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Azerbaijan’s State Fund for IT Development Finances over 100 Start-ups

Azerbaijan’s State Fund for Development of Information and Communication Technologies has so far financed 112 startup projects, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade said at a ceremony of presentation of winners of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Azerbaijan contest on May 15.

Guluzade noted that about 1,000 startup projects, designed for participation in the competition, were accepted.

“Roughly 20 projects turned into a real business and attracted investments,” the minister said at Azernews.

The minister went on to say that for this purpose it is important to work on the creation of local venture funds, adding that the strategic goal for the government is to turn Azerbaijan into an IT center and increase the number of relevant products and services.

Speaking at the event, the minister also touched upon the activities of the State Fund for the Development of Information Technologies of Azerbaijan. As Guluzade noted, until now the fund has financed 112 startup projects.

The State Fund for the Development of Information Technologies, the minister continued, is engaged in issuing grants and financial support for promising projects, including in the role of an investor.

“The State Fund has held six grant competitions to date. We believe that in the construction of an innovative economy, startups can be assessed as real support to the state,” Guluzade said.

In addition, the Minister added, at present the High Technology Park is building the ecosystem and managing it.

“There are more than 30 structures operating in the park, possessing the status of residents, dozens of start-ups cooperate with the park. To develop the existing ecosystem, a new innovation center is being created. Also, a number of other projects are being implemented in Baku and in the regions for the development of the start-up movement.

High Technology Park was established by the Decree of President Ilham Aliyev dated on 5 November 2012.  According to the Decree, 50 ha of land in the Pirallahi district of Baku was allocated to the Park.

The main purposes are to stimulate the ICT development in the economy and increase the competitiveness of national technological market and to create modern infrastructure for further pursuit of Research & Development and implementation of new technologies in the country.