Mohsen Malayeri

The Right Time to Engage

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Mohsen Malayeri is the Co-founder and CEO of Avatech Accelerator, he is also the co-founder of Tribe Technologies. He is an Experienced entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of working in information technology. Previously, founded a digital marketing platform that was acquired by a media holding. Later, a founding partner of a Tech fund that was recognized as top ten seed-investor and accelerator in the Middle East by Gust.

Mohsen has been a key speaker at StartupTurkey, TEDx, StartupGrind and he has have been featured on Forbes, NPR, Guardian, and a16z. Avatech is a seed funding and accelerator program that provides Iranian entrepreneurs with the necessary ingredients to succeed. With more than 50 companies in its portfolio, Avatech was recognized as the top 10 seed investors in the Middle East.

Iran has been absent from the startup revolution happening around the world for a few years, that was until 2012 when all the factors were ready for this opportunity and emerge in the market with the startups adopted by the private sector their as an entrepreneurship incubator and accelerator.

There were factors that lead to such a development in the region’s market, demographic factors with conditions that lead Iranian people to grasp such opportunity as a new force in the business world. Right after 2012, Iran has been ready to embrace the startup culture to the full capacity.

Entrepreneurs have been making huge progress hosting startup events such as startup weekend and they arranged many talks and mentorship sessions to teach people about what entrepreneurship exactly is and what can people do for and achieve by doing startups.

Iran has such an interesting percentage of young educated people under the age of thirty five which is the age where people can be entrepreneurs and start their own projects build up on their youthful, creative ideas and able to take a risk. Add to that the percentage of internet and smartphones penetration with huge number of users of both, it becomes a perfect mix of an emerging ecosystem in the region.

Year 2014 has %50 penetration with 39 million internet users which is a spectacular growth of internet users in only two years since 2012 [2]. Lots of people had access to the internet which meant that almost all can reach the world’s data and have access to the humans’ knowledge. In addition, with the internet the market has become massive and its capacity is getting exponentially bigger and with so many services to provide through it, so many products to advertise and market with so many platforms to work at and opportunities to find.

Cellphone users in Iran 2012 were approximately 100 million user with %126 penetration, which means that lots of people have more than one cellphone, this hadn’t only been a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch business or get into business from around the globe, but also a massive improvement of the customers’ base and the types of customers targeted by companies in and out of the country.

In a span of two years, more than nine cities in Iran has hosted 25 startup events and talks about the startup world with 2500 people and it was completely done and empowered by entrepreneurs with no governmental help, this was the reason for the explosive mass of looking into startups more and searching and learning more about launching and starting a business through startup.

So to say, engaging in the Iranian market right after the preparation period of 2012-2014 is the perfect time to invest of scale in the region’s business. We have seen in the media how business is opening up for investing if people are interested in investing in a frontier market, and if you are interested in mentoring young entrepreneurs then you get to visit different accelerators, show at events and deliver speeches assured that you have got a huge audience of fresh entrepreneurs who are ready to do startups and build their own companies. While if you have the startup you will find some seriously planned organized events to help some local startups starting their business.

─ May 15, 2019