Tag Archives: Iran Startup Ecosystem

What is happening in Iran Internet Ecosystem? Mohsen Malayeri gave the details

Mohsen Malayeri is an Iranian entrepreneur and startup community leader. After co-founding a startup in Digital Advertising in 2009, Mohsen continued his journey by co-founding Iran Entrepreneurship Association (IEA) in 2012. The organization has played an important role in building startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Iran through initiatives such as StartupWeekend, Global Entrepreneurship Weekend (GEW) operating nationally. In 2014 he cofounded Avatech, the Iranian startup accelerator to help entrepreneurs create sustainable startups and opportunity to raise money.

Mohsen talked about  startup ecosystem and local success stories in Iran. He also compared Turkish and Iranian market and mentioned why it is the right time to invest in Iranian startups. You can watch the full presentation on here:

Mohsen Malayeri – 30 September 2014 Etohum Startup Istanbul

Iran Startup Ecosystem (Part 2): Hamidreza Ahmadi Interview

Startup Istanbul Conference is a gathering of the leading startups, internet companies, business angels and venture capitalists from Asia and Europe. Get your tickets on here.

ahmadiWe continue to discuss Iran Startup Ecosystem with Hamidreza Ahmadi, Chief Operating Officer at Iran Entrepreneurship Association (IEA). Ahmadi is very passionate about the startup scene in Iran and try to bridge the gap between community, technology, startups and social. He is also the Project Manager of Startup Weekend and organizing meetings such as Iran Web Festival, Iran Web and Mobile Conference, Global Entrepreneurship Week, Startup NEXT, Seed Stars Tehran.

Iran is in the cloning phase, There are many successful startups and the others are trying to replicate the successful that the others had achieved.  Ahmadi says ”We need to clone to move forward” Iran’s market is very similar to Turkey, it has a big population and almost the same average GDP. So, it can be a good way to follow the path of Turkish Startups.

Ahmadi and his team organizing Iran Web and Mobile Conference, which is an annual competition between web sites and mobile applications. Ahmadi says ”It has been growing year by year, last year we had 8000 websites 3000 mobile applications. About 700 attendees participated this year and the big name speakers were on stage at the ending.”

Iran has a big population and very similar to Turkey, so focusing in Iran is a good thing for startups and their future. Ahmadi also mentioned that 3G is coming to Iran and it is going to have a lot of impact and finally, the relations  between Iran and the West’ll have a chance of normalizing the businesses whether in internet sector or not.

The Challenges

”We have been doing Iran Web and Mobile Festival for 6 years and we realized a problem two years ago” says Ahmadi. Everyone was working for themselves, nobody was building relationships with other participants. They didn’t know who the peers are, who the investors are. Ahmadi mentioned that in past two years they tried to build a lot of networking between entrepreneurs and investors in Startup Weekend and the other meetings.

Ahmadi pointed out that the other thing was, learning how to make money, how to make a business plan or grow a business. The people like Steve Blake and Eric Ries talked about the stuff and communicate with the participants for these concepts via our meetings.


The Investors

”It is interesting!” says Ahmadi. Two years ago maybe there are one or two investors interested in ICT (Information and Communication Technology), but right now we see a lot of them. In every meeting we go, we’re seeing investors who are very interested to invest in startups.

Everything is changing very fast. Right now there are two VCs in Iran. There are also a lot of individual expats who worked in this sector and have a little bit money. They also want to invest the startups in Iran. The other people are successful Iranian entrepreneurs who want to support the next generation. Especially Mohsen Malayeri and his accelerator company have a good deal for the investors and the startups.

The Government Support

Ahmedi also talked about the Government support in Iran. He says that they are also very interested in entrepreneurship. ”As you know Iran is a very innovative country, as far as inventions or high tech stuff such as nano technology. Bu the government realized that the innovation itself is not enough, they need a market. They are now focusing on programs like Startup Weekend to help bridge the gap between the inventors and the market. They are helping NGOs like us to set these programs and bootcamps to all the universities in Iran and also supporting us financially” says Ahmadi.

The Trends in Iran

Software as a service is becoming trend in Iran and also mobile applications. In e-commerce, there is big players right now and entering this sector is becoming difficult. Ahmadi mentioned also his favorite startups which are Anetwork.ir,  zarinpal.com, aparat.com,  axprint.com.

Iran Startup Ecosystem: Mohsen Malayeri Interview

The things have been changing in Iran for entrepreneurs. The new startups are running, startup events are being organized and the community are growing. With 3G internet connection – which is coming recently – startup ventures will be accelerated and they’ll come one step closer to be a global success story.

download (1)Meet with Mohsen Malayeri, Executive Manager at Iran Entrepreneurship Association. He co-founded a company 4 years ago about online advertising and he is now an Investor & Entrepreneur. He is also the organizer of Startup Weekend events in Iran. With IranEA  they have supported 14 weekend meetings in one year and 1500 people participated to these events. According to Malayeri this movement raised a lot of awareness, and there are now a lot of startup communities in different cities of Iran.

People are becoming more and more interested about building a startup company. Now, in Iran weekly and montly meet ups are happening. At the same time there are lots of entrepreneurs who is doing a great jobs especially in e-commerce, group buying, video sharing, marketplace and mobile application markets. These are becoming success stories, they are becoming yemeksepeti.com or hepsiburada.com of Iran. They are all similar product such as digikala.com, cafebazar.com, aparat.com, takhfifan.com. There are also many of them but those who have been quite successful, they have been already able to get some funding to extent their operations.

Malayeri mentioned that they are now focusing on building next generation of startups in Iran and getting help from the successful entrepreneurs for trainings and mentorship. Because of that he has co-founded an startup accelerator company called Avatech since March 2014. It is a completely private and for profit company. Also the other accelerator companies are started in Iran such as Dmond Group and Maps and they have been collaborating to grow startup ecosystem in the country.

Avatech has also announced new supporting program in their web sites. They are now providing each team 8000$, free office space, training and mentorship programs and getting %15 share of the company. They are getting application until the 15th of September and planning to choose 20 teams by the end of September. They’ll be pitching in front of the jury and selecting comity will choose only ten of them.

The Opportunities

”There are a lot of things that has not been done yet” says Malayeri. There are still local opportunities, and many trendy markets are still untapped in Iran. For example mobile apps are becoming hot. Also Ecommerce, classified, online payment, advertising, Food delivery and taxi transporation are now among trendy startups.

Iran is a country with full of talents and engineers. But what it takes to be a successful startup in Iran is firstly to have a great team. A team of star players with enough committment can create a success story. The second important attribute of Iranian top startups is that the founders are completely laser focused on their startup and they use their most valuable resource (time) as best as possible.

The Challenges

Malayeri also talked about the challenges that the startups faced in Iran. He says ‘‘One of barriers that the startups faced is the possibility of Iranian startups targetting the global market. It’s not easy for them. Also credit card payment systems are not something easy to do in Iran because they all use local systems for payments.” Malayeri also mentioned that there area many administrative processes that startups have to go through like company registration. Doing business in a global rank is another problem, If you want to run a startup, you have to get a lot of permissions.