Kazakh IT start-ups to be prepared in Silicon Valley

ASTANA – Almaty Tech Garden is launching the international Startup Kazakhstan programme, with participants to be housed in the IT Quarter, reported Kazinform. The venture is the country’s first large-scale effort aimed at developing domestic and attracting foreign startups, said CEO Sanzhar Kettebekov.

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“The financing will be implemented through the joint venture fund Almaty Tech Garden and GVA Capital – GVA Alatau Fund. The amount of investment in start-ups will be up to $100,000. By 2020, about 500 innovative start-ups will be financed and 50 high-tech, export-oriented companies will be incubated. Last month, Almaty Tech Garden together with GVA launched the first official technology office in Silicon Valley. Thus, the acceleration of Startup Kazakhstan participants will partially be carried out in Silicon Valley. Also on Sept. 25, the preparation of the first 10 resident companies of the Free Economic Zone ‘Park of Information Technologies (FEZ PIT) will begin there,” he added.

The fund plans to help start-ups with alternative sources of financing, including releasing digital tokens. Sometimes called ICO (Initial Coin Offering), using digital tokens is a new method of attracting investments based on blockchain technology which is rapidly gaining popularity throughout the world. To prepare Startup Kazakhstan participants, the programme is planning to launch an ICO incubator.

“Cooperation with leading innovation centres is the basis for the development of start-up ecosystems. The opening of a representative office in Silicon Valley is a necessary window for the development of an innovative environment and attracting foreign and training Kazakh start-ups integrated into a global network of demand for the latest technologies,” said Global Venture Alliance managing partner Laird Kagan.

Significant support in executing these measures will be achieved through the interaction of Almaty Tech Garden and the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). The two entities and GVA signed a memorandum on cooperation Sept. 20 to create an ecosystem in Almaty using blockchain technology. The Centre for Technological Development of Intelligent Technologies will be also launched, including intellectual systems in cooperation with IBM, a BIM+ laboratory together with EcoDomus and Autodesk and digital industry with IntelliSense.io.

An IT Quarter previously opened in downtown Almaty to place startups in the information technology field.