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During a 10 day road trip, our team of 15 including 6 international Jury members from 5 countries will stopped by 7 cities of Iran to meet the top 100 startups from all over the country. At the end of our tour we choose the top 10 startups and 6 wild card startups as finalists who will get the chance to pitch at the finals in Kish during the Conference. The first edition of our road trip happened between October 22 and 31st 2017 in Tabriz, Tehran, Rasht, Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz and Mashad.
Our Silk Road journey in Tabriz, the capital city of East Azerbaijan Province, was intense and fun! We had a total of 25 applications from passionate Silkroaders and 12 kickass pitches that presented each of their Startup ideas. Now here's an amazing fact: Tabriz Bazaar, the most famous Bazaar in Tabriz, once a major Silk Road market! We had a great deal of fun in the largest economic hub and metropolitan area in Northwest Iran!
With 24 applications and 12 well put together pitches, our event in Rasht, Gilan was top notch on every level. In the largest city on Iran's Caspian Sea coast, we came across amazing weather and amazing startups which really helped us get energized for our event in the next city on the road! Many of our international guests also got to enjoy this major tourist center.
Tehran, the vibrant, almighty capital of Iran was an awesome experience as part of our Silk Road Startup journey! This city that never sleeps, had a total of 128 applications from eager Silkroaders and a total of 20 pitches, which happened live at our two day event in the Chamber of Commerce, in the most populous city in Western Asia!
Once one of the largest cities in the world, at last we arrive to the beautiful city of Isfahan! Popular for it's eye-catching Islamic architecture, this city was an incredible place to hold another Silk Road Startup event. In this event we had 18 applicants and 12 amazing pitches, and got to familiarize ourselves with the driving forces behind the startup ecosystem in one of the 3 biggest cities in our country.
Next stop is Shiraz, a city in south-central Iran, known for its literary history and many beautiful gardens, and as we all know, the marble Tomb of Hafez, honoring the revered poet, sits within its own garden. Shiraz is a gateway to Persepolis, the ruined 6th-century-B.C. capital to the northeast, with its immense gateways, columns and friezes. We had 28 awesome applicants and 11 pitches that absolutely knocked it out of the park. We couldn't be happier with how amazing our events turned out in this city!
Next stop: the city of windcatchers! That's right, we had an incredible event held in Yazd, the city of Zoroastrian fire temples, ab anbars, qanats, yakhchals, Persian handicrafts, handwoven cloth , silk weaving, Persian Cotton Candy, and it's time-honored confectioneries. In this incredible city, we had 12 applicants and 12 pitches. We were amazed by the levels of professionalism these startups had in them, and we had an all around awesome time.
Mashhad, also known as Iran's spiritual capital, pulled in an amazing number of 51 eager applicants. This city that is home to many of our favorite Iranian literary figures and artists, was an absolute knockout choice for an event. We had 11 incredible pitches in store for ourselves, and it was a hell of an event!
For the first time in Iran we organised an international gathering, bringing together Iranian Tech ecosystem and international communities. The event is in 2 days, including startup finalists pitch, series of panels and keynotes. We are the only Tech conference that run all our program in English