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Matching Grants competition paves the ground for Armenian startups’ success
Matching Grants competition paves the ground for Armenian startups’ success
News 22/09/2019 20:20

This autumn dozens of Armenian startups will compete in order to receive financial support in the framework of Matching Grants competition. EIF Blog reports.

The project is implemented by Enterprise Incubator Foundation with the support of the Government of RA, Ministry of Hitech Industry RA and World Bank, in the framework of World Bank Trade Promotion and Quality Infrastructure (TPQI) Project, which includes Innovation Matching Grants (IMG) and Regional Matching Grants (RMG).

About Matching Grants

2 types of grants will be provided in 2019: Innovation Matching Grants and Regional Matching Grants.

Innovation Matching Grants support new solutions, products, service or process adaptations, which would stimulate the rate of technology absorption, technology transfer, innovation and commercialization in the private sector. The grant program is designed to provide financial assistance to teams, technology startups and up to 3-year old existing technology companies.

The aim of Regional Matching Grants is to promote the development of new technology-driven companies (including the establishment of new companies) in the regions of Armenia.

The grant size will range from 5,000,000 AMD to 25,000,000 AMD.

Innovation Matching Grants provide funding for a maximum 50% and Regional Matching Grants provide funding for maximum 85% of expenditures estimated by the applicant for development and sales of new products or services. The maximum duration of the presented project is 1 year.

The beginning

EIF’s matching grants program was launched in 2013 and was implemented in the framework of E-Society and Innovation for Competitiveness (EIC) Project supported by the Government of RA and World Bank.

The project aimed at stimulating the level of technology absorption & transfer, innovation and production in the private sector, encouraging cooperation between R&D centers and promoting the growth of new technology-driven businesses throughout Armenia, with specific emphasis on promoting the growth of technology-backed businesses in Gyumri and Vanadzor.

The minimum amount of grant per initiative was 10.000 USD and the maximum amount was 50.000 USD.

Overall numbers

During the 3 years of implementation, 34 startups were supported by the program. The total amount of financial support provided for 3 years was 675,308,912 AMD (approx. 1.4 mln USD).

It’s important to mention that previous grantees have 98% sustainability rate. Moreover, those companies have already raised 10mln USD equity. In addition, some of those companies are in the list of top IT companies in the region and the Silicon Valley.

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Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) is also behind another grant program, implemented in 2017-2018 with the support of European Union. In cooperation with “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (EU-SMEDA) project, financial support was provided to 34 companies.

2 types of grants – Innovation Matching Grant (IMG) and Science and Technology Entrepreneurship (STEP) were awarded to the grantees in 2 cycles.

In the first cycle, companies received 8 IMG and 5 STEP grants (2017) with up to 5k each and 15k Euros funding for 12 months. In the second cycle, companies received 6 IMG and 15 STEP grants (2018) with up to 30k for 9 months and between 4-15k Euro funding for 6 months.

You can read more about those grantees here.