YEREVAN—Last year, the Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center (EPIC) at the American University of Armenia (AUA) teamed up with Impact Hub Yerevan Social Innovation Development Foundation (Impact Hub Yerevan). The goal of the partnership was to establish a fellowship program that will support AUA students interested in developing projects that aim to tackle social problems in Armenia. Throughout the six-month fellowship, Impact Hub Yerevan will nurture the fellows in a supportive environment of over one hundred of Armenia’s brightest social entrepreneurs to inspire, connect, develop and realize new ideas to address social issues. After assessing multiple student submissions over the past year, the collaborating parties are proud to announce the team of fellows selected to develop their project with support from Impact Hub Yerevan further.
The winning team includes Samvel Grigoryan, a graduate student from AUA’s Gerald and Patricia Turpanjian School of Public Health, Levon Harutyunyan, a graduate student from the Department of Sustainable Development and Ecology at the Armenian State Pedagogical University, and Maria Antonosyan, a graduate student from the Department of Zoology at Yerevan State University. Their project, AlterVedi, aims to transform Vedi, a small town in the Ararat Province of Armenia, into a tourism hub.
Vedi, located along the Vedi River, 31 miles south of Yerevan, houses a population of about 11,384. Through the AlterVedi project, the team intends to transform the remote town into an eco-friendly and healthy tourism center that will serve as an archetype of environmental sustainability.
Through their efforts, the team will also be contributing to the Tree of Life NGO, registered in Vedi in 2016. The organization’s mission is to implement various educational, environmental, and research projects that engage citizens of different age groups in the development of civic society. Thus, the Tree of Life NGO advocates the participation of the local citizenry in events on topics of environmental protection, rational use of natural resources, health education, healthy lifestyle, and cultural preservation.
Impact Hub Yerevan will house the project and provide Samvel, Levon, and Maria with a collaborative community, through which they will receive entrepreneurial support and access to educational programs and events. AUA, EPIC, and Impact Hub are committed to the continued support of entrepreneurship and innovation in Armenia and look forward to the team’s next chapter of success.
The American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides US-style education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.
EPIC (Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center) is a platform for promoting entrepreneurial education, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and startup incubation at AUA. EPIC aims to develop knowledgeable and efficient entrepreneurs to address global and local needs. By combining classroom lectures, prototyping capabilities, and experience of a diverse network of business and technical advisors, EPIC allows students to utilize their knowledge and develop new ventures effectively.
Impact Hub Armenia Social Innovation Development Foundation (also known as Impact Hub Yerevan) is a professional membership organization dedicated to individuals, enterprises, start-ups, and organizations making a positive impact in Armenia and around the world.