Categories: Business

Applications for the First Traction Programme are Now Open

The European Union and Viva-MTS support New Startup Growth Programme by Armenia Startup Academy

We are pleased to announce the call for applications for the first Traction programme of Armenia Startup Academy – a 10-week mentorship-based programme designed to help companies at post-prototype stage with early traction to accelerate their growth and raise their first or follow-on rounds. The programme is implemented by Catalyst Foundation supported by the European Union’s EU4Business “Technology Development for Armenia” project implemented by GIZ. Viva-MTS, Armenia’s leading telecommunications operator joins the initiative as a corporate partner and supporter.

The Traction Programme will offer hands-on transformative mentorship in Sales, Growth Hacking and Fundraising. Over the 10 weeks of the programme, participating startups will have the opportunity to work closely with leading professionals in Sales and Growth Hacking, establish their growth frameworks, refine and validate their strategies and get support for expanding in international markets. Each participating company will pass through a need-based individual development programme and have weekly or biweekly meetings with the mentors.

All startups that identify themselves in the following categories are welcome to apply:

– Managed to gain early traction (in terms of revenue, sales, user base, etc.);

– Have already launched the product (or an MVP/working prototype) or at least ready to launch by May 31st;

– Have raised a minimum of €20K funding in the form of grants, angel or VC financing, or bootstrapping, or is already generating revenue (not mandatory, but preferable)

– Previously graduated from an incubation/pre-acceleration programme (not mandatory, but preferable).

Ashot Arzumanyan, Co-founder at Catalyst Foundation said, “We see the Traction Programme as a response to an existing need in the ecosystem for a next-level programme. We designed the program for companies that are working on raising investment and establishing effective growth or sales frameworks. We are thrilled to help these companies to expand and grow beyond Armenia”

Johanna Michaela Weber, Team leader of EU4Business Technology Development for Armenia project considers the advanced level of Startup Academy Programme as an exclusive opportunity offered to Armenian startups ready to step to the next level of growth leading them to the global stage: “EU4Business has been supporting Armenian startup ecosystem since 2016 onwards having contributed about EUR 1.28 mln. as direct funding in form of grants and technical support, including the establishment of the Armenia Startup Academy and its first 4 cycles implemented by our entrusted partner Catalyst Foundation. Hence, we gladly continue this support aiming at opening new prospects of development for Armenian startups”, she said.

“During the recent years we have experienced a rapid growth of start-ups in Armenia. There have been both successful undertakings and failures. Initiative and creativity alone are critically important, and yet, not sufficient conditions for setting up a successful start-up. Viva-MTS joins this important project aimed at pushing the development of start-ups to the next stage, for them to grow into sustainable business structures, attractive for international investment,” Viva-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian said.

“This new programme is different from our previous batches in a sense that we aim to heavily engage some high profile mentors in order to set up relevant growth frameworks for selected companies,” stated Hambardzum Kaghketsyan, Co-founder at Catalyst Foundation, “This structure allows participants to have deeper exposure to the mentors’ unique expertise and get the maximum out of the mentorship process.”

The Call for Applications will be open until May 31, 2020. After the screening of applications, interviews will follow to finalize the roster of participating companies. Meanwhile, an Information Session will be held on May 25th (registration for the session is available here). The programme as well as the Info session will be held remotely on account of COVID-19 outbreak and the state of emergency in the country. More information about the programme can be found here.

The Member States of the European Union have decided to link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.

EU4Business “Technology Development for Armenia’’ is part of the EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” project, which is co-funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by German Development Cooperation GIZ through the Private Sector Development and TVET South Caucasus Programme. It aims at creation and further development of investable and innovative ventures in Armenia leading to stronger and competitive tech and innovation ecosystems with potential export orientation, increased number of Science2Business2Education cooperation platforms and higher participation in HORIZON 2020 and HORIZON Europe innovation programmes.

Viva-MTS (MTS Armenia CJSC) is Armenia’s leading telecommunications operator, having the widest network reach and spreading a wide range of Voice and Data services all across Armenia. Having the best of the Armenian people interest at heart since its launch on 1st July 2005 and in a short period of time Viva-MTS has managed to build a nationwide network and a considerable customer base. Viva-MTS drives innovation and aims at always being at the forefront of any development serving the Armenian mobile communications market. The company follows the guidance provided by ISO 26000 (International Standard of Social Responsibility) and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (Information Security Management System). For more information visit

Catalyst Hi-Tech and Entrepreneurship Development Foundation aims to contribute to the development of the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem in Armenia. The Foundation has a number of initiatives aiming to fuel the Armenian startup ecosystem with competitive skills and develop a pipeline of capable companies, including Hero House, Armenia Startup Academy, AI Incubator, Entrepreneurial Assistant School, Startup Boost Weekends, etc.


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