UzVC National Venture Capital Fund held an inaugural conference to celebrate the launch of its Startup Growth Program (SGP). The launch is co-organized as a joint project of the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, UNDP in Uzbekistan “Empowering youth to embrace digital economy and digital entrepreneurship” and AKS Services Group in partnership with the National Office for Innovation Implementation and Technology Transfer, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan, the Youth Affairs Agency and INNO Technopark.
The inaugural SGP conference educated nominated startups as well as a broader audience, including politicians, embassies, NGOs, and university students, on how to help the Uzbek startup and VC ecosystem take a leap and enter the global stage. Experienced speakers and investors from Silicon Valley, Asher Siddiqui, Partner at Sukna Ventures, and Marvin Liao, Partner at Diaspora Ventures, shared stories and insights on entrepreneurship in general and on how to run startups that are successful internationally.
Like children are important for a vibrant society, nascent companies, i.e. startups, are essential for a thriving economy. This is why UzVC National Venture Capital Fund has incepted a new tailored Startup Growth Program (SGP) for local startups in Uzbekistan. The program is driven by government support to bring world-class expertise to Uzbek startups in their journeys to grow and scale up into foreign markets. SGP covers essential matters like go-to-market and fund raising strategies, which are necessary for growth and entering markets outside the borders of Uzbekistan.
Dilshod Khashimov, Director at UzVC stated, “We are creating a diverse community where people support each other to develop valuable products, services and build prolific companies. Therefore, it is our great pleasure to have experts from Silicon Valley on stage at Inha University to help us define a benchmark for our own ecosystem’s success. Marvin and Asher met many years ago, working for 500 Startups (now 500 Global), an early-stage venture fund with currently USD 2.7 billion in assets under management, and have had truly global careers in VC ever since. I am certain, they can teach us a thing or two,” he laughed.
The conference on November 16 featured additional speakers and panelists such as Alisher Shaykhov, UzVC Senior Advisor; Bakhodir Bekov, Acting Head of Inclusive Growth Cluster, UNDP; Akmal Paiziev, CEO and Founder of Express24; Denis Kalyshkin, Investment Director of I2BF Global Ventures; and Adrien Henni, Partner at Pulsar.vc.
UzVC intends to make SGP an annual initiative to educate entrepreneurs on risks, opportunities and hence increase the success rate for VC and angel investor portfolio companies that originate from Uzbekistan and are ready to take the world by storm. These early-stage companies are in need for orchestrated support in overcoming challenges to generate sufficient revenue streams that allow them to grow and prosper.