The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on Thursday the winners of the three-day Startup Ecosystem Program Competition, held jointly by the USAID Enriching Youth for Tomorrow project, the USAID Future Growth Initiative, and the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan.
During four months of the program, 122 young entrepreneurs participated in a series of business training, team and individual mentorships, and consulting and coaching sessions, the USAID said in the statement. Six local business development and training firms served as mentors and evaluated young entrepreneurs’ business models and helped redesign their development strategies. At the end of the program, ten finalists presented their products. Six winners received prizes and an opportunity to participate at a regional contest in Kazakhstan.
Addressing the online audience of 150 startups, mentor companies, mentors, potential investors, and jury members, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, Valerie Chittenden, congratulated not only the winners, but all the startups for successfully turning their ideas into real products.
“By growing your startups, you are contributing to the growth of your country’s economy, not only in the ICT or tech sector, but also in other, more traditional sectors as well, such as agriculture, food processing and textiles, by introducing innovative and creative digital solutions,” Chittenden said.
One of the key objectives of the Startup Ecosystem Program is the establishment of local startup incubators and accelerators that support young entrepreneurs’ innovative ideas.