TODAY.AZ / Business

SMBDA, Polish Startup Fund ink MoU, discuss dev't startup ecosystem

17 December 2022 [11:31] - TODAY.AZ

By Sabina Mammadli

Azerbaijani Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA) Chairman Orkhan Mammadov and CEO of Startup Hub Poland Foundation Maciej Sadowski have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation, Azernews reports.

The document was signed during a Polish-Azerbaijani seminar on innovations at the Baku Business Center on December 16 with the joint organization of SMBDA, the Polish Embassy in Azerbaijan, Startup Hub Poland Foundation, and IdealHub Innovation and Technology Center.

The signed MoU envisages the exchange of information and experience in the relevant field and the organization of events between the business communities of the two countries.

During the forum, opportunities for developing Polish-Azerbaijani cooperation in the field of supporting innovations and startups were discussed, including the V4-Azerbaijan Tech Bridge (V4ATB) program implemented by Poland in Azerbaijan. The purpose of the V4-Azerbaijan Tech Bridge project is to establish and expand cooperation between the Visegrad Group (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia) and Azerbaijan in the field of innovations.

Addressing the event, Mammadov noted his interest in studying the Polish experience in the field of micro business and startup development.

"I am sure that the development of innovation entrepreneurship will contribute to the strengthening of the existing economic potential of Azerbaijan and Poland," Mammadov said.

According to him, the joint initiatives are going to make a contribution towards the creation of relevant platforms among the entrepreneurs, startups, and investors of both countries as well as stimulate cooperation in the future.

Within this context, Mammadov emphasized the role of cooperation with the Polish Startup Hub Poland fund, stressing that it will significantly contribute to the exchange of experience between the organizations.

Speaking about SMBDA's activities, he noted that the improvement and development of the ecosystem of innovative businesses and startups is one of the agency's main priority goals.

"Our agency is working in several directions and taking relevant support measures for young entrepreneurs. This includes promotion, training, and awareness-raising services, as well as the provision of resources," Mammadov added.

Later on, Polish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Rafal Poborski also spoke at the event, emphasizing that the V4-Azerbaijan Tech Bridge project will link startup innovations of Azerbaijan with EU countries.

"This multilateral initiative will bring technological solutions and help develop Azerbaijan's innovation ecosystem," Poborski noted.

The ambassador expressed confidence that the V4ATB program will be continued in 2023.

According to him, research and development of high-tech solutions will be carried out within the framework of the project.

He stressed that Poland is ready to share its experience in the field of innovation.

“As of 2022, we have over 5,000 innovative start-up companies, and we are ready to develop our cooperation in the future and share our experience,” Poborski added.

Further, Sadowski informed about the Polish startup ecosystem and mechanisms in the field of innovation support, as well as the V4ATB program.

“The work we’ve done in 2022 gives one message: Azerbaijan and the Visegrad region are coming closer and closer,” the CEO noted.

Founder of IdealHub Innovation and Technology Center (Azerbaijani partner of V4ATB) Tural Karimli also shared his views on the center's activities and program.

Photos by Azernews.


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