Tekwill Vertical Ambassadors 2021 have been announced! Find out what those 12 selected initiatives are

We welcome the Tekwill Ambassadors team to the third edition of the Tekwill Ambassadors program, an initiative that brings development opportunities closer to all stakeholders and provides them with the support and resources they need to contribute to technological, innovative, and entrepreneurial progress. The selected startups were announced on Monday, March 15, during the Tekwill Anniversary event.

Within the Program, the initiatives and projects dedicated to the development of the Information Technologies field through educational actions and to the consolidation of entrepreneurship are supported, during the implementation period of the projects. Check the Calendar of Tekwill Ambassadors initiatives.

The program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Sweden under the Tekwill project.

The objective of increasing competent human resources, developing, and attracting potential community leaders, the third edition of the Tekwill Ambassadors program comes to support vertical programs and initiatives, which will develop concepts in line with the following strategic objectives of the Tekwill project:

Development of vertical communities: FinTech, Agtech, HealthTech, EdTech, DeepTech, Wine Tech etc.,

Digitization of society,

Support and Acceleration of technological innovations in approached verticals,

Introduction to startup development,

Entrepreneurial skills development.

The initiatives are to be carried out in the form of Webinars, Workshops, Networking sessions, Mentorship, Courses, Hackathons, Podcasts, Video series, Accelerators, Community meetups and others.

And to facilitate their implementation, the program covers a number of positions such as visual material development services, video and photo production, media and Social Media placement, management, streaming setup, online platforms, translations, mentors / Speakers, and individual contracts for content creation.

Therefore, the initiatives that entered the Tekwill Ambassadors lists during January-June 2021 are: Run Moldova, Bosal Solutions, Seolitte, Dimgan SRL, A.O. “Sigmoid”, Fund for innovation sustainable development, DreamsUp IP, BSD Management SRL, FAF Hackathon, Proportie, A.O. “Mentor Me” and A.O. Best Chisinau.

The stories of DronesC, KIDDO and Riift Studio at STARTUP CITY CAHUL

On February 3, within the Project “EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul”, projects were showcased for the development of entrepreneurship success stories of tech entrepreneurs, but also as program opportunities where you can learn how to turn your ideas into business.

In addition, the participznts of the event also met representatives of 3 startups from Chisinau, who told about their experiences of business development:

DronesC – Alexandru Vopilov

Kiddo – Diana Ivanov

Riift Studio – Tony Tampei

Each of them talked about its startups, development stages and key elements for success.

Alexandru Vopilov, the representative of the startup “DronesC”, talks about how the first ideas of the initiative appeared, what are the market requirements and what impact did the Accelerator have on its startup. DronesC is a company that creates software for modelling and designing drones in an interactive 3D platform, with the help of which you can not only create individual layouts, but also program and test drones in various scenarios and conditions. More details about the startup can be found here: https://drones-c.com/.

Diana Ivanov, the founder of the startup KIDDO, talks about the reason for launching her initiative, the challenges from the beginning and how any business is “people-based”. KIDDO is a platform that helps a perent find a babysitter around neighbourhood, according to certain criteria the user set. Parents can benefit from KIDDO, thus leaving their kids with a reliable nanny for a few hours. More details about the platform can be found here: https://www.kiddo.md/​.

Tony Tampei, technical director at “Riift Studio” reports on experiential marketing, rebranding challenges, and the importance of team spirit in any startup. Riift Studio is a creative studio that brings immersive digital experiences in New Media Art, Experiential Marketing & Brand Activation for festivals, concerts, product launches and creative public events. More details about the startup can be found here: https://riift.studio/.

Want to know more about the event?

Watch more about the event in this video.

Photo gallery of the event.

More details about Startup City Cahul.

The project “EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul” is developed with the financial assistance of the European Union, in partnership with Sweden and implemented by ATIC.

To be informed about the activities of Startup City Cahul, follow its Facebook page.

Scouting for DIASPORA – Be Involved in Moldova’s Startup Ecosystem, even Abroad

Startup Moldova is looking for active members of the Moldovan startup ecosystem, who live abroad. It is vital to recognize, promote and collaborate with startups from our country, wherever they are in the world, to develop the local community and provide access to valuable knowledge and experiences from our fellow citizens.

