12 August 2012
mLab ECA—the Mobile Application Lab in the Eastern Europe, South Caucasus, and Central Asia—launched its full operations in September 2011 aiming to boost regional competitiveness in mobile development. One year later, this infoDev grant has successfully incubated 12 teams behind 39 applications, and has offered a variety of events and trainings for regional mobile technology professionals.
Development of startups and applications
Less than a year after launch, mLab ECA has incubated 12 teams and hosted 60 interns; the teams have published 39 applications in Apple, Android, and Microsoft markets with more than 300,000 downloads in total.
The mLab ECA entrepreneurs delivered even more applications through various regional and global competitions. They generated over 70 mobile applications for “Your Phone, Your Apps” contest jointly implemented by mLab ECA and Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia, as well as 120 application ideas for infoDev and Nokia’s m2Work Challenge.
Regional mLab events and trainings
m2Work: From Millions of Tasks to Thousands of Jobs: In March 2012, mLab ECA held idea generation events in connection with the m2Work challenge. Over 50 participants submitted innovative ideas for microwork-intensive mobile applications. In addition, Alexander Shakaryan of Armenia was the winner in the ECA region for his “MicroForester” idea, a distributed reforestation project. During the course of the event, mLab ECA provided Shakaryan with coaching and mentorship to further develop his concept into a functional mobile application.
mLab ECA has also designed the ECA Regional Mobile Applications (RMA) contest to provide innovative mobile startups with a strong support environment to become viable businesses. The contest is expected to commence in September 2012, and will feature a two-day Startup Weekend pitching event for regional mobile application developers.
mLab ECA also offers intensive and longer trainings and workshops where young professionals interested in mobile application development in various platforms. The courses tackle such subjects as the newest mobile technologies, startup best practices, and of course mobile application development. mLab ECA has established close partnerships with the Gyumri Information Technology Center, the Microsoft Innovation Center, and the Armenian-Indian Center of Excellence in ICT to implement trainings in local cities.
Moreover, mLab ECA has organized several events with regional partners:
- “Independence Cup” Intercollegiate Programming Olympiad, October 15, 2011
- Hackathon[YAN] Yerevan, 17-18 December 2011
- “Your Phone, Your Apps” Contest, May 2012
- Imagine Cup Armenia 2012, July 2012 (International Summit)
Strong support to meet the demand in facilities
Thanks to implementer Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) of Armenia and government partners, mLab ECA was able to keep up with the rapid growth of business operations and services in the region and the ensuing demand for incubation space.
mLab ECA can support up to 10 teams under incubation at one time. In addition, the Government of Armenia and the State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA) have agreed with EIF to dedicate 400 square meters for additional incubation space in February 2012.
infoDev launched mLab ECA in 2011 as part of the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy program, which is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.
To keep up with mLab ECA news, visit the official website here and like them on Facebook. Check out mLab ECA news, contests, and events here. For more information on infoDev’s mobile innovation activities, click here.