DBH Group will help to establish investment opportunities and also to support startup companies expand internationally in both Europe and the Caucasus according to the two memoranda signed on Tuesday, during the Hungarian-Azerbaijani Business Forum.
Hungarian investment and business services company DBH Group signed two memoranda of understanding with State Fund for Development of Information Technologies in Azerbaijan (ICT Fund) and High Tech Park Azerbaijan (HTP) in Budapest on Tuesday.
According to the memoranda of understanding parties shall cooperate to establish investment opportunities, facilitate the development of Azerbaijani startups and innovative IT and tech enterprises, and also to support startup companies expand internationally by setting up branches of EU-based companies in Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani startups in the EU.
Memoranda were signed by Elchin Zeynalov, Executive Director of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies in Azerbaijan, Seymur Aghayev, CEO of High Tech Park Azerbaijan and Sándor Erdei, CEO of DBH Group.
“I truly believe that this memorandum of understanding signifies strong future cooperation between the ICT Fund and DBH Group. Our goal is to support bilateral relations and create framework to promote participation of the Hungarian companies in joint investments in Azerbaijan. The Fund is ready to participate in those projects as equity holder,” said Elchin Zeynalov, Executive Director of the State Fund for Development of Information Technologies in Azerbaijan.
Seymur Aghayev, CEO of High Tech Park Azerbaijan added: “As you may know, Azerbaijan has a national project Azerbaijan 2020: Vision into the Future which plans to transform the oil economy into a human capital based economy, and ICT is the major sector to house this transformation. Therefore, agreements such as the ones that we’ve signed today between DBH, High Tech Park and ICT Fund will be another step forward in this long journey. Hopefully our cooperation with DBH will expedite our goals for a faster growing ICT market in Azerbaijan and become the natural hub for European companies willing to cooperate in the surrounding regions of our country as well as expansion of Azerbaijani companies and startups into the global market.”
Sándor Erdei, CEO of DBH said: “We see strong opportunities in the joint development of startup incubation and business services in Azerbaijan and the surrounding region that is growing at much higher pace than the average of Europe and is very rich in capital.” He added: “Azerbaijani market is open to new technologies and to tech companies so venture capital raising can be an easy option for Hungarian entrepreneurs. Azerbaijan is a natural hub for the Caucasus and the Central Asian region that can be reached very cost efficiently.”
Sándor Erdei emphasised: “One of our business units, DBH SeedStar is incubating seed-stage investments and selected startups from Eastern Europe and former Soviet states for acceleration in European Union and especially in the Netherlands. So we can also help Azerbaijani startups to build a solid presence in the EU as well.”
Building a joint startup ecosystem
The State Fund for Development of Information Technologies was established in 2012, by the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The purposes of the Fund are the development of entrepreneurship in the field of ICT in Azerbaijan and its financial support, to attract local and foreign investment in this area, the integration of new technologies in the local economy, to support projects to expand the application of scientific researches and innovations, as well as to improve the investment climate in the ICT field.
High-Tech Park (HTP) was established by the Ministry of Communication and High Technologies of Azerbaijan in November 2012 as part of the Azerbaijan 2020 program aiming to transform the oil based economy to a knowledge-based one. HTP is the cornerstone project of developing sustainable and competitive environment for the ICT industry and startups.