At the same time, through the activities with Startup Moldova, the members of the Diaspora can become trainers, mentors, investors, and experts, who will actively contribute to the growth of the ecosystem from where they also started their activity.

So, here are some simple steps to get involved in Startup Moldova activities:

Registrate in the database.

Participate in the Diaspora – Networking meetup (will take place at the end of April)

Subscribe – Telegram ChanelFacebookInsta, ClubHouse (Startup Moldova)

Participate or be Speaker at Shared Breakfast – About Shared Breakfast

Get involved in the Startup Club

* Format: brainstorming club, we created and united a community of entrepreneurs, where people help each other solve their business problems in a brainstorming format.  During one meeting we analyse 2 cases, each for half an hour.

Webinars – Become a speaker, share your experience and impact with the community.

Join the local Startup Ecosystem through a Screening Interview.

Diaspora members have already participated in many Startup Moldova activities, such as Startup Week Moldova, Webinars, Shared Breakfasts and more. Among the active members of the community are Sergiu Nagailic and Nicoleta NagailicVasile Granaci , Xenia MunteanOleg Ciubotaru and the list goes on, and we intend to complete it.

If you are part of the Moldovan startup ecosystem, but you are also a member of the Diaspora, fill in this form to register your name in the local community. At the same time, if you have met someone from the Diaspora who can get involved in the ecosystem, do not hesitate to send them a registration link.

The introduction of the Diaspora in local activities is a Tekwill Entrepreneurship (Startup Moldova) Community – Be great Together! Who is Tekwill: Tekwill is where people, community, ideas, resources, science and industry come together to identify, facilitate and enhance excellence in information technology. Leads the Moldovan ecosystem as a main connector and network facilitator, organizing and supporting local and regional technology-related events.

For more details write an email to community@startupmoldova.digital or on the facebook page Startup Moldova.

AgTech Conference: Digitization Necessary to Achieve More Productivity and Sustainability in Agriculture

The global pandemic crisis has accelerated the digitalization of agriculture, and farmers are more determined to implement smart solutions to increase the field’s performance. Several farmers, producers, local and international experts participated for two days in the AgTech conference “Digital solutions in agriculture” 2021 – a platform for discussion, expertise, and exchange of experiences, in order to promote the competitiveness and sustainability of agriculture through information technologies. The guests of the event discussed several solutions to encourage smart agriculture and were presented the success stories of entrepreneurs who opted for digitalization. Also, the current state of the domestic agriculture sector was analysed from the perspective of digitalization, and top companies presented real solutions to overcome the existing problems in the sector. More than 150 people attended the third edition of the conference. The AgTech Conference was organized by Agrobiznes with the support of the USAID Performance Agriculture in Moldova (APM) project in partnership with the TEKWILL Project, supported by USAID and Sweden.

Sergiu Jaman, founder of Agrobizness: “The first edition of “AgTech” Conference confirmed the increased interest of entrepreneurs, institutions and organizations in the sector towards digitalization, and this year we came up with more solutions and innovations. This year, we are also present in Romania, through our colleagues from AgroInteligența, because AgTech presents a topic of interest for specialists from across the Prut River. I want to thank all our partners because their joint efforts have made this event possible. Together with my colleagues, we looked for interesting and experienced speakers to share valuable suggestions with our participants, so I am sure that the newly obtained information will be successfully implemented”.

How do we reduce expenses? How do we optimize the work process, or the number of workers needed? How do we manage the business remotely? These are just some of the issues that conference attendees tried to find answers to on the first day of the event. “AgTech” speakers spoke about the prospects for the development of Moldovan agriculture, and farmers talked about successful models that they have already managed to implement in business – digital systems for monitoring and control of areas protected by high value crops, applied technological solutions in animal husbandry, digital farm management, orchard monitoring using GPS systems and others. The discussions were divided into four sessions, attended by experts in the field, government representatives, as well as international development partners of the Republic of Moldova.

