a 10-day bus tour around 8 cities of Iran from October 22nd to 31st to organize local pitch competitions. Top 10 selected teams from the cities of Tabriz, Qazvin, Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz, Mashhad and Rasht will be present at the finals in Kish Island for a 2-day summit. Selection criteria for these early stage startups are having a minimum viable product, a scalable and robust business model and willing to grow internationally.

Silk Road Startup will be a unique opportunity for European investors to get access to the Iranian market, get the latest news of the ecosystem and find future local partners. 150 participants from Iranian and European startups, corporates, VCs and accelerators are expected to attend Silk Road Startup in Kish Island.

Silk Road Startup is co-organized by Startup Sesame, TechRasa, Hamfekr and GNP tour with the support of Iran’s Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology and the Innovation Acceleration Center. Applications for startups will remain open until October 8, 2017.

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Hi do you know when the finale in Kish is takung place? The dates in December?