Virtually separated from the markets and cultures of the rest of the world, Iran has been self-sufficient when it comes to business growth. Due to this unique ecosystem, the country has borne a number of groundbreaking startups in every sector, ranging from technology to e-commerce. Supporting this remarkable growth is Iran’s ever-expanding network of accelerators, media sources, and other organizations that have supplied local entrepreneurs with all the tools that they need to build thriving startups. Read on to learn about seven of the entities that are boosting the startup scene in Iran.
An innovative startup studio in Tehran, Idearun works with fledgling companies that need assistance in developing products and ideas. Along with partners such as Startup Weekend, TechPin, and Sharif Accelerator, the organization has completed nearly 60 projects for startups, both in Iran and around the world.
In order to help its clients make the biggest impact, Idearun works hand-in-hand with them during the earliest phases of the startup process to substantiate their initial concepts and design a roadmap that will guide them to success. Moreover, the organization works with startups that need everything from assistance in developing their online user interface to advice on how to expand their staff.
Headquartered in Tabriz, Raykasb serves the needs of local entrepreneurs by providing them with a unique co-working space. The company, which welcomes freelance workers and students, provides an excellent arena where startup teams can work on projects and develop their ideas. At Raykasb, these budding entrepreneurs can rent office space for up to four people on a monthly basis. During this time, they can work at any hour of their choice: morning, noon, or night. Raykasb also provides its clients with a number of startup-targeted services that they will need to build their businesses. For example, those looking to hone their skills can attend one of the company’s many educational workshops. For those who need more individualized assistance, Raykasb offers mentoring services to startup teams.
One of Iran’s top startup hubs, Avatech enables entrepreneurs to foster their startup ideas in the company of other professionals who are on a similar path. Working primarily with tech companies, the organization has led a number of startup acceleration rounds since 2014. In collaboration with outside mentors and financiers, Avatech offers the first-hand experience and resources that local entrepreneurs need to scale their businesses. In order to accommodate the needs of startups in various stages of growth, the organization hosts both a standard accelerator program and the more advanced Avacamp.
Technology Acceleration Center (TAC)
A dedicated accelerator, TAC is fully equipped to serve the needs of startups seeking to create groundbreaking products for the people of Iran and the rest of the Middle East. Entrepreneurs who participate in the center’s acceleration program allot 15 percent of their startup’s equity to secure initial seed funding of $15,000 or more. These professionals are then free to embark on TAC’s 12-week startup “bootcamp,” during which time they operate in co-working facilities and obtain practical knowledge from a team of mentors. Once entrepreneurs complete the acceleration program, they will be fully equipped to enter a new phase of fundraising. TAC supports them during this stage by connecting them with venture capitalists and other investors from around the globe.
Established in 2015, Isfahan Plus began as a small network of innovative professionals who sought to benefit the startup scene in Isfahan. Since then, this nonprofit organization has risen to become the first social entrepreneurship initiative in Iran. Focused mainly on individuals between the ages of 18 and 30, Isfahan Plus has spent years developing a strong ecosystem of support for startups and the people that make them possible. Using this online portal, entrepreneurs can easily connect with funding entities, accelerators, and other support networks to build professional partnerships and develop new ideas. Isfahan Plus also keeps its users up to date with upcoming startup events in the local area and supplies them with important educational materials that will help to guide them to success.
One of Iran’s most prominent startup media entities is Khoshfekri, a website that provides local entrepreneurs with all the information that they may need to start their businesses. Through the organization’s website, startup owners can access all manner of educational infographics that cover important business practices such as digital marketing and website development. In addition, Khoshfekri regularly publishes informative articles that offer helpful tips on how to build a thriving startup.
By providing these helpful resources to local entrepreneurs, the organization hopes to empower more young people to start their own businesses. Moreover, Khoshfekri is seeking to create stronger connections between innovative ideas and the sources of capital that can help them make an impact.
Featured in publications such as TechCrunch and the Financial Tribune, Iran Startups has built a community dedicated to local startups. This outlet provides a means for entrepreneurs to meet with other business owners and mentors from across the globe. To this end, Iran Startups hosts a regular meetup event that welcomes innovators and investment professionals to participate in presentations from guest lecturers featuring startup-focused topics. The organization also runs a number of other programs, including a startup news website called Techly and Iran Startups Wiki, a comprehensive guide to local businesses, funding entities, and accelerators.