Agriculture – an important field for the national economy of the Republic of Moldova

Vasile Șarban, Head of the Policy Department for Production, Processing, and Quality Regulation of Plant Products, MADRM: “In the 21st century, the use of information technologies has become a necessity without which we cannot develop. This is also true for the agricultural sector, with innovations being essential to achieve greater productivity and competitiveness without significant losses. The government has aligned with new trends and started implementing digital solutions through the e-Government Agency. Thanks to the platform “eguvernare.md”, we have realized over 40 e-transformation projects, which are for the benefit of the citizens, farmers and people who visit the Republic of Moldova. Nowadays, we need to focus on the implementation of information technologies for all value chains in agriculture, for a greater performance.”

Being one of the essential factors to achieve a performance agriculture, the digitalization of agriculture is also supported by development partners.

Scott Hocklander, Head of Mission of USAID Moldova: “I am surprised and inspired, at the same time, by the involvement of technology in the field of agriculture in the Republic of Moldova. I believe that digitization is an important and beneficial change, especially during the Covid-19 period. We are convinced that using these innovative technologies, Moldovan producers will be able to improve their products and find opportunities to overcome many challenges of these times. This initiative is an important one, because it not only accelerates the digitization process, but also offers young people chances to get involved, the number of which is growing rapidly, and I am impressed. I want to emphasize once again USAID’s continued commitment to develop and breathe new life into Moldova’s agriculture. We will focus our efforts on combining digital tools in agriculture, because being efficient, resilient and competitive will increase the chances of modernization and growth.”

According to statistics, over 850,000 Moldovans work in agriculture and generate, annually, about 13% of the country’s GDP. Even though the digitalisation of the agricultural sector brings many benefits, and a number of actions and tools are already being implemented, there are still many barriers to exploiting its full potential.

Ana Chirița, Director of the TEKWILL project: “Starting from the premises meant to bring together technologies and efficient agriculture, the ICT sector aligns with the needs of the agricultural sector, to contribute to bringing technology companies closer to traditional industries and expand partnerships that can add value increased in the development of both branches. By joining forces, we believe that the IT sector can bring more efficiency, performance, opportunities, and development potential to the agricultural sector. In the last 9 months, with the support of our partners, we have implemented several solutions for the agricultural sector, which should be successfully integrated into the traditional production process. The TEKWILL project will continue to engage and support the country’s strategic sectors, to create new jobs, but also to open doors to other related fields.”

In this context, supporting sustainable agriculture is one of the 5 business verticals that TEKWILL supports within the National Program “Startup Moldova” Digital Impact – a platform that encourages sectoral collaboration between representatives of traditional industries and IT. Some of the initiatives supported by the project were presented at the second day of the “AgTech” Conference. On March 3, participants in the event had the opportunity to learn from representatives of the Agency for Intervention and Payments in Agriculture how the online file submission system works to facilitate obtaining documents for various services. The largest retail networks in the country talked about the experience of payment systems and processes, whyle foreign specialists reported on their experience in the transition from traditional to performance agriculture. Also, for the first time, the conference opened the doors to new innovations in the field of AgTech, offering the opportunity to startups to present their products to the public, during the “Demo Day”. Thus, the event participants established lasting connections with ecosystem players, mentors, sponsors, and potential users of the product.

More details about the event can be followed at https://www.privesc.eu/Arhiva/93911/

“DIGITAL UPGRADE” has started – the educational program for digitizing SMEs

About 100 entrepreneurs have been trained for a month to grow their successful online business. Digital education is carried out through the “Digital Upgrade” training program, implemented by ODIMM in partnership with Startup Academy.

Between March 9 and April 2, business representatives who applied to the “SME Digitization Support Tool” benefited from direct expertise to guide the process of migrating business online from mentors with experience in marketing, communication, IT, logistics, etc.

Iulia Costin, CEO of ODIMM, highlighted the importance of training in the field of digitalization, given that it represents the future of business in the current conditions. “Digitization provides SMEs with important opportunities to improve the efficiency of production processes and the ability to innovate in terms of products and business models, and the use of e-commerce and information technologies significantly increases their competitiveness in the market.”

Maria Nemciuc, Entrepreneurship Program Manager, TEKWILL, stated that: “the development of the IT sector is very important, but it cannot grow without synergy with companies in other fields of activity, which are consumers of IT products”.

