Dear friends & partners,

We are delighted to bring you the latest news on startup ecosystems in the CAREC region. Our newsletter highlights various developments in the areas of startups, ICT, and digital transformation. 
We would be happy to report on your organization’s work, so feel free to share your story or article with us. This newsletter is distributed to various stakeholders in the CAREC region. For more updates join our telegram channel: 

Digitalization Policy and Initiatives 
Mongolia’s Government is Making Space for Women in Tech
The youngest female member of the Mongolian government’s Cabinet is helping lead the nation’s digital transformation. In 2020 the E-Mongolia platform was launched, which has since digitized 650 government services, making it easier for Mongolians to access any government service.
China to Encourage Qualified Digital Cultural Companies to go Public
China will encourage qualified digital cultural companies to go public in order to promote digitalization in the culture sector. To broaden their financial channels, the government will support scientific and innovative digital cultural firms to list on the STAR Market of the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Azerbaijan Introduces New Digital Media Analysis Platform
Azerbaijan’s Media Development Agency has presented a national digital media analysis platform - project. The platform will create additional advertising opportunities for online media entities as a continuation of reforms in various areas.
Startup Initiatives
CAREC University Startup Generator Progresses to Final Stage
Forty-one cross-country and gender diverse teams from CAREC member countries are participating in the brainstorming and mentorship sessions aimed at helping young future entrepreneurs to develop and refine their startup ideas and learn about startups development from Silicon Valley experts. The teams that progress to the final stage will present their startup projects to a jury during a Demo Day on June 14, 2022, and the top five teams will receive each up to U.S. $400 in prize money.
Top Five Projects of “Startup Academy” in Ashgabat Have Been Selected
The Centre of Technology of Science Academy of Turkmenistan selected top five projects from the “Academy of Startups” course conducted by the Center along with a consulting company MCT. The course, which consisted of training sessions as well as individual consultations, taught participants about the stages of creating a startup project.
Startuppers of Karakalpakstan Study the Experience of Tashkent Entrepreneurs in Launching Business Initiatives
The UN Development Programme, in collaboration with the Youth Union of Karakalpakstan, organized an introductory business tour for 10 young startuppers of Karakalpakstan. The tour aimed at creating a favorable environment for studying how to run business projects and sharing knowledge of launching startups in various areas.
A Technical Center of the Global Innovation Platform "Plug and Play" to be Opened in Uzbekistan
The Plug and Play platform announced the opening of its office in Tashkent by the end of 2022. This will help create more opportunities for local corporations and agencies to interact closely with startups, accelerating the development of the startup ecosystem across the region.  
1.    Astana Hub in Partnership with Google for Startups (GfS), has Launched Offline Silkway Accelerator 
The three-month offline Silkway Accelerator in Nur–Sultan for startups from Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan and Mongolia will support up to 15 startups at the Product/Market Fit stage in setting up efficient business processes, scaling, and preparing for investments.  Read more.
2.    Applications are Open for Females with a Tech-Oriented Idea or Startup, and Entrepreneurs from Pakistan until June 22, 2022. 
If you are a woman from GBC and have a tech-oriented idea or startup, apply here; if you are a woman from GBC and have an existing business, apply here.
3. Applications are open for Central Asian incubation and acceleration programs Tumaris.Tech until June 26, 2022   
Incubation and acceleration programs for female entrepreneur with technological start-up projects will kick off on July 4 and will proceed in Russian, for 3 months online, apply here.
4. How To Get Funding for Startups in Pakistan?
If you have an idea for a startup and are looking for ways to fund your startup project, there are several ways available for you to get funding for your startup project in Pakistan. Read more.
Recommended Reading 
1. Global Startup Ecosystem Index Report 2022 of StartupBlink ranking the startup ecosystems of 1,000 cities and 100 countries has been published with a spotlight on CAREC startup ecosystem on pg. 373
2. Research paper "Beyond COVID-19: Advancing Digital Business Transformation in the Eastern Partner Countries" of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) shows that over 60 percent of Azerbaijani SMEs increased their digital skills since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. Article discusses major challenges faced by Pakistan’s IT Industry: low quality of internet services; a huge educational gap; lack of intellectual property protection laws; lack of legal framework for e-commerce; lack of technology & it parks; lack of research and development; lack of a startup environment.
About CAREC Program 
The CAREC 2030 Strategy emphasizes the integration of information and communication technology (ICT) across the CAREC Program’s spectrum of operations. As part of its CAREC Digital Strategy 2030 implementation and upcoming initiatives, efforts are being made to accelerate digital adoption in the Program’s five operational clusters.
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The purpose of this communication is to apprise you of various activities in the CAREC region relating to startup ecosystems, digitalization, and information technology.