ArmTech Congress 2012: What you need to know (afternoon session)

After a break for lunch, the panels continued and was there to bring you the highlights. Here is a brief summary:

Panel 3: Business Environment & Investment Opportunities.
This was a very interesting panel, moderated by Mr. Tony Moroyan – Chairman Viasphere Technopark & Viasphere International; Board Member, Panarmenian Bank and Managing Director, D-Age VC Fund. First we heard from Robert Harutyunyan, General Director of the Armenian Development Agency (ADA). He explained the key aspects that make Armenia an attractive place for investing, among them: political stability, favorable legislation, enabling environment, talents and track record. Bagrat Yengibaryan, Director of the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) followed with his presentation on the vision for the development of the Armenian IT infrastructure and its clusters:
Panel 3 (cont): Artak Ghazaryan, CEO, Pension System Awareness Foundation gave an extensive presentation on the new Armenian Pension System. It is being implemented in phases and is part of a larger vision for Armenia:

Panel 3 (cont): he also highlighted the ongoing economic convergence process in Armenia and the path towards a knowledge-based economy.

Panel 3 (cont): then Mr.Ghazaryan spoke about the importance of the new pension system:
Panel 3 (cont): Next in line was Paul Davis, Chief Operating Officer & VP, The Pragma Corporation. His presentation was about business environment snapshots for Armenia. Not many people are aware but very interesting business friendly policies are under development that will enable the Armenian IT sector and other strategic sectors to flourish.

Panel 3 (cont): Mr. Davis also spoke about the focus of the USAID Armenia led initiatives, under the Enterprise Development & Market Competitiveness Project (EDMC). He also emphasized the one year results of initiatives in the IT sector.

Panel 3 (cont): Next we heard from Mr. Esben Emborg (Managing Principal Partner at SEAF Caucasus Growth Fund) about Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) and the Armenian IT Sector. SEAF has raised a new fund that will focus investments in the Caucasus.

Panel 3 (cont): the last presenter of the Panel 3 was Mr. Manuk Hergnyan, CEO of EV Consulting and part of management team of newly established Granatus Ventures. Granatus aims to raise $6 million Venture Capital (VC) Fund that will target high-growth technology startups in Armenia. The fund has the support of the World Bank and the Armenian Government. Mr Hergnyan highlighted the investment opportunities seen in Armenia and the investment strategy of the fund which has a global advisory board, composed of heavyweights such as Al Eisaian (IconApps, US), Shant Mardirossyan (Kohlberg, US), Nerses Ohanyan (Viki, Singapore) and many others. Here are the main slides:


Panel 4: Looking Ahead. Challenges, Opportunities and Factors for Success.
This panel was led by Mr. Raffi Kassarjian, Advisor to the Board, Converse Bank; Co-Chair, Content Committee of the ArmTech Congress. Earlier in the day Mr. Kassarjian signed, on behalf of Corporación America, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a semiconductor product manufacturing operation in Armenia. This last panel of the ArmTech Congress had fewer presentations and was more of a Q&A session led by Mr. Kassarjian that brought us great insights. Nevertheless, after the panel, it was clear both (i) the importance and (ii) the potential of the IT sector in Armenia. Here are some representative slides of that potential:

And ArmTech Congress 2012 ended on a very high tone. Here is what made it a huge success:

  • Record amount of participants
  • Participation of industry heavyweights, such as D-Link, Synopsys and National Instruments
  • Signing of three memoranda with leading multinationals:

- Intel Corporation to establish IT research and development center in Armenia

- Corporacion America to establish a semiconductor product manufacturing operation in Armenia

- Creation of the first Armenian early stage venture fund under the scope of the third memorandum

  • Opening of the Armenian representation center in the Silicon Valley

This post is also available in: Armenian