Description & Goal

“NERUZH” is the Armenian word for “potential” and the Neruzh Diaspora Youth Startup Program aims to bring the vast potential of Armenia’s Diaspora (7 million strong living outside Armenia in countries across the globe) to participate in the advancement of Armenia by founding their start-up in the country.

This program is an initiative of Armenia’s Ministry of the Diaspora, and implemented in partnership with several partners including Impact Hub Yerevan.

 

Timeline

For the first 4 months of the 1-year program, the start-ups will be incubated by the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) https://fast.foundation/
Thereafter, for the next 8 months, the start-ups will move to Impact Hub Yerevan where they will receive:
– space at Impact Hub Yerevan offices for an 8 month period
– access to Impact Hubs programs & events + other 100+ impact hubs around the world
– a dedicated staff person who will manage the program, manage engagement with the mentors, and follow the progress of the start ups
– individual coaching and tailored mentorship
– unlimited access to Impact Hub resources, including workspace & infrastructure,
– an opportunity to work alongside 200+ creative innovators in Armenia across every sector
– access to the 100+ Impact Hubs around the world
– peer-to-peer learning and educational programs/event

 

Eligibility

The Neruzh program is for young entrepreneurs (ages 18-35) of Armenian descent ready to move to Armenia to implement their business idea.

Impact Hub Yerevan’s Neruzh Program Mentors
Roger Strauch

Roger A. Strauch

Roger Strauch is chairman of The Roda Group, an early stage venture capital group, based in Berkeley, California. Roger co-founded the firm with Dan Miller in 1997. The firm is focused on investment opportunities that address the consequences of climate change, stress on the Earth’s natural resources and the increased demand for low carbon energy. Roger is an investor in and advisor to PicsArt and SoloLearn – mobile apps developed in Armenia. Also he is the Chairman of the Paros Foundation which supports arts and education organizations in Armenia. Moreover, Roger earned a Bachelor of Science degree, with distinction, from Cornell University and Master of Science degree from Stanford University, both in electrical engineering. He holds two patents in the area of wireless communications.

Arman Bernardi

Arman Bernardi

Arman Bernardi serves as the CEO and President of iCoat Company, a leading provider of coating technologies in the optical industry. Arman significantly grew both the revenues and profits of the company since he was recruited to be its CEO following a private equity buyout, leading to iCoat’s acquisition by Essilor Group in 2014. Prior to iCoat he co-founded and served as CSO of TightLink Corporation which was focused on cloud-based workflow software. Prior to TightLink Arman was the Director of Business Development at TCSI, where he was responsible for TCSI’s direction for next-generation transportation and telecommunications products. Arman holds a BSEE from Cornell University and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Ani Vartanian-Boladian

Ani Vartanian-Boladian

Ani Vartanian-Boladian is Managing Partner at Rubicon Point Partners, LLC. Ani focuses on investment selection and disposition, transaction underwriting and structuring. Prior to co-founding Rubicon Point Partners in 2011, Ani served in the Obama administration where she led a team responsible for the $200 billion TALF program and restarting the securitization market during the height of the recent financial crisis on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Previously she was with Rockwood Capital, where she was involved with acquisitions, asset management, and establishing a $400 million separate account on behalf of a state pension fund. Ani began her career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Ani holds a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Raffi Kassarjian

Raffi Kassarjian

Raffi Kassarjian is Advisor to the CEO of Monitis. Previously, he was Senior Vice President, IoT at TeamViewer GmbH, and CEO of Monitis. Before joining TeamViewer, Raffi served as the Head of Product Management, Marketing and Retail Banking Services for Converse Bank. Raffi also served as CEO of iCON Communications, Armenia’s first broadband wireless service provider, acquired by UCom in 2011. Prior to moving to Armenia, Raffi served as Vice President and General Manager at Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE:FICO), where he launched the company’s first internet service. Raffi was also a Senior Manager in the Strategic Services Group at Accenture. Raffi is Chairman of the Board of Repat Armenia Foundation, and holds Board positions at Impact Hub Yerevan and EVN Report. Raffi has a BA in International Relations and MBA from Stanford University.

Armen Martirosyan

Armen Martirosyan

Co-Founder and CEO of BluIP, Las Vegas based global Unified Hosted Communication Service provider, with Offices in Las Vegas, NV, Los Angeles, CA, Denver CO, Manila Philippines, and Yerevan Armenia. Customers include Netflix, Marriott, Hilton, AT&T and other major national brands. He has over 25 years of experience in Strategy, Growth Hacking, making IT profit center for large multination global organizations.

Prior to BluIP, build and sold large India based software development company, and had various executive roles from CTO, to President at both private and public companies, and before that spend five years at Deloitte Consulting Group working with companies such as Microsoft, Callaway Golf, and Nestle.
Angel investor and advisor to number of US and Armenia based startups.

Paul Nadjarian

Paul Nadjarian

Paul Nadjarian is currently the General Manager of the CARFAX Service Shops Division. Previously at CARFAX, Paul was Head of Products and General Manager of the Used Car Marketplace. Prior to CARFAX, Paul served as the Founder & CEO of Mojo Motors, which was acquired by CARFAX in 2015. Paul has an extensive background in both the auto industry and the internet. He started his career at Ford Motor Company selling inventory to auto dealers and eventually ran the internet lead management group at Ford. After Ford, Paul joined eBay Motors to build the Parts & Accessories category, growing the business to be the largest category at eBay. More recently, Paul was the head of Product and Marketing at OnForce, an online marketplace for local contract professionals. Paul has also been on the founding team of GreenLeaf Auto, an auto recycling venture within Ford, and CombineNet, an advance sourcing and optimization platform. Paul earned his BS in economics from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Program Partners
Neruzh Program Partners
Impact Hub Yerevan logo