YEREVAN—The non-profit ONEArmenia, known for their various crowd-funded projects in Armenia, launched “SHIFT: Culture” last spring, an initiative inviting the global community at large to pitch their wildest idea for reinventing an aspect of the Armenian arts. On their one-year anniversary, 1A has launched “SHIFT::Tech,” a call for people around the world to submit their mobile app ideas – and compete to get $25,000 in support to develop them.
Armenia has become one of the leading information technology nations among CIS and Middle Eastern countries. A number of high-tech companies from Europe, Russia, and the U.S. are also operating large development and R&D centers in Armenia. With a booming IT sector, which takes up a corruption-free 20% of the country’s annual GDP, start-ups are popping up all over the country. The world’s premier, full-featured mobile photo editor, Picsart, Inc., for example, was founded there and has over 77 million users.
The top five submissions will be invited to pitch their idea to a review committee. The winner will be connected with Social Objects, a mobile app development start-up in Yerevan, to turn the idea into a living, breathing software masterpiece. In addition to having a world-class development team build their app, part of the $25,000 in-kind grant will go to marketing and taking the app to market. Portions of potential profits from the winning app will go toward funding 1A community projects.
“SHIFT::Tech offers enough support for a start-up team to focus fully and realize their app idea and build a functioning, viable product for a big global marketplace”, said Nigel Sharp, founder of LionSharp Solutions–a creative technology start-up. “Awareness of the technology possibilities will improve and hopefully inspire more people to look toward the engineering and mobile development capabilities in Armenia.”
“1A’s SHIFT Initiative was started to move Armenia away from the standard narrative that has stalled its fight to get on solid ground since independence: that of a dusty, post-Soviet nation, struggling against itself to give its people something to look forward to; dependent on the legacies of an ancient past rich with kingdoms full of art, science, invention and leadership to give its youth something to be proud of. Now is the crucial window of time to shift the young generation’s attention toward the future, where the digital age makes anything and everything possible,” said ONEArmenia’s statement.
To learn more and apply visit onearmenia.org/shift.
ONEArmenia is a non-profit platform that aims to boost environmental, humanitarian and cultural projects in Armenia, using social media and crowd-funding to involve anyone with an Internet connection in supporting projects that are geared toward making tangible changes in Armenia now. The ONEArmenia network makes it possible to not only raise money for a project based in Armenia as a worldwide community, but to also track the progress of said project with complete access to financial information.