Kazakh Arlan Biotech and Kyrgyz MyStory Joins StartX Global Accelerator

Graduates of the Silkway Accelerator, a collaborative program between Astana Hub and Google for Startups, startups Arlan Biotech and MyStory, have successfully navigated the selection process and entered the prestigious acceleration program StartX at Stanford University in the United States.

The Arlan Biotech team harnesses advanced AI technologies to pioneer the development of nanobodies, marking a substantial leap forward for medicine and pharmaceuticals. These nanobodies hold extensive promise for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The mounting interest from venture capital funds underscores the project’s potential. With ambitious aspirations, the startup team sets its sights on securing a position among the top 5 companies globally in artificial intelligence within the biotechnology sector within the next three years.

“Being accepted into StartX is a dream shared by many startups worldwide. When I first applied to StartX in November 2022, I was informed that my application marked the first from Kazakhstan. However, at that time, our product was still in its early stages. Over the course of a year and a half, we devoted ourselves to extensive work: I found a co-founder, underwent the Astana Hub’s acceleration program, refined our product, and initiated sales. Through these concerted efforts, we succeeded in passing the selection process on our second attempt. Now, we are joining one of the most innovative communities in the world at Stanford University. This achievement underscores the significance of our work and signifies that our project is capable of thriving on the international stage. I must emphasize that the primary advantage of StartX lies in its startup community: the individuals who will surround us, the culture, the drive, the innovation, and the shared ambition to change the world. It’s incredibly inspiring,” said Bolat Sultankulov, Founder and CEO of Arlan Biotech.

StartX provides support to startups across a diverse array of industries, spanning technology, biomedicine, energetics, education, and more. The program offers guidance to startups at every stage of their development journey, from conception to achieving successful market entry and securing investment. StartX has facilitated the growth of 3 decacorns and 16 unicorns, with the combined valuation of all community members reaching an impressive $26 billion.

“We were overjoyed when our startup was welcomed into the StartX program. It’s a validation of our efforts and the immense potential we envision for our project. Key criteria we believe bolstered our successful selection include our distinctive AI technology, enabling personalized content creation for children. The demonstrated demand and expansion of our product, substantiated by metrics and user feedback. It's crucial to acknowledge the pivotal role played by Astana Hub in nurturing the development of our project,” expressed Aitemir Mudinov, Co-founder of MyStory.

Kyrgyz startup MyStory utilizes AI to craft personalized books tailored to each individual user’s preferences. Participation in the fourth stream of Silkway Accelerator program resulted in a substantial revenue surge and garnered investments totaling $100,000. Moreover, MyStory clinched victory in the Best AI Startup category at Astana Hub Battle in 2023, the premier battleground for tech startups in Central Asia, hosted as part of the Digital Bridge forum.

The selection process for the StartX summer batch was facilitated by the program called Visiting Founder, supported by Astana Business Campus and Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. Startups that successfully navigated the initial screening underwent a series of interviews, comprising a cultural assessment and two technical evaluations – one with biological experts and another with a programming specialist. This program equips participants with access to invaluable resources, expert mentorship, and networking avenues, empowering them to scale their ventures and secure investment. 

Astana Hub is the largest technology park in Central Asia, aimed at creating and developing an ecosystem for IT business, training IT professionals, and supporting startup projects. Currently, 1,400 IT companies are registered in the technology park, with nearly 400 of them being foreign members. They receive comprehensive support, including business development and scaling programs, special tax and visa conditions, informational and educational support, as well as material infrastructure.

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