IT Park Grandly Celebrated Its First Foundation Anniversary
On January 10, 2020, IT Park Uzbekistan celebrated its first-year anniversary and organized an IT conference titled “StarTTech” Tashkent city, which was solely dedicated to the development of information technologies both in Uzbekistan and abroad. It was initiated by the Ministry for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan and “Technological Park of Software Products and Information Technologies” LLC (IT Park).
To remind, IT Park had been founded by the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan (number17) “On measures to create a technological park of software products and information technologies” dated January 10, 2019.
A StarTTech conference gathered international ICT experts who had a chance to listen to eminent speakers, get acquainted with the results of the past year and future plans of IT Park, and participate in discussions with representatives of local IT companies. Plus, the “Open Data Challenge 2019” hackathon award ceremony, the first wave exhibition of IT Park startup projects and the “open microphone” for novice IT entrepreneurs have been also held during the event.
The main goal of the event is to unite like-minded tech people to strengthen partnership in the field of startup projects, residency and IT education in Uzbekistan.
The conference will include 4 sessions covering the most relevant IT directions like: startup ecosystem, venture financing, IT education and IT centers and the development of IT exports.
Conference speakers were:
- Farhod Ibragimov, CEO of IT Park Uzbekistan, the main initiator of the event, has been developing information technologies in Uzbekistan since 2012. In his speech, he spoke about how IT Park managed to become the powerhouse of the information technology sector in Uzbekistan, what the company is now focusing on and the team’s future plans.
- Alexey Plotnikov, the founder and CEO of Frostgate, the independent mobile games development studio founded in September 2017 in Novosibirsk. The primary idea of the company is to release amazing games interesting to play by the company employees too. The main direction of the company is the development of mobile midcore projects. Alexey has been developing games for over 10 years and the last 6 of them he acts as a leader. Frostgate studio during its work-cycle launched multiple games that have been downloaded more than several million times. Alexey’s experience covers all areas of launching game startups, and he delightfully shared a part of this information in his report.
- Sergey Bogdanov, the founder and director of the venture fund and YellowRockets company that develops a global startup community and specializes in facilitating acceleration programs for startups. YellowRockets collaborates with leading Russian and international venture funds, development institutions, business angel communities and a number of corporations. It annually arranges over 100 events for startups, including start-up weekends, hackathons, acceleration programs. Sergey is a serial entrepreneur since 2003, he also holds the title of Doctor of Sciences. At the conference, he talked about the experience of developing a venture ecosystem, best practices and the role of the state.
- Sergey Brazhnikm – the director for development of regional educational projects at Yandex. He promotes Yandex educational projects in Russia and abroad, interacts with authorities and educational communities. At the event Sergey spoke about Yandex projects in the field of education, their benefits for the company and the industry and how Yandex formed an educational ecosystem from a set of projects and what are its plans for the future.
- Bahram Fayzutdinov – founder and head of AmayaSoft, develops mobile products for over 12 years. AmayaSoft specializes in creating children’s mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms. It is the resident of IT Park. Over 60 employees works in the company. Its mobile applications are being sold in America, Europe and Asia, the number of downloads has exceeded the mark of 10 million per year, some of the applications are in the top of “Baby” category. Bahram talked about the features of the mobile application business and his prospects vision for this field in Uzbekistan.
As IT Park CEO Farhod Ibragimov noted in his speech, IT Park was founded exactly one year before and in such a short period of time a number of historical moments happeed in the company: the official opening of IT Park on July 24, 2019; opening of the IT Academy on August 1, 2019; the release of the first season of incubation and acceleration programs at IT Park on August 15, 2019; the emerge of first resident of IT Park – “Revochain Technology” on August 19, 2019; visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to IT Park on November 20, 2019; the release of the first startup teams of IT Park and Demo Day on December 14, 2019.
IT Park strives to advance residency program
The residency program under IT Park is one of the key organization unit. To date, IT Park has 363 residents with a total export volume of $ 15 million. Its residents are mostly dealing with wholesale trade and distribution, financial markets and technological production. There are special incentives in IT Park thanks to which residents are exempted from almost all types of taxes (except personal income tax). In addition, residents are not required to pay customs duties, plus, they can use dollars in domestic payments.
Today IT Park is improving its residency program, already accepting SaaS and PaaS companies as residents. Starting from July 15, 2019, it has been providing tax incentives for companies involved in IT education. In this way, IT training centers can receive state support, and software companies can implement internal training programs. The resident acceptance process is also simplified to the maximum level; now it takes averagely 15 days.
