5 Armenian startup teams of adolescents receive seed funding in the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge
8 project ideas advance to incubation phase out of the 12 competing projects from Armenia’s six marzes
YEREVAN, 31 May 2022 – Five Armenian startup teams of adolescents advanced to implementation stage in the Generation Unlimited imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge concluding the weekend bootcamp in Dilijan and each receiving seed funding in the amount of US$1000, equivalent to 444,280 Armenian drams.
Launched in early March by UN Armenia, including UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, and AYB Educational Foundation, the GenU Challenge received 109 submissions from young people of 14 to 24 ages, representing Armenia’s six marzes and the capital city of Yerevan. The submissions presented a variety of ideas, ranging from how to raise the quality of education, encourage civic activism, boost employment or combat climate change, raise awareness of media literacy and mental health.
The GenU Challenge is supported by the Minsitry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, Synergy Armenia and BodyShop. Out of the 109 submissions, the selection committee of all partners chose 12 promising ideas to compete in a weekend bootcamp in Dilijan on 28-29 May. As a result of the bootcamp, the following eight teams were selected to proceed to incubation phase:
- Landslide Rulers, Yerevan – the idea is to build bio-geo-cages that will reuse waste and give it a second life, while also helping against landslides.
- Climapolis, Vedi – the idea is to produce a board game with its online version in Armenian and English that will teach how to mitigate the consequences of climate change.
- Creative corner, Gyumri – the idea is to establish a non-formal education institutions that offers training and practice in the service industry, aiding young people to enter the labor market
- Tea&More –the idea is to produce dried fruites and herbal teas.
- Girlopolis, Yerevan – the idea is to hold a series of hackathons for girls interested in STEM and business encouraing girls to establish their startups, work on their tech ideas and choose a career path in STEM.
- MeDialog, Yerevan – the idea is to encourage learning and proficiecy in media literacy for adolescents and young people that will support their mental health, resilience, prevent online violence and scams and make them more self-reliable.
- Vaeli, Kapan – the idea is to establish a bakery cafe that will create jobs for women as well as serve as a social networking place for young people.
- Eco Koghb, Koghb – the idea is to start an eco-bag factory in Tavush that will prevent use of plastic bags, create jobs for women, including those with disability. GenU supporter Body Shop has pledged to support Eco Koghb and promote their tote bags Body Shop stores in Armenia.
In the next few months, the project teams will use the awarded seed funding and get additional mentorship from industry experts to put their ideas to practice.
“GenU is about giving opportunities to young people to contribute to the society, about unleashing their potential in entrepreneurship and creativity, as well as about listening to the voices of young people. It’s their time and their turn to proactively tackle social issues in their own communities and, as we saw during the application stage, Armenian youth have no shortage of ideas when it comes to the development of their country and their own future,“ state the organizers.
In July 2022, two of the most promising solutions from Armenia will be submitted to a global judging process. These projects will receive further funding, along with a tailored global incubation programme from Generation Unlimited partners to support them to scale.
Generation Unlimited: Generation Unlimited is a global public-private-youth partnership working to prepare young people to become productive and engaged citizens. It connects secondary-age education and training to employment and entrepreneurship, empowering every young person to thrive in the world of work.
The challenge calls on young innovators across Armenia and 35 other countries to design solutions to accelerate the SDGs, for example to improve education, employment, civic engagement or tackle issues in climate change, media literacy or mental health. As of 2021, with presence in over 43 countries, reaching over 15 million young people, and involving over 200 organizations, the Youth Challenge is truly a global initiative meeting young people where they are and working with them in supporting the realization of their full potential.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.