Moldovan startups will become more visible internationally and will be able to attract investments more easily. This is after, recently, the “Startup Moldova” program part of the TEKWILL project became a member of “Startup Genome” – an organization that provides research and consulting services in over 38 states, in order to develop country policies, innovation and acceleration strategies of the startup ecosystem. Through this collaboration, our country strengthens its global connection and opens more opportunities for entrepreneurs with business based on innovation: exchange of experiences and expertise with the international community, increased global visibility, communication platforms with other specialists around the world, attracting potential sources of funding and others. The development of technological entrepreneurship in Moldova is one of the priority directions of the TEKWILL project, supported by its development partners USAID and Sweden.
Ana Chirița, director of the TEKWILL project: “Moldova has taken significant steps in consolidating the startup ecosystem. Through TEWILL initiatives, it has increased the competitiveness of the ICT industry and supported entrepreneurs in the development of local technology businesses. Thus, we managed to establish a partnership with “Startup Genome”, thanks to which the local startup ecosystem will become even more visible, and entrepreneurs will be able to access foreign investments, essential for the development of IT businesses. In this way, together we will grow ideas that change the world.”
In the previous year, for the first time, the Republic of Moldova was included in the analysis report of the startup ecosystem made by “Startup Genome” – one of the most complex and important research in the field. Its data refer to our country in relation to over 250 startup ecosystems around the world. Developed e-commerce, fiscal facilities and cost-effective human capital are some of the most important reasons why a startup should become a resident of our country, the research results show. E-commerce has grown steadily in Moldova over the years, with 12% more Moldovans doing virtual shopping in 2019 than in the previous year. More. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, leading to a 30% increase in online purchases in 2020. This is also due to previous year’s investments in the development of this field by USAID and Sweden’s international partners. This acceleration lays the groundwork for an environment conducive to the implementation of innovative ideas and their transformation into digital business (integrated sales platforms, marketplaces, digital marketing solutions, etc.).
Digital business development supported by international partners
Although it has made significant progress compared to 10 years ago, Moldova still has much unexplored potential, amid a lack of entrepreneurial culture, limited access to finance, and little experience in managing its own-based businesses. In order to reduce the gap and encourage the development of business based on information technologies, the Republic of Moldova aligns with international trends and implements programs dedicated to growing and supporting startups, such as “Startup Moldova” – a complex program that offers young people with innovative ideas access to programs education, infrastructure, consultancy, mentoring, opportunities to connect to international events and competitions, as well as attract funding sources. The program is developed within the TEKWILL project, with the support of USAID and Sweden.
Anna Lyberg, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova: “Sweden contributes to the development of IT business in the Republic of Moldova and supports the expansion of opportunities for local startups internationally. We are convinced that the partnership between “Startup Moldova” and “Startup Genome” will offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect their businesses to a global network of programs and platforms in the field, which will allow them to become progressive businesses. In the future, it will contribute to creating new opportunities here, at home, for young people and for women – a very important resource for sustainable economic growth and improved living conditions in the Republic of Moldova.”
Scott Hocklander, Head of the USAID Mission to Moldova: “The digital world is developing at a rapid pace, so it is extremely important that such countries as Moldova keep up with international trends. USAID supports the development of businesses in the IT sector in the Republic of Moldova, so that they become innovative and as competitive as possible in various markets. Our collaboration with the consulting and research company in the field of innovation policies – Startup Genome, will offer local startups a wider exposure on international markets. Through the exchange of experience, constructive feedback on the concept of investments and the connections of expertise, USAID builds a vigorous ecosystem of startups in Moldova. In the long run, this means a prosperous economy, more jobs and a better future for Moldovans.”
Starting this year, Startup Moldova will focus on 3 support directions: infrastructure creation, ecosystem development and community initiatives. Thus, the program will become a platform for stronger connection of entrepreneurial communities. So far, within the TEKWILL project, assistance has been provided for about 1000 teams and startups and technological education for about 65,000 beneficiaries.
About “Startup Moldova” and TEKWILL
The national program “Startup Moldova” is part of the TEKWILL Project, implemented by the National Association of ICT Companies, with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Sweden. Tekwill was created in 2017 as a Center of Excellence of the ICT sector in Moldova, with the main purpose of aligning the field with current market requirements. 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, but also by increasing the research and development potential of institutions. education, in line with the demand in the IT market.