SilkRoad Mag

Silk Road Startup: How are we? and What we do?

International platform to introduce the best Iranian startups, networking and online acceleration

The Silk Road Startup is the first national and international event to introduce Iranian startups to the Entrepreneurship Society of Iran and the world, with the aim of getting to know the top innovative companies in the country as well as facilitating global communication and easier access to successful international experiences. And attract foreign fund.


Silkroad startup was first held in 1396 and well received by startup teams from all over the country.


One of the main concerns of world’s startup companies is raising fund in a right time along with a strong leader and expert guide in this field.

In Iran, like most of developed countries, we have seen the formation of venture funds in recent years.



The scope of activity of these venture funds is for those startups who need investment and guidance at the start of their work.

Entrepreneurs also, with supporting new startups are taking a big step towards the growth and advancement of technology along with the withdrawal of  fund.



The Silk Road Startup, in which more than 100 volunteers from across the country have been working in the team for the past two years, has launched the slogan “Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs”.



With the help of this big event, startup companies can interact with European investors and use their experiences in addition to raising funds for their startup.

The process of Silkroad startup is that it is held in limited 1396 executive team and judges traveled to seven cities in Iran : Tabriz, Isfahan, Yazd, Tehran, Shiraz, Rasht and Mashhad.



But in 1397, the number of cities was limited to 5 cities, and this big and historic event was held only in Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Shiraz and Kerman.



Method of holding the Silk Road Startup Conference

In general, the Silk Road event is organized in such a way that the organizer team travels to various cities along with guests, domestic and international investors on a specific date. Participants sign up and apply for a tournament.

These teams are in place with their startup team.

The teams are evaluated by the jury and usually between 5 to 20 teams are chosen from each area based on the startup crowd.

The startups will present their plans in the presence of the judges and investors, and if the votes are approved, the majority of judges and investors will be invited to the second stage.

In the first round 400 startups were registered, 84 startups were accepted for competition and 16 startups reached the final stage.

In the second round 280 startups registered, which eventually 60 startups were accepted and only 8 startups reached the final stage.

Navid ardakanian, founder of Oneshape startup, which their team won the second place in Mashhad event,talks about their experience in Silkroad startup and its result in this video.



In the first round of the Silk Road Startup, finally among the 16 start-ups to the final stage, three startups were selected by judges and investors, which in addition to the 35milion toman prize of Sabavision,they received facilities for attracting investors and advising on the development of their startups.



Also, the winners (the top three teams at the final stage) could get an opportunity to participate in international exhibitions free of charge and use Venture Funds.

During the two-day event in Kish, there were more than 250 participants and 36 speakers from 15 different countries operating in various fields of investment and entrepreneurship.


During the two days of the event, panels, workshops and specialized lectures in the field of startups and entrepreneurship were presented, and the startups of Ecobar, Kashmoon and Doctorto were selected as the top startups in the final round.

In the second round of the event, in the first part of the program, the Silkroad team (including a set of activists from the startup ecosystem of Iran and Europe) traveled to five cities of Tabriz, Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad and Kerman for ten days.



It is worth mentioning that active startups signed up in various IT related areas such as e-commerce, Internet of Things, Fintech, Fashion, Mobile Devices, Artificial Intelligence, Blocks, and Health to attend the event.


Silkroad online acceleration program


The online acceleration program for Silkroad startup is a 100-day program that helps startups to meet their challenges and develop their own startups and prepare for the final event with the help of one-on-one mentors on their path.

The program, which is designed annually by the “silkroad” event for the discovery and development of top startups across Iran, has been running since 1396, selecting top startups from 100 startups and doing acceleration program for 100days for them.


This accelerated program takes place in the presence of different mentors from all over the world to prepare startups for the final event.


100 theories, the first 100 days


This theory was first used by Napoleon Bonaparte and later modeled on by Franklin D. Roosevelt for the first 100 days of the presidency.

In this model, which is derived from the Lane model, you can unveil your startup within 100 days and validate your hypotheses whether they are worthwhile or need to be deleted.


The first 100 days of each project is when you have to go through many hypotheses and try to approve or reject them to create or discover a model.

For each company, there is a set of milestones such as product generation, new season or public announcement, entry into a new market, and so on. It’s usually 100 days to set goals and move towards them.





100 days is a good time to scale the startups. A different opportunity that continues 100 days after the final meeting with the connections made to the startups during the event.

mentors working with them to scale up and use Silkroad network connