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 The 9th  Kazan OIC Youth Entrepreneurship International Forum  jointly organized by the Eurasian Regional Center of the Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF-ERC), Ministry of Youth Affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan (RF), and Youth Social Fund “Selet” of  Tatarstan Republic, started its work in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan on May, 15-19 2023 .  

The Forum was organized under the following topics.: 

  1. 1st day of Kazan OIC Entrepreneurship Forum started with speakers greeting. Speakers of the opening ceremony were Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan Aigul Sabirova, Acting Director General of the Eurasian Regional Center of the ICYF Vusal Gurbanov, Deputy Director General of the Kazan IT Park Technopark — Rustem Yunusov, Chairwoman of Academy of Youth Diplomacy — Dilbar Sadykova. Speakers welcomed participants, gave some advice and wished good luck in the upcoming Forum program.1st day of event held on16 May, 2023. 
  2. The 2nd day of Kazan OIC Entrepreneurship Forum the hosted by Kazan Youth Forum jointly organized by Eurasian Regional Center of ICYF (ICYF-ERC) took place. Partners Session was held, featuring discussions on opportunities for young entrepreneurs on 17 May, 2023. Among the participating organizations were Young Business Hub (Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF) –International Incubation Center, Innoland Incubation & Acceleration Center, SABAH.lab, NEXT STEP Innovation Center.

    Mr. Necmettin Gürses, as a representative of Young Business Hub Department and International Incubation Center attended the partner session and took part as a speaker. Mr. Gürses presented ICYF Economic Empowerment Projects and International Incubation Center to startups, investors and representatives of Sabah.lab Acceleration Center, Next Step Innovation Center, and Innoland Incubation and Acceleration Center. 

  3. The 3rd day of event on 18 May, 2023 Mr. Sami Serdar and Mr. Necmettin Gürses visited IT Park of Kazan and Innopolis University. During the visit, Mr. Serdar and Mr. Necmettin speak about cooperation and collaboration with ICYF & International Incubation Center. 
  4. At the 9th Kazan OIC Youth Entrepreneurship Forum, after the official Opening Ceremony, several MOUs were signed amongst: 
  • ICYF-ERC and Youth Entrepreneurship Support Center of Uzbekistan; 
  • Tatarstan Republic Youth Social Fund “Selet” and Ejad Labs; 
  • Tatarstan Republic Youth Social Fund “Selet” and Future Fest. 
  • The Memorandum of Understanding signed by Mr. Elchin Asgarov, Chair of the Board of the ICYF-ERC, and Mr. Rashidov Orian Mehroj, Director of the Youth Entrepreneurship Support Center of Uzbekistan, reflects actual steps to support startups from Eurasian geography and to assist the development of young entrepreneurs’ capacity building in the coming years. 
  • One of the main activity directions of ICYF-ERC is to support youth entrepreneurship within the OIC, especially, in the Eurasian region. For more than 10 years, ICYF-ERC and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan annually co-organize the Kazan OIC Youth Entrepreneurship Forum.

    5. The Demo-Day of the 9th Kazan OIC Youth Entrepreneurship Forum took place in Kazan, the Republic of Tatarstan (RF), within the framework of “Russia – Islamic World: Kazan Forum 2023” on 19 May, 2023. 30 startups from 15 countries (14 – online and 16 – offline) presented their projects at the investment session.

            The jury members of the investment sessions were: 

  • Mr. Ziad Barouni زياد الباروني Barouni, Storytelling, Pitching & Critical Thinking Coach/ Mentor, International Entrepreneurship Consultant
  • Mr. Sami Serdar – CEO of Young Business Hub (Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF)) – International Incubation Center
  • Mr. Necmettin Gürses – Expert at Young Business Hub (Islamic Cooperation Youth Forum (ICYF)) – International Incubation Center
  • Mr. Orian Mekhroj Rashidov, Director of Uzbekistan Youth Entrepreneurship Support Center Yoshtadbirkoruz
  • Mr. Arzish Azam, CEO at Ejad Labs
  • Ms. Shehab Farrukh Niazi, COO at Ejad Labs, COO at FutureFest
  • Mr. Rustem Yunusov, Deputy Director of the IT Park Kazan Technopark 

           The jury members of the investment sessions were: 

  • Mr. Vusal Gurbanov– Acting Director General of ICYF ERC,
  • Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo Program Director of the Forum
  •  Mr. Soltan Bayramov, MBA│IPMA B│DCPM – Deputy Director of Innovations Center LLC- Innoland Incubation & Acceleration Center,
  • Ms.Nazrin Asgarzade (Guluzade) – Managing Director of NEXT STEP Innovation Center,
  • Mr.Farhad Pashayev – Executive Board Member of SABAH.lab Acceleration Center 

          Within the framework Demo day of the Forum, panel discussions, lectures, interactive seminars and project sessions were held on the topics of “Development of young entrepreneurship in Russia and OIC countries: difficulties and ways of its solving”, “Youth entrepreneurship within the Islamic world” and “Implementation of innovative startup solutions in the OIC countries” with the participation of well-known investors and experts representing different countries 

         Discussing key trends in islamic finance, technology based ideas in OIC region, the future of the Tataristan startup eco-system, Challenges and solutions for startups in OIC region with speakers highlighted these topics. 

          During the Demo Day, the winners were announced by the decision of the jury represented by international experts. ICYF-ERC allocated USD 10,000 for the first-place winner, the “Evocraft” project, authored by young businessmen from Tunisia, Ali Cherif and Haytem Dabbabi. The above-mentioned project is aimed at spreading technological knowledge and obtaining scientific achievements among young people in the future. The President of ICYF H.E. Mr. Taha Ayhan Chair of the Board of the ICYF-ERC, Mr. Elchin Asgarov, and the Minister of Youth Affairs of the Republic of Tatarstan, H.E. Mr. Rinat Sadykov, congratulated the winners of the startup projects and wished them success.  

Outcomes of the event

  1. During the three-day event, Mr. Sami Serdar also participated of the “Youth entrepreneurship within the Islamic world” as speaker in the panel, workshops, presentation platforms, public talks and networked with attendees showcasing ICYF’s youth economic empowerment and development projects.  
  1. The second selected startup which is OTO Courses on demo day was awarded by International Incubation Center. OTO Courses will take in place in İstanbul for 6 months fully dedicated program that includes office space, accommodation, food, and a network. 
  1. Mr. Necmettin Gürses met with Mr. Fatih Cemil,  CMO of Coşkun Öz Holding, and Mr. Efe Tokgoz  Investment & Portofolio Management of CInvestment Fund in Kazan Expo. Mr. Gürses introduced the Kazan OIC Entrepreneurship Forum and also brought them together with Rustem Yunusov, Deputy Manager of IT Park and Mr. Timur Suleymanov. During the meeting CInvestment agreed to invest and cooperate IT Park in the future. Mr. Efe Tokgoz also wanted be part of International Incubation Center as investor. After the event Investment Fund will be met with IIC startups. 
  1. More than 200 applications were sent to participate in this year’s Forum, and a jury of experts selected 31 startup projects representing 14 countries (Azerbaijan, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Jordan, Türkiye, USA, Kenya and etc.). Along with the OIC Member States, representatives of non-Member States such as the US, UK, Canada, Russia, Germany, and Georgia. International Incubation Center contribute Kazan OIC Forum with panel session, startups and expert who give trainings to startups.