In a short time, IT Park will begin resident acceptance based on their business plans, rather than CCEA, companies specializing in hardware and software can become resident, as well as the entire interaction process will go online.
IT Park expands to the regions of Uzbekistan
Over 33 million people live in Uzbekistan and it equals to almost the half population of Central Asia. The average age of a citizen of Uzbekistan is 27 years and it gives us more than 18 million able-bodied people.
“We have a huge human potential that is concentrated in the regions of the country, and we must to extend it. However, we have a big issue: a large number of school graduates who have nowhere to go. To be a good IT specialist it is not necessary to have a diploma of university, so we have several important initiatives aimed at solving this problem. The opening of IT-Centers in each region of our Republic can be considered as one of the most ambitious and promising solutions,” said IT Park CEO.
In the regions of Uzbekistan, IT-centers to open for those young and talented children who feel uncomfortable to come to IT Park in Tashkent. In cooperation with experienced foreign partners, training programs are being developed from a general lift in computer literacy to programming skills and cyber sports.
At IT Center anyone will be able to receive free basic online and offline education in the field of information technology, the courses of which are also conducted in the Uzbek language. The IT – Center will have the opportunity to undergo training not only for beginners, but also for people with practical experience who want to advance their skills.
Moreover, in IT-centers, teachers will be able to undergo training on a special tutor training system. The scientific and teaching staff of schools, academic lyceums, professional colleges and universities of Uzbekistan will have a chance to continuously improve their qualifications and skills.
IT Park puts a focus on IT education
Information technology is the foundation of any advanced economy, and the knowledge of IT professionals, their operation in the digital space is much important for the intellectual potential of society. In terms of export of IT services, Uzbekistan is still lagging behind the traditionally intensive countries like Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and others. Therefore, one of the priorities of IT Park is to radically change the situation in this industry.
The IT Academy under IT Park is the main executor of the “One Million Uzbek Coders” national program, which is supported by the Government of the United Arab Emirates, the Ministry of Development of Information Technologies and Communications of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan and Inha University in Tashkent, and launched 21 November, 2019
As the part of “One Million Uzbek Coders” project, the IT Academy translated four courses of the Udacity international platform into the Uzbek language in the most popular areas of programming and data analysis. Nowadays, 85 teachers have been trained (ToT), over 6,000 students have registered for the course and more than 600 students have already completed the first training stage.
Plus, under IT Park, a pilot version of the IT-training project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan in 20 schools nationwide as part of the IT-Nation project.
In February 2020, the IT Academy is expected to launch a new project codenamed “IT-Start” and all IT resident IT park companies are invited to it. IT-Start will consist of a series of training practice-oriented events for young programmers. In addition to teaching programming, students will learn in a game form the skills of working in a team, they will learn how to create IT projects and their essense, they will gain skills in working with tools for tracking and controlling tasks, SOFT skills for working with clients. The training will be conducted by experienced programmers working in the largest IT entities. The best graduates of the project will have the opportunity to undergo internships and employment in IT Park resident companies.
IT Park arranges IT related contests
IT Park is the organizer and partner of range IT events and competitions, each of that has its own special significance in the development of IT culture, making a kind of funnel for startups in Uzbekistan to develop and turn into large IT companies. Over the past year, IT Park has carried out 5 major IT contests with a total prize pool over 2 billion UZS, whereof more than 810 million have already been awarded as prizes for startup projects accomplishments.
Apart, fresh IT entrepreneurs from current year can undergo an online incubation program in the Uzbek language, which should help the dynamic development of the startup ecosystem throughout the Uzbekistan.
IT Park expands cooperation with foreign organizations
One of the main tasks of IT Park is also to establish cooperation with foreign countries and foreign partners in order to promote IT products in foreign markets, and attract foreign investors for joint project implementation.
As of today, IT Park has agreements and memoranda of cooperation with over 20 partners from 8 countries, including: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, the United Kingdom, Georgia, India, Switzerland, Korea, Egypt and the USA.
IT Park in 2022
By 2022, IT Park will have its branches in 5 regions: Samarkand, Bukhara, Namangan, Khorezm and the Republic of Karakalpakstan. The IT Park project in Tashkent itself will be scaled up and cover 7.8 hectares of land whereof 385 thousand meter/square will make the total built-up area including 19 upscale buildings. This project will be able to create more than 16 thousand new workplaces and allow gifted young generation to find high-paid and worthful jobs.