Startup in Yerevan
Digitised accounting methods, online tax returns, and business registration have all contributed to the veritable boom in the sector, with dozens of startups being registered each year.
Situated at the very edge of Europe, the city’s local flavour has been shaped by its traditional role as a cultural crossroads. The list of competing regional empires which have continuously fought over this historic city include the Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Persians, Mongols, Ottomans, Russians and most recently, the Soviets.

Yerevan’s historic cultural mishmash has been partially reshaped by its stint as the capital of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic during the better part of the 20th century.

During its time as a Soviet capital, Yerevan went from being a backwater town to a regional high-tech hub, clustering many research institutes, and production facilities. These were established for the purpose of designing personal computers, silicon conductors, and guidance chips for soviet ICBMs. This veritable soviet version of Silicon Valley produced some of the best software engineers, and computer programmers this side of the Berlin Wall.

Currently, this tiny European capital of about a million inhabitants, nestled in the Caucasus Mountains, is witnessing the progression of a very unique and vibrant startup scene, invigorated by extremely low living costs, ease of starting a business, access to resources, and proactive government policies designed to embrace this new movement. Parliament recently passed a tax exemption bill for Armenian newly established technology startups. Digitised accounting methods, online tax returns, and business registration have all contributed to the veritable boom in the sector, with dozens of startups being registered each year. The ecosystem is also being supported by a VC firm, a seed fund and incubators/accelerators and other infrastructure.

Those who get tired of the work-home-work routine may fare well to know that recent years have seen the emergence of a spirited foodie scene, centred around the downtown Saryan street. Favoured by bohemian artists, techies and restaurateurs for its low rents, classical architecture, and minimal car traffic, the neighbourhood around Saryan is being transformed into an exciting district dotted with fusion restaurants, street side cafes, and clubs offering a unique nightlife. Bars, clubs, and lounges typically serve the ‘Dudu Shot’; a cocktail consisting of tequila, an olive, tabasco sauce, and a secret ingredient indigenous to Yerevan.

Yerevan’s ultramodern airport typically takes no longer than 15 minutes to navigate from the gate to the street. Armenia’s recent signature of the Open Skies Agreement have shaved off 25% on average ticket prices overnight, and resulted in a 30% increase in connections to destinations across the rest of Europe, the Gulf, and Asia, placing Armenia within a 3 hour radius of some of the world’s financial and business nerve centres.

Find out more about founding in this Eastern city.

 
Source: www.magazine.startus.cc
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