Growth Trends: How Kyrgyz Startups Are Strengthening in Kazakhstan

More and more startups from Kyrgyzstan are choosing Kazakhstan as a strategic direction for the development of their projects. Examples include companies such as NBfit, Codify, Smart Technologies, and Mystory, which have successfully gone through the accelerator program at Astana Hub. They are not only scaling their activities in the Kazakhstani market but are also successfully attracting investments and entering international markets.

"We launched our startup in Kyrgyzstan at the end of May, but decided to refocus on the Kazakhstani market. We immediately found support and won $25,000 at the Astana Hub Battle — the largest competition of the best IT startups in Central Asia. Having gone through acceleration at Astana Hub, we were able to attract $100,000 in investments," shared Aitemir Mudinov, co-founder of Mystory.

The Mystory service, specializing in creating personalized fairy tales using artificial intelligence, attracted an investment of $100,000 from business angel Evgeny Matveev during its participation in the fourth cohort of the Silkway Accelerator — a joint program of Astana Hub and Google for Startups. According to the founders, the product is currently successfully sold in Kazakhstan. The company is also actively expanding its presence in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, with plans to enter the Turkish market in the near future. It's worth noting that the startup was recognized as the winner in the Best AI Startup category at the Astana Hub Battle 2023, which took place as part of the largest IT forum, Digital Bridge, on October 12-13.

"We moved to Astana for three months with our product for automating the process of searching and hiring employees, Let's Codify. The most important thing is the feeling of being at home. I really like the rhythm of the city, very fast and very IT-centric. We are one step closer to becoming a unicorn," shared her experiences during the acceleration, Dinara Ruslan, CEO and founder of Let's Codify. Currently, this platform is represented in the markets of Central Asian countries, in certain European countries, the USA, and the UAE.

The fitness service NB FIT, a graduate of the first cohort of Silkway Accelerator and winner of the Astana Hub Battle 2022, is also actively gaining momentum, attracting more users. CEO and co-founder of the startup Syrga Tilekova notes, "Silkway Accelerator is a kind of MBA, as a result of which we learned to conduct serious business processes, build a scalable product."

In addition to participating in the joint program with Google for Startups, Kyrgyz startups are also showing interest in the accelerator from Astana Hub, launched in conjunction with Draper University. As part of the Hero Training program, the startup Smart Technologies successfully underwent acceleration in Silicon Valley, USA. The team is currently actively working on product development, attracting investments, and scaling their projects globally.

"We are very pleased with this trend. With the assistance of the Ministry of Digital Development, we provide comprehensive support to startups not only in our region but also beyond, striving for success. We are pleased to watch their development. As my Kyrgyz colleague Chubak Temirov noted, we are not competing here but complementing and improving each other. Each country has its unique qualities and technologies, and together we can rise to a higher level. Currently, we have reached the stage where our guys proudly declare in the global market: 'We are startups from Central Asia'," emphasized Magzhan Madiyev, CEO of Astana Hub.

The activity of the international technopark Astana Hub is aimed at creating and developing an ecosystem for IT business, training IT specialists, and supporting startup projects. To date, more than 1,300 IT companies are registered in the technopark, including 377 with foreign participation, of which 8 are from the Kyrgyz Republic. All of them receive comprehensive support, including business development and scaling programs, special tax and visa conditions, informational and educational support, and material infrastructure. Participants of Astana Hub include companies from different countries, including Central Asia, Mongolia, Georgia, Turkey, the USA, China, India, Singapore, and others.

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