AUIS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center Announces Call for Applications For AUIS Innovation Awards

AUIS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center Announces Call for Applications For AUIS Innovation Awards

The AUIS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (AEIC) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) announced today the AUIS Innovation Awards (AIA), which will highlight innovation excellence in institutions in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region and put a spotlight on innovative solutions that have had a significant impact on society.

The inaugural AUIS Innovation Awards 2022 (AIA 2022) will be presented at AUIS on January 13, 2022, recognizing excellence in innovation by individuals as well as entities. The program invites submissions from individuals and institutions that showcase innovative achievements. ​​Entries will be accepted for consideration on...

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Tara Mohammed, Founder of Black Ace Company

Tara Mohammed, an AUIS graduate (Information Technology ‘18), is the founder of Black Ace company for IT solutions. Black Ace has a diverse and young team from different backgrounds, and Tara credits her team with having had a great impact on her and being by her side from day one of starting her business. More than just serving budding entrepreneurs, Tara has focused on hiring and targeting fresh graduates to help them gain experience, build their skills, and prove themselves as professionals and entrepreneurs.

AEIC: Tell us more about your business.

Tara Mohammed:...

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Hero Mohammed, Founder at Potan

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Hero Mohammed, Founder at Potan

Hero Mohammed (Information Technology,‘17) is the founder of Potan, a B2B company focused on IT solutions and software development founded in 2020 and based in Sulaimani. With a team of five young professionals as well as clients in Kurdistan, federal Iraq, and internationally, she aims to grow Potan, which builds meaningful and scalable software solutions for companies around the world. Hero is also the founder of Hackasuly, a coding community started in 2017 with the goal of promoting technology and encouraging people to join the tech sector. Their first hackathon event was held in 2017 at AUIS...

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Hayas Ismail Khayat and Hasara Ismail Khayat, co-founders of Nakhsh

AUIS Alumni Spotlight: Hayas Ismail Khayat and Hasara Ismail Khayat, co-founders of Nakhsh

Hayas Ismail Khayat (Business Administration, ‘19) and Hasara Ismail Khayat (Business Administration, ‘17) are sibling co-founders of Kurdish clothing brand Nakhsh, which prioritizes locally-produced and sourced materials. The company was founded in August 2019 and ran successfully for several months before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The global shutdown proved to be a serious obstacle, but the Khayats have remained passionate and are striving to achieve their ultimate goal of creating an international brand. Nakhsh attire can now reach national and international customers. They export to 14 different countries so far including the United States, Poland, Germany, United Kingdom and many more. You can find their website at: .

Dr. Hemin Latif Named AEIC Director

Dr. Hemin Latif, Assistant Professor and IT Department Chair, has been named the new director of the AUIS Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center (AEIC) following the departure of Mr. Pat Cline, who led the center since its establishment in 2017. The appointment was made by President Bruce W. Ferguson due to Dr. Latif’s personal experience with startups and his demonstrated commitment to the development of business opportunities for young Kurdish entrepreneurs.

Dr. Latif is an educator, and an entrepreneur. He holds a PhD in Interactive Systems and Robotics from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and has worked...

Sulaimani Forum Policy Roundtable: Fostering Entrepreneurship & Tech Innovation in Iraq

On Wednesday, March 6, the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative hosted a roundtable titled “Fostering Entrepreneurship & Tech Innovation in Iraq” in coordination with the sixth annual Sulaimani Forum. The discussion convened representatives from various startups, incubators and coworking spaces, and government and non-governmental organizations invested in supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The discussion was moderated by Pat Cline, director of the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative, and focused on increasing the technical and entrepreneurial capacity of young Iraqis through university education, private sector funding, and support from government and NGOs. Many of the participants echoed the sentiment of the majority of successful entrepreneurs in...

Research Workshop: Innovation in Startups in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

On Wednesday, February 20, the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative hosted Rava Khorshid, Business Development Manager at the Professional Development Institute at AUIS and candidate at the Masters of Business Administration program at Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Finland, for a workshop discussing the research findings of her masters’ thesis. Over the past year, Rava had been conducting research on innovation in startups in the Kurdistan Region or Iraq (KRI) in an effort to support and inform AEI priorities for entrepreneurs at AUIS and in the local community.


AUIS Hosts Campus Round of Hult Prize Competition

On Saturday, November 17, 2018, AUIS hosted its first campus round of the Hult Prize Competition , an annual entrepreneurship competition in which undergrads and MBA students around the world present business plans to solve a pressing social issue. At each campus round, a panel of judges evaluates the campus round teams and selects a winning idea to move on to the regional round of the competition. From there, students compete for the chance to join a group of 50 teams at the Hult Castle accelerator program in...

Open Discussion with Yara Salem, World Bank Special Representative to Iraq

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018 the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative hosted an open discussion with Yara Salem, the World Bank’s Special Representative to Iraq, during Women’s Entrepreneurship Week October 13-20. The discussion focused on existing World Bank initiatives in the context of Iraq’s reconstruction, rebuilding, and financial management. It ranged from the social aspects of reconstruction and partnerships with Iraq’s Ministry of Planning to anti-corruption projects and finance for development projects.

Salem focused heavily on the social aspects of reconstruction, namely improvements to the Iraqi education and healthcare systems. She...

Women’s Entrepreneurship Week: A Conversation with Ava Nadir, Ravan Jaafar, and Yara Salem

On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative participated in Women’s Entrepreneurship Week in coordination with Montclair State University’s Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship. AEI hosted Ravan Jaafar, the founder of the Book Cafe Erbil, Ava Nadir, head of Marketing for Zain Kurdistan, and Yara Salem, World Bank Special Representative to Iraq, for a discussion on the female entrepreneurs’ personal challenges and experiences starting their own businesses in the Middle East. Ahmed Tabaqchali, senior AEI advisor, moderated the discussion.

All three women echoed the opinions...


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