The beneficiaries of the courses were distributed, based on a self-assessment questionnaire, in 3 levels, depending on the degree of business digitization.

The program included 5 modules: Online Presence, e-Commerce Planning, Customer Service, Process Digitization, Transportation and Logistics. Each of them meets a vital aspect of the SME digitization process and facilitates the path to a tangible final result, following the course.

Within the program, local and international mentors shared their experience with the participants. Here they are:

The SME Digitization Support Tool was launched in June 2020 to support the digital transformation and development of small and medium-sized enterprises to harness the innovative potential and facilitate companies’ access to internal and external markets. To date, 466 companies have been trained and 180 have been financially supported through Grants and Business Vouchers. Another 99 businesses were submitted for funding under the 2nd Call for Projects. The program is funded from the state budget, supplemented by European Union funds and GIZ Moldova with financial support from the German Government, being implemented by ODIMM in partnership with GoOnline of COR Association, Startup Academy Program developed by TEKWILL project, with support from USAID, Sweden, and UK aid.

Fintech Vertical 2021 to support tech startups in Moldova: find out what opportunities you can benefit from this program

In recent years, the fintech industry has become of great interest to Moldovan entrepreneurs. Several Moldovan startups or financial and IT companies have focused their attention on what fintech means and the potential benefits for the society. For this purpose, powered by Moldova Agroindbank and MasterCard, Startup Moldova with the support of USAID and Sweden within the TEKWILL Project launches the “FinTech Vertical 2021” – an extensive program dedicated to tech startups that develop solutions in the field of financial services. It is a platform that connects all actors in the industry (financial/banking and IT companies, etc.) and creates collaboration bridges for the development of innovations and startups in the most promising tech field.

“Digitalization and innovation are part of Moldova Agroindbank’s agenda, which is why we decided to join forces with FinTech Vertical 2021 partners to accelerate the identification of digital solutions in the field of financial services, stimulate innovative thinking and approach, support young people in IT and tech startups. The trend of digitalization of the banking system is fulminant and we are confident that through the program we will be able to further increase the speed of implementing digital solutions within MAIB, capitalizing on the talents in our country and supporting interesting projects that will be developed”, stated Aliona Stratan, First Deputy Chairwoman of Moldova Agroindbank

“Fintechs have evolved as a new force that is changing the landscape of the financial industry, contributing to rapid digital transformation, and giving consumers more choice. Worldwide Mastercard was the chosen partner for the top fintech brands. Through our dedicated programs, we help startups to develop their business, offering them the knowledge of a global Mastercard network, access to our customers and partners, but also to increase the capacity for innovation. Our mission is to contribute to the development of the ecosystem and the creation of new opportunities for collaboration, for the benefit of industry and the consumer. We are pleased to support “Vertical Fintech 2021” together with our partner Moldova Agroindbank, and I believe that this will bring new opportunities for Moldovan startups and stimulate the latest fintech solutions on the market, with a special focus on convenience, safety, and security “, has declared Yuriy Batkhin, Vice President, Market and Business Development, Mastercard Ukraine and Moldova.

In the long-term, the ecosystem will benefit from a number of advantages: enhanced international competitiveness for Moldovan companies and enterprises, a better developed local market for B2B startups, accelerating entrepreneurship within the country, more foreign investments on the Moldovan market, financial resources in the startup ecosystem, including the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

“One of the areas with great development potential in the Republic of Moldova is financial technology. Given that IT accelerates processes and changes paradigms, startups and IT specialists can become more involved and contribute to the process of technologicalization of services in the banking and financial field. That is why FinTech Vertical 2021 will help them collaborate and find a connection: on one hand – in detecting the problems faced by banking companies in the country, and on the other – in offering relevant IT solutions in order to change the way these services are provided to society”, said Ana Chirița, Director of strategic projects, ATIC.

What actions will we take?

