Azerbaijan’s position in global ranking of startup ecosystems rises
By Ayya Lmahamad
Nowadays, most countries in the world pay special attention to the development of an innovation ecosystem. In this regard, working with startups and bringing them to the global level is a success of the innovative policy of the country.
Situated at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Azerbaijan is also working on making the country attractive to entrepreneurs and startup founders.
In this regard, the country is taking steps to develop the startup ecosystem. Incubation centers are being created at universities and conditions for commercialization of pilot projects are being formed in the country. In this regard, last year, a decision was made to grant tax preferences to small and medium-sized businesses involved in startup projects. According to this, SMBs which received a startup certificate are exempted from taxation on income from innovation activity for three years.
Moreover, the country has initiated the Azerbaijan 500 ASAN Startup Program, aimed at innovating and developing the country’s budding startup ecosystem through online events. The State Agency for Public and Social Innovations (ASAN) has been an important initiator of startup projects in the country. Under ASAN, a collaboration with the Asian Development Bank started in 2021, with the goal of boosting innovation in Baku and other cities.
Startups in Azerbaijan are mainly developing in the software and data, marketing and sales, as well as social and leisure spheres.
Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2022
In Global Startup Ecosystem Index for 2022 Azerbaijan improved its result by four positions and took 85th place in the global ranking of the ecosystem of startups.
“The Azerbaijan Startup Ecosystem is an emerging innovation hub, ranked at number 85 globally, and shows a positive momentum 4 spots since 2021,” the report reads.
Baku, the only ranked city in Azerbaijan, has increased 12 spots to 443rd globally, entering the top 450. It is also the 31st highest ranking city in the CAREC business region (Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation), and the 6th highest ranking non-Chinese city in this region.
“Azerbaijan has always been known as the Land of Fire. Today, thanks to our young talents and successful startups, we are confidently moving forward to be recognized as the Country of Innovations,” State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations Chairman Ulvi Mehdiyev said in response to the results.
To note, the company publishes an annual Global Startup Ecosystem Index report, which describes the state of startup ecosystems in 1,000 cities and 100 countries. Cities are evaluated in the report according to the three parameters: quantity, quality, and business environment.
Climate Launchpad startup program
The national stage of Climate Launchpad 2022, the world’s largest cleantech (clean technology) acceleration program, was launched.
During the four stages, Azerbaijani startups will compete to win the global program. Firstly, teams will make presentations to the jury to take the national championship prizes and advance to the regional stage.
In the final stage, startups will present their innovative solutions to leading European investors and entrepreneurs. The winners of the finals will receive a cash prize of €10,000 for first place, €5,000 for second place, and €2,500 for third place. The 16 best startups will also be accepted into the six-month Global Climate Launchpad Accelerator program.
Over the past four years, 13 startups from Azerbaijan have annually participated in the Climate Launchpad program, which involved more than 50 countries, and a total of 52 local startups have successfully completed the acceleration program. At the same time, a total of 12 startups have represented Azerbaijan at the World Finals over the past four years. In 2017, the startup CO2Catalyser, which won the national championship, also became one of the top 15 startups among 105 at the World Final.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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