Silk Road Startup Summit, Iran’s first international B2B and invite-only conference will take place in April 18-19, 2018 in Kish Island. The event would bring together the best local startups, investors, corporations and accelerators in the country. Ticketing for the summit is now open.

Silk Road Startup’s Road Trip was held from October 22nd to 31st. After a series of pitch competitions around 7 cities of Iran, 10 startups were selected to pitch at the finals in Kish Island. 6 more startups were later selected as wild card winners by the jury team. During the Summit, the top 16 selected teams from across the country will pitch their startups in front of the audience for the finals. The event aims to bring together 300 curated attendees during two days of networking sessions, fireside chats, speaking slots and workshops.

Speakers at Silk Road Startup Summit include, Marvin Liao, Partner at 500 Startups, Maral Kalajian, a leading entrepreneur in Stockholm, Reza Malekzadeh, investor and go-to-market expert in San Francisco, Jürgen Furian, Co-Founder at in Vienna, Kiyan Zandiyeh, Portfolio Manager at Sturgeon Capital, Kei Shimada, Director of Innovation at IBM Innovation and Incubation Labs, and Nicolas Andieu, MD Middle East and Central Asia at Sigfox,

Some of the topics which will be discussed during Silk Road Startup Summit are IoT, FinTech, AI, Blockchain, investments in Iran’s tech scene, overcoming the challenges of economic sanctions and government’s involvement to boost innovation economy.

Silk Road Startup has also planned an online acceleration program called “Silk Road 100″ for the selected teams where 16 mentors are allocated for each startup during 100 days. A number of webinars will also be held for all the 84 teams which previously pitched during the Road Trip. Some of the mentors include Jan Ameri, CIO at ArcticStartup in Finland, Amir, Vahid Jozi, entrepreneur and investor in Canada, George Bartlett, Investment Manager at Columbia Lake Partners in London, and Barbara Belvisi, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Hardware Club in France. The goal of the program is to help the finalists prepare for the final pitches.

“Silk Road 100 program is helping our startups to get ready to expand outside of Iran’s borders, helping them to learn from our international network of mentors, and connect with the rest of the world”, Hadi Farnoud, co-founder of Silk Road Startup says. “All the workshops and mentorship sessions are done online, which means we can have mentors from all around the world. The diversity of our mentors and their networks could help our startups tremendously. These startups are going to create jobs, value, and stability to our country. It gives our young talents a purpose to stay in their homeland,” he added.

The two-day Summit in Kish Island would be an exclusive gathering of Iran’s startup ecosystem players, decision makers and innovators along with some of the leading entrepreneurs and investors from Europe. The event would give a unique opportunity to any tech enthusiast around the globe to network, develop ties and explore partnerships with Iran’s tech and startup community.

“This is the first time that such a startup event at this scale is happening in Iran, thanks to the great group of entrepreneurs, volunteers and the strong support of the government,” Moojan Asghari, co-founder of Silk Road Startup says. “We have received huge interests from various parties and individuals to attend the event. Our international speakers and attendees are coming from 15 different countries including Japan, Singapour, India, Oman, Dubai, France, Germany and Austria. Many of them have never been in Iran and are very excited to discover the ecosystem,” she added.

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