mLab ECA started its initial operations in September, 2011. As the first mobile application lab in the region, the mLab aims to boost regional competitiveness in mobile development. It provides entrepreneurs and developers a platform to enhance their technical and entrepreneurial skills. Another valuable asset of mLab ECA is its network of key actors in the mobile industry. To date, mLab ECA has incubated 20 teams/startups, developed more than 70 products. In addition, through networking and learning events, mLab ECA established a strong mobile community of 50 mobile companies and 600 mobile developers, designers and entrepreneurs.
The inauguration of mLab’s new premises will take place simultaneously with the final round of the Regional Mobile Application Contest wherein 9 countries of the region are participating. Individuals and teams from Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Armenia will be pitching their innovative mobile application ideas in front of an international jury.
The mLab in Yerevan is supported by infoDev, a global innovation program in the World Bank, and financed by the government of Finland, in collaboration with Nokia. infoDev provided a seed grant for the mLab concept in Armenia in 2011. Together, the mLab and infoDev continue to facilitate partnerships with global technology and development partners and encourage peer-learning between mLabs and mHubs around the world. mLab Yerevan is part of global network of mobile labs, which includes affiliates in Kenya, South Africa and Vietnam.
mHubs and mLabs form the backbone of infoDev's Mobile Innovation Program, which enable entrepreneurship in the mobile industry. They implement incubation, acceleration, and community-building to support growth-oriented app startups locally. Led by local startups communities, they represent the important nodes on the ground in infoDev’s global mobile innovation network. infoDev co-designs mHubs and mLabs together with grassroots partners in order to adjust their business models to local market conditions.
The World Bank has also given support through the E-Society and Innovation for Competitiveness project in Armenia that aims to foster enterprise innovation.
The initiatives led by mLab ECA aim to make the region a global hub for mobile innovation, boosting high-growth businesses for job creation. It will also highlight how mobile applications can address economic and social needs in the region.
mLab ECA is hosted by the Enterprise Incubator Foundation, in partnership with Republic of Armenia Government and State Engineering University of Armenia.
For more information: www.mlabeca.com and www.infodev.org/mobile
Mariam Davtyan, mLab ECA/EIF, +374 10 219797; +374 60 509876
Michelle Pabalan, infoDev/World Bank, +1 202 473 4296, email@example.com