FinTech Hackathon. On April 23-25, a hackathon that will bring together future IT engineers, information technology enthusiasts and specialized programmers interested in this industry will be organized, in order to develop practical solutions in the field of finance. For 3 days, the participants will acquire knowledge and experience on the pressing problems in the banking and financial field, will find out about the current challenges and will look for technological solutions for the development of the fintech ecosystem in the country. The partner companies will discuss good practices in the field, but also innovative approaches to industry development. Divided into teams, the participants will learn to determine the scalability of some problems faced by the banking and financial field and to propose further IT solutions. FinTech Hackathon will host over 30 teams, becoming a starting point in selecting the participating teams for the next stage – the Accelerator.

Fintech Accelerator. In the second stage, the accelerator will support the 10-12 teams of start-ups selected in the initial stage to access the resources they need to develop fintech products and to move to the next level – the piloting. The accelerator aims to create connections between participating B2B startups and financial/banking enterprises. Participating companies have the opportunity to present and test their products at the end of the acceleration program. The target for acceleration and investment are innovative young companies with high potential for international development and expansion.

Conference. “FinTech Vertical 2021” will culminate in a conference attended by experts, startups, and all those connected to the financial industry. Here, the problems, fintech solutions, and needs of the field will be discussed, in order to build new business models through which the banks, companies in the field of financial services, and other market players could offer the best services to customers and business partners. The event is expected to bring together about 400 participants.

Do you have an innovative idea? Do you represent a startup or a financial company? Sign up for the FinTech Hackathon and participate in the technologicalization of financial services.


Tech Entrepreneurship will be acquired by students from Moldovan universities

The talent, potential and aspirations of young people in the Republic of Moldova are premises that allow the development of dynamic and profitable sectors of the national economy. That is why TEKWILL focuses its efforts on encouraging entrepreneurship among the new generations. In the 2021-2022 school year, with the support of the project in 4 universities in Chisinau, Balti, Comrat and Cahul that teach IT or related fields, entrepreneurship will be taught – one of the investment directions of the project, with the support of USAID development partners and Sweden.

Ana Chirița, director of the TEKWILL project: “We believe that promoting the culture of entrepreneurship in our country can generate positive results if it is correlated with educating young people and developing related skills. The integration of a dedicated course in the field is more than a necessity for future specialists, as Moldovan universities face various challenges related to change or performance, etc. We want students to learn more about entrepreneurship, to bring about changing visions, knowledge, and skills, to support the development of a digital economy. Nowadays, future professionals need to acquire new skills in order to be more competitive in the labour market and to generate innovative and useful products for society, with the help of information technologies.”

From October this year, 40 students will benefit from knowledge and entrepreneurial guidance within the project. The course is implemented in order to be integrated into the basic educational program and certified in the bachelor’s degree.

The pilot project is implemented in partnership with the Technical University of Moldova

In order to better meet the expectations of students’ knowledge of entrepreneurship, in March-May this year, a pilot edition of the program has been launched within the Startup Academy in partnership with the Technical University of Moldova (TUM). The course is attended by 10 students from the Faculty of Computers, Informatics and Microelectronics, but also from the Faculty of Economic and Business Engineering.

Viorel Bostan, Rector of TUM: “The labour market is constantly changing, and future employees will have to face the new challenges. That is why young people need to acquire more skills and abilities in order to be successful in a highly competitive environment. Promoting entrepreneurship in education as one of the key competencies will encourage young people to become more enterprising, find innovative solutions to societal problems and create products that add value to the country’s socio-economic development.”

What will students learn?

The program includes an extensive course on technological business development and ecosystem trends. Mentors specialized in the fields of IT, business and startups will guide participants in creating a business from idea to application. Throughout the course, students will become familiar with strategic management, financial planning, marketing, pitching, attracting investors, etc. The course will be taught in English, and the educational process will involve a mixed approach of working in groups, but also individually, young people being stimulated to study and apply knowledge outside the classroom. Participants will be selected based on the idea generated, the level of knowledge of English and the motivation to participate in the program.

“Startup Academy” part of the Startup Moldova program is an educational initiative dedicated to current and potential entrepreneurs, which is developed within the TEKWILL Project, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sweden. The basic objective of the Tekwill Project, as a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, is to ensure a major impact on the economic development of the country by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society members, but also the research and development potential of higher education institutions, in line with the demand on the IT market.