Creative Armenia: The Best Seven Start-Ups

“Creative Armenia Business Challenge” was held for the first time within the framework of the EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme on June 10th and 11th.

The Challenge aimed at stimulating the development of creativity and culture as a tool to improve the standard of living in Armenia, instilling entrepreneurial mentality and equipping specialists of the creative sector with methods to help develop new projects and startups.

Innovative business proposals and initiatives, pertinent to performing arts, audio-visual arts, technology, design, printing, music and management of cultural sector could be presented at the Challenge.   

Teams who had the best 53 projects out of the 111 creative ideas submitted for participation in the Challenge developed their proposals with the support of mentors who aimed at assisting the design of competitive startup business models.

The two-day collaboration resulted in 7 teams each of which presented their own model to the jury composed of businessmen and culture experts. The jury selected the 3 winning teams.

“Tonir” Wedding Village  

1st Prize

Award 500.000 AMD from “Ayb” School

The project is based on an idea generated by a couple. Eager to marry in a traditional Armenian style and failing to find any organization to provide this service, the young couple decided to create a wedding village in Syunik marz, where the guests would be able to spend a few days enjoying the spectacular landscape, Armenian traditional games, dishes, songs and dances and make short tours to the local places of interest. According to the authors of this idea, the project will not only provide a unique service to meet the demand, but will also activate the life and economy of the community.

“Ail Kerp” Board Games

2nd Prize

Award: a three-month acceleration project by BizNest Entrepreneurial Center

“Ail Kerp” proposes to spend time with your family and friends, not being dependent on Internet access or battery life. The board games proposed by the company aim at the improvement of the Armenian language and promote face-to-face interaction. In the course of two years “Ail Kerp” has sold about 8000 games. Now the startup is going to enter the Georgian market.


3rd Prize

Award: An opportunity to work free of charge for a month in BURO shared working space

Busticks proposes bus tours to places of interest in Armenia, Georgia and Turkey. The orders are taken by a mobile application. The user submits a request and receives a tour offer at the best prices.


Ololo is an interactive touring puppet troop that enables children, even of kindergarten age, to participate in the performances. The team consists of three actors and the founder. According to the idea of the team, the children can approach the stage and change the course of the fairy tale and stage decorations. They can also interact with the characters. The project is expected to have social significance by providing educational materials and involving children from vulnerable groups.

Motion stories

Motion stories team plans to tell stories using images, which is why they propose to create a platform where everyone can download their pictures/images in any order and “revive” them through the app, i.e. to enrich the image by animated elements. Besides, the platform is planned to have a system of links to interconnect stories according to the theme or word and to enable navigation through logically connected.

Own and Share

Own and Share automated bicycle rental service differs from similar services enabling the user to register his/her bicycle in the system. Due to the mobile app every single person will have an opportunity to find a bicycle that is parked nearby, use it, and leave it wherever convenient. The major component of the project is the special electrical lock regulated by the same app which ensures the user’s bicycle against being ridden away.


GoToConcert is an online events management platform, which enables concert organisers, musicians and concertgoers to create their own concert experience via a voting system. Anybody interested in hosting a concert can create an account and start producing events by offering a selection of dates, locations and artists. The audience will then make the final decision as to where and when the concert will take place by voting for the best suitable date and location to them. 

Apart from mentors’ support 25 semi-finalist teams were given an opportunity to participate in a master class by a leading specialist in the field, Michael McCarthy, during the challenge event. McCarthy, an author of Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Public Speaking courses, taught how to sell the idea to “angel” investors.  

Even though the Challenge did not presuppose any networking with investors during the event, some startups attracted the attention of the jury and received offers to discuss the proposal. Besides, some participants discovered future cooperation opportunities by listening to the presentations of one another’s ideas.  

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