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Catalyst Foundation is established by the founding partners of SmartGateVC for running game-changing programs which will feed the Armenian startup ecosystem with relevant skillset and pipeline of capable companies.



Co-organized events




Science and Technology Convergence Conference is an annual conference co-organised by the IIAP of National Academy of Science of Armenia and Catalyst Foundation. It aims to unite researchers and engineers of different disciplines from both industry and academia in one shared platform to share experiences and foresee the future of fundamental and applied research in Armenia. Conference main focus areas Machine Learning, Electronic Design Automation, Robotics and IoT, Computational Biology, Quantum Computing, Computer Vision.


ArmSec Conference 2018

ArmSec conference is the premier annual international cybersecurity conference aiming at strengthening the cybersecurity community in Armenia and discussing the latest cybersecurity problems.


ArmSec CTF 2018

CTF is the premier cybersecurity hacking competition of Armenia. It is a 24-hour spirit competition to discover and solve real-life computer-security problems, hack network infrastructures, write-up detailed report on hacking steps, etc.

Implemnted Projects




Ecosystem Partners

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Cloud Partners

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Our cloud infrastructure partners:

  • $120,000 worth of Microsoft Azure credits

  • $100,000 worth of DigitalOcean credits

  • $120,000 worth of IBM credits

  • $100,000 worth of AWS Activate credits

Other Partners


Armenia Startup Academy Traction Program Batch 3 Demo Day

January 26, 2023

In January 2023, Armenia Startup Academy organized the Demo Day of Traction Program’s third batch to showcase the program graduates. Eight startups from various industries, including EdTech, HealthTech, AI, and entertainment, have completed the 14-week program and received mentorship from high-profile experts on sales, growth hacking, and fundraising.

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Science and Technology Convergence Platform Launch Event

June 16, 2022

“Science and Technology Convergence Platform (STCP) Launch and Overview of Research Funding Schemes in Armenia” event took take place in June 2022. The event was organized by Catalyst Foundation within the scope of the STCP Initiative, which is meant to accelerate and facilitate the collaboration between local science, industry, academia, government and donor community representatives.

Batch 6 Demo Day

The Sixth Demo Day of Armenia Startup Academy

April 17, 2021

In January 2021, Armenia Startup Academy launched its sixth batch with 16 capable teams. The Digital Demo Day of the batch showcased 12 startups innovating in robotics, security, biotech, healthtech, VR technologies, and many more.


May 12, 2020

In December 2019, Armenia Startup Academy launched its fifth batch for a selected group of 18 promising and capable startups. The Demo Day of the batch was held remotely on account of COVID-19 outbreak showcasing 13 startups from   a diverse set of industries ranging from healthtech, media and communications, childcare, smart homes, sharing economies, etc.

Batch 4 Demo Day

June 2, 2019

The fourth cycle of Armenia Startup Academy was launched on March 5 and 20 startups have been selected to participate in the 12-week pre-acceleration program. On May 29, 15 startups graduated from the program and presented their pitches in front of interested investors, friends and the community.


The Startup Scene of New Armenia: from Source of Talent to Home for Talent

January 17, 2019

In October 2017 we published Armenian startup ecosystem: open secrets, big opportunities. This article is intended to provide a high level review of the developments since then in the light of emerging new trends and opportunities.

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Tim Draper invests in SmartGateVC

February 17, 2018

2018 starts with a new and bright page for Armenia. Tim Draper noticed the emerging opportunities evolving from here and SmartGateVC is delighted to announce an investment from Tim Draper.


Official Opening of ImpactAim Venture Accelerator

December 11, 2017

The UNDP-initiated Accelerator Project will be implemented jointly with ImpactHub Yerevan and Catalyst Foundation. 96 applications from 25 countries worldwide have been received for the first round of ImpactAim Accelerator. The first stage of the project was launched in November 2017, and will last for 12 weeks, involving 7 business entities and 2 companies as associate participants.


Science and Technology Convergence Conference 2022

September 28-29, 2022

Science and Technology Convergence Conference 2022 took on September 28 and 29, and included 80+ local and international speakers and featured more than 30 panel discussions on how to rebuild and advance science in Armenia. 40+ research posters were presented by research labs, universities, institutes, and industry representatives.


The Entrepreneurial Assistants’ School Program has Reached its End. 

September 17, 2022

The 12 graduates of the Entrepreneurial Assistant School visited 4 Armenian tech companies: Superannotate, 10Web, Webbfontaine, and SmartGateVC, to learn the ins and outs of the tech world. During 10 weeks, participants had many group sessions and learned extensively about product management and analytics, enterprise and B2B sales, customer development, and more.

AI Incubator

HH AI Incubation Program Batch 2 Demo Day

January  27, 2021

EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy and SmartGateVC joined forces for the second batch of the Hero House AI Incubator Program. Overall 12 companies, 24 student-researchers, 7 AI research supervisors, and 2 leading chief scientists worked on creating AI solutions to increase the scalability of the participant startups and introduce new business models for them. The Demo Day showcased the results of the program.


Science and Technology Convergence Conference 2019

October 15, 2019

Science and Technology Convergence Conference 2019 was held on October 11-12, where he speakers shared their experiences in relevant fields for potential collaboration or potential replication of their experience in Armenia. There were 20 individual presentations given by keynote speakers, 7 panel discussions, and 2 poster sessions, where emerging local deep-tech startups presented their ideas for deep technical discussions.


March 16, 2019

On March 15, the EU Delegation and EU Ambassador to Armenia Piotr Świtalski visited Hero House to learn more about EU supported projects Armenia Startup Academy and Hero House as well as to get acquainted with the companies and startups which have received technical and financial support in the framework of the European Union's "Support to SME Development in Armenia" (EU-SMEDA) project. 


#landed brings together talented people to build winning teams

October 20, 2018

SmartGateVC announced the launch of the #landed program, a project to connect Armenians in tech all around the world with the tech community in Armenia. With individual, one-on-one support, #landed brings together talented people with solid experience to build winning teams.

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The First Demo Day of the Armenia Startup Academy

February 06, 2018

Armenia Startup Academy Demo Day took place on February 3, 2018 at the American University of Armenia. The program lasted for 12 weeks which included overall 43 lectures and workshops delivered by field professionals from Armenia, Europe, United States, Australia, and more than 150 one-on-one mentorship meetings.


The Seventh Demo Day of Armenia Startup Academy

September 14, 2022

In September 2022, Armenia Startup Academy held the Demo Day for the 7th batch of its pre-accelerator program. The program graduates were 13 pre-seed startups innovating in Fintech, Healthtech, Security, Media, Edutech, E-commerce, and MLOps.


January 25, 2022

The 12-week mentorship-based programme aiming to help companies at a post-prototype stage to accelerate their growth and raise their first or follow-on rounds was launched earlier in September 2021. Batch 2 founders have worked intensively throughout the Traction program managing to secure international sales, launch refined versions of their products, experience an increase in user base, and raise funding. More to come along their entrepreneurial journey!


June 29, 2020

The first Traction program of Armenia Startup Academy was implemented during Summer 2020. It is a 10-week mentorship-based program designed to help companies at post-prototype stage with early traction to accelerate their growth and raise their first or follow-on rounds. The first cohort of 9 companies reflected a diverse range of startups that bring new waves of innovation in industries such as edutech, transportation, media, HR, marketing and more.

AI Incubator Demo Day

The Demo Day of Hero House AI Incubation program

October 3, 2019

The 12-week AI Incubation program was finalized with a Demo Day on September 30, where 7 graduate companies and 11 researchers delivered presentations summing up their progress and collaboration outcomes. The program kick-started in July aimed at bringing the industry and academia into a collaboration platform for creating scalable business solutions powered by the state of the art technology.


The Third Demo Day of Armenia Startup Academy

January 23, 2019

Back on October 1, the third cycle of the program was launched and 17 startups have been selected to participate in a 3-month Academy tailored for high-tech companies and startups. The third Demo Day took place on January 19 and 13 startups have successfully graduated from the Academy.

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The Second Demo Day of the Armenia Startup Academy

June 02, 2018

The Demo Day took place on May 30, 2018 at the American University of Armenia. Throughout last 8 month the Academy went through 2 cycles of the 12 week pre-acceleration program. 35 startups and 90 entrepreneurs were involved. 


Grand Opening of the Armenia Startup Academy

December 12, 2017

On December 12, 2017 the Catalyst Foundation introduced the Armenia Startup Academy and the Hero House to the wider public and the stakeholders of the Armenian startup community.

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