The initiative to establish the startup center for the realization of students' creativity and initiatives at the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industrial University was initiated by the rector Mustafa Babanli in the autumn of 2015. This center, called the "Eazi START", includes the startup school, the co-hunting space, and the laboratory.
At Startup School, the first creative students have been agreed with specialists from Ukraine and Israel for training in order to provide the most basic knowledge about startups, inventions and business. The registration of the school started on 29 December 2015 and 247 applications were filed. After the relevant inspection, 100 candidates have been nominated for the first stage of the school. Along with local students, there were representatives of other universities, as well as foreigners.
The first stage continued from January to June 2016. Partners and mentors of the Center have been trained by Igor Peer (Be Next IT business incubator, Israel) and Inna Malyukova (Sikorsky Challange Startup School and business incubator, Ukraine). According to the program, during the first 2 months, team trainings were given startups, general knowledge about innovative business, and individual work was done on the initial initiatives and projects of participants during the next two months.
15 initiatives and projects for development, promotion of business plans, development of prototypes were continued in May-June.
The first startup school was organized at the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industrial University on June 30, 2016 and 15 projects were presented to the guests by relevant teams. Head of the Presidential Administration Fatma Khalil Abdullazadeh, Minister of Education Mikail Jabbarov, state officials, university managers, local and foreign investors highly appreciated the projects presented at the event. Israeli businessmen and investors have also pointed out that some projects can be easily marketed on the world market. The official opening ceremony of the "Easi START" center took place on the day of the event and the guests got acquainted with the conditions created for young starters in ASOIU.
Currently, the existing projects cover both software and hardware. Projects mainly related to computer programs and mobile applications are implemented by the teams at the "Eazi START" center. In this case, the Department of Information Technologies of the University also closely participates in giving advice and contribution. Engineering work is carried out at the dedicated laboratory. One or more teachers from the relevant department of the University are involved as consultants on each project and tries to convey the students correctly.
Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University intends to provide more support for the development of projects through the Eazi START Center. At the beginning of 2017, more prototypes will be created for the project, and more will be done to bring them to the local and foreign markets, mass production will be organized depending on the demand and supply.
The next training cycle will begin at the beginning of 2017 and will last for about 6 months.