Export of IT solutions from Kazakhstan is growing thanks to the support program for entering foreign markets
94 Kazakhstani IT companies have passed the acceleration program to increase the export of IT services and technology products Scalerator from Astana Hub. As part of the program, participants signed contracts and agreements for $875,000 and attracted investments for more than $300,000.
Scalerator (from the words scale and accelerator) accelerator, accelerated development program) is an IT business scaling program supported by the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry, which helps IT companies from Kazakhstan enter new markets and conclude contracts in other countries.
Within 8 weeks, IT companies, together with experts, conducted market research, studied competitors and prepared a marketing strategy for entering a foreign market. Participants received professional assistance in finding business partners and first sales in new markets from top experts.
“This year, for the first time, we switched to a program of real support for the export of IT companies. The President set a goal to reach $500 million in exports of IT services by 2025. This is a big, but quite achievable challenge. We were convinced of this once again during the 8 weeks of the Scalerator program. For example, one of the companies that underwent acceleration is at the stage of negotiating and signing contracts, the total amount of which is $1 million. Another, thanks to our mentors, conducted 15 pitchings in English and three countries became interested in its product at once: Saudi Arabia, Cyprus and Ukraine” , - said Magzhan Madiyev, General Director of Astana Hub.
The geography of the program covered three regions: the near abroad (CIS and Baltic countries), Southeast Asia, as well as North America and Europe. In total, 234 applications were received for participation in the program, 94 companies reached the acceleration final. Among them are already well-known Kazakhstani brands Aviata, Damumed, Parqour, Singularity Lab, Dream Light, Aspex, as well as very young IT companies VOCA, Akhter Studio, Connected Home Ltd and others.
“The name of the accelerator reflects the essence: the program brought together strong and promising Kazakh companies. They showed us that nothing is impossible - in 8 weeks you can achieve your wildest goals. The main thing is not to put off anything for later! And believe in yourself. For these two months, the attention of the whole world has been focused on Kazakhstan and its technology entrepreneurs,” emphasized Anna Sholina, co-organizer of the acceleration program and co-founder of the SOLYANKA agency.
Each company was assigned an individual tracker and mentor who monitored the weekly results of the participants. In total, the program involved more than 50 mentors, more than 40 experts and more than 15 trackers, who in total spent over 500 hours of work: workshops, individual and group consultations, joint reporting meetings - board rallies, traction meetings, mastermind sessions.
To implement the program, top IT export promotion operators were involved: SOLYANKA agency and Yellow Rockets. The first company has been launching global educational and acceleration programs, major international events for several years. A striking example is the Emerge conference. The second one develops a startup community in the CIS and in the world, also specializes in organizing acceleration programs for startups, cooperates with leading Russian and international venture funds, development institutions, business angel communities and corporations.
“It was very interesting to work with IT entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan. In terms of the maturity of decisions and the readiness of teams to enter foreign markets, the accelerator participants are at the level and in some ways surpass their Russian colleagues,” said Leonid Larshin, Lead Tracker for North America and Europe.
The first Scalerator stream went very well. The companies actively conclude contracts and negotiate with partners in the markets of Canada, the USA, Cyprus, India, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Belarus. Thus, the participants of the “Near Abroad” direction signed contracts in the markets of Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan and Belarus, and today negotiations are underway with more than 50 new partners. The amount of contracts and agreements signed by startups at the negotiation stage reached $875,000. Participants in the North America and Europe direction can boast of contracts in the markets of the USA, Canada and the UK. The first B2C deals have already been concluded, and the amount of signed contracts and agreements has exceeded $100,000. The participants in the Southeast Asia direction have signed contracts and agreements for $75,000. In addition, participating companies attracted $323,000 of investments.