The first surge in the growth of startup projects began in 2015-2016 in Azerbaijan, Advisor to Chief of Innovation Agency under the Ministry of Transport Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan Agahuseyn Ahdamov told Trend.
According to him, despite the fact that the first startup projects appeared in 2013, active work in this area began in 2015.
"However, relevant reforms have been carried out at the legislative level since 2018. In turn, the Azerbaijani agency has set a course on creating the necessary infrastructure and developing ways to support this ecosystem. The support for the start-up consists of financial, technical, technological and infrastructural and legislative support, knowledge transfer and expertise as well as establishing communication between startuppers and relevant structures. Agency's support is aimed at developing cooperation between the players of the startup ecosystem, as well as support in the creation of new products and services," Ahmadov said.
Besides, another priority area of the agency is the development of human resources,i.e. IT specialists.
"This is necessary for the long-term development of the startup ecosystem of Azerbaijan. For example, the Innovation agency supported the training of 80 students in the IT field this year, and this number is planned to be increased to 2,000 in 2023. The agency believes that the more people are attracted to the IT sector, the greater the potential of these students to find jobs and created innovative companies," he added.
Ahmadov also noted that the agency is carrying out work to attract foreign investors to Azerbaijan.
"As part of the activities that are being conducted, the agency observes a large flow of investors, that periodically visit Azerbaijan and get acquainted with Azerbaijani projects. According to the preliminary data, about $1 million was invested in Azerbaijani startups to date. Innovation Agency of Azerbaijan continues to negotiate to attract potential investors to our country," he informed.