ASTANA – The Kazakh capital recently hosted the launch of Garage incubator seeking to provide a platform for start-up development ahead of the upcoming launch of Astana Hub accelerator programme in September. With more than 150 applications, only best 14 were selected for the incubator.
Garage is a free start-up incubator offering developers and innovators business courses, a team of mentors and advisers, assistance in development and marketing, workspace and a network of investors and companies.
The Garage incubator is a “small, yet very significant step” into the world of new ideas and digital technologies, according to Kazakh Minister of Information and Communication Dauren Abayev, who attended the launch.
Speaking about the Astana Hub, he noted it embodies key priorities set out by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev ranging from Eurasian integration to human capital development.
“For example, the High Technologies Park in Minsk enables Belarus companies to export IT products worth up to $1 billion annually. Technological development in Estonia started from the creation of Skype in 2003. We could talk all the time about the Silicon Valley, which hosts more than 10,000 companies, or start-up eco systems in London, Beijing and New York. But it is high time to establish our own breakthrough product,” said Abayev.
The project programme is intensive and lasts three months, according to the organisers, and incorporates Steve Blank’s Lean Start-up approach and experience of incubators in Singapore, Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Malaysia. It empowers entrepreneurs with basic needs to turn their idea into a minimal viable product, prepare them for the next development stage acceleration programme and attract private investments.
Mentors are among the project’s key features, as they include current business people who can share first-hand experience with start-upers.
Once the programme is completed, its participants will present their projects on Demo Day, which is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to find investors.
Most of the projects selected for the incubator are software startups.
For instance, the Kompra project developed by Askhat Sergazin allows checking the reliability of counteragents based on 40 legal and financial indicators just in three minutes. The projects, he noted, solves the needs of business persons and security services as well as prevents the risks of fraud and saves time.
Automating and gathering the data in one software is a significant pool factor attracting large companies in the quasi-public and banking sector, microcredit organisations, companies and consulting agency, small and medium enterprises and foreign companies as well.
One of the hardware projects participating in the incubator is the JayBox mobile projector computer, which is portable and can be managed by gestures.
Its mobility does not limit its functions. The computer is equipped with Windows OS, Intel Core processor, Full HD screen in a 10-100-inch range, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a 3.5 mm jack for headphones. Target areas include medicine, education, business to business and smart house.