The AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEI) at American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) announced today the launch of the Takween Accelerator, Iraq’s first business accelerator program. Takween is a project of Yanhad, an initiative to promote civic engagement and entrepreneurship for youth in Iraq, financed by the European Union and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CDCS), and implemented by Expertise France. The Takween Accelerator will help develop at least 45 entrepreneurial ventures across Iraq over the next 18 months, with the aim of supporting founders to rapidly and effectively grow their businesses and spur job creation and economic development. Takween will offer participants a complete suite of support for entrepreneurial development, including intensive training centered on product and market development; a strong international mentorship program; an opportunity for seed funding; and integration into an investor network. “The AEI accelerator presents an opportunity to alter the landscape of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Iraq,” said AEI Director Pat Cline. “It will have knock-on effects that will ripple throughout the private sector and will immediately become a central pillar of the burgeoning ecosystem, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, academia, and other partners to rapidly promote private sector growth in Iraq.” Yanhad Project Manager Alexis Goshen stated, "Expertise France, in close cooperation with its Iraqi partners, is very proud to start implementing the Yanhad project, funded by the European Union and the CDCS. The actions will promote and support civic engagement, employment and entrepreneurship in Iraq. In particular, we are going to work with the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative and support the Iraqi youth to develop their skills and establish the first accelerator in the country. For that purpose, the team will be assisting around 45 start-ups to scale up their businesses." About the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative The AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEI) was launched to build on the close link between early-stage private sector growth and national economic progress. Entrepreneurs in Iraq struggle with challenges posed by limited infrastructure, mentorship, and capital. AEI aims to fill that gap by providing aspiring entrepreneurs with practical educational resources, access to mentors and professional advisers, pitch events, and seed funding. About Expertise France Expertise France is the French public agency for international technical assistance. It aims at contributing to sustainable development based on solidarity and inclusiveness, mainly through enhancing the quality of public policies within the partner countries. Expertise France designs and implements cooperation projects addressing skills transfers between professionals. The agency also develops integrated offers, assembling public and private expertise in order to respond to the partner countries' needs. AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative Contact: Pat Cline AEI Director [email protected] Tel: +964 0770 555 5555 www.auis.edu.krd/AEI/ Yanhad Media Contact: Helen Baker Communication Advisor [email protected] Tel: +964 750 732 2214 www.expertisefrance.fr
Iraq Innovation Hackathon | Basra, Mosul, Erbil, Sulaimaniya and Baghdad The Iraq Innovation Hackathon challenges developers, designers, entrepreneurs, humanitarians and innovators to develop tech-based solutions addressing environmental issues and city specific challenges. It is your turn to hack the glass ceiling and stand together with youth across the country to find solutions! From April 26th and 27th, participants will work in teams to tackle a challenge that contributes to improving the country. During the hackathon, subject-matter experts will share knowledge, give feedback and help teams to overcome obstacles. At the end of the hackathon, teams will have an opportunity to present their ideas and prototypes to a panel of judges. Prizes will help support the most viable projects to move forward and launch into real projects. The Iraq Innovation Hackathon is sponsored by GIZ and Zain Telecoms, and organized by the Iraqi Technology and Entrepreneurship Alliance consisting of Re:Coded, Mosul Space, Science Camp, Five One Labs and The Station. AUIS's Entrepreneurship Initiative has also joined this exciting event as a partner. The event is free of charge and meals will be provided! Challenges Challenge 1: Nationwide challenge for all cities: Reduce and reuse single-use plastic products and packaging. Challenge 2 (based on the city you are participating in): Basra: Help job seekers in Basra find local jobs in the oil and gas sector Baghdad: Improve traffic jams and congestion in Baghdad Erbil: Change the perception of Erbil internationally and encourage tourism to the city. Mosul: Raise awareness to improve the selection of university subjects among Middle School students. Sulaimaniya: Improve traffic in Sulaimaniya You can pick one challenge to work on. Schedule Hackathon Kick-Off & Workshops! Friday, April 26th, 8.15am - 11.30pm - Welcome breakfast & registration - Presentation of the challenges - Design Thinking workshop - Teams get together + ideas are formed - Teamwork workshop - Project development begins - Coaching sessions (with experts and mentors from different fields) Hacking & Final Day! Saturday, April 27th, 8am - 7pm - Project development continues - Presentations and team pitching - Coaching sessions (with experts and mentors from different fields) - Feedback from judges - Winners announced PRIZES! We hope the Iraq Innovation Hackathon will build collective goodwill, relationships and ideas that will carry on long after the hackathon ends. A judging panel of leading figures in the technology and business communities will decide on the winners. Prizes at the end of the hackathon will help support the most viable projects to move forward, including cash and $3000 worth of technology vouchers, access to co-working spaces and mentorship. One winner will be picked from each city and will be supported to turn their idea into an actual solution. REGISTRATION SIGN UP HERE: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfzeom_wFSpJMIu-ll9A2kIWOV-ousd1c3lLKu70z-f05ExtA/viewform Places are limited! Five One Labs will send out detailed instructions and an agenda to those that are chosen to participate. LOCATION: Baghdad: The Station, Villa 7, St. 38, Dist. 903 Al Karadah, Baghdad Erbil: Re:Coded House, 3rd floor, Nergiz Plaza, Gulan street (next to Saj Al Reef), Erbil Sulaimaniya: The Lab: Suli, Salim Street, Across the street from Faruq Group Holdings and above Roshen candy shop Basra: Al-Asmak Hall - Level 5, Basra International Hotel, Corniche St. Mosul: Almohandesen hall, Al-Faisalia district WHEN: 26th and 27th April 2019 ORGANIZER Iraq Technology and Entrepreneurship Alliance (Re:Coded, Mosul Space, Science Camp, Five One Labs, and The Station). SPONSORS GIZ Zain Telecoms Zain Iraq PARTNER Shabab Media
In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative will be hosting a panel discussion on angel investment in Iraq and the KRI at 5pm on Sunday, November 11 in AG-05. The panel discussion will be moderated by AUIS professor and Director of AEI, Pat Cline, and place the following individuals with entrepreneurial and angel investment experience in conversation with each other: Sham Sahebkran: Founder, Peyk Bookstore Hallo Sagrma: Founder, Indigo Hana Hama: Founder, Canvas The panel will be a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning about the challenges and opportunities for angel investment in Iraq and the KRI. We look forward to your active participation.
The AUIS Entrepreneurship Initiative (AEI) hosted a roundtable discussion titled “Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Private Sector Growth in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region” on September 8, 2018, with members of the Sulaimani business community, AUIS community, and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Sustainable Economic Development (DDE) of the Netherlands and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). Also in attendance were Netherlands Consul General Willem Cosijn; Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Baghdad, Martijn Groen; and Policy Officer, Netherlands Consulate General, Aram Abdallah. Attendees took part in a lively discussion on a range of themes including challenges in private sector development, limited access to financing for entrepreneurs, starting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as areas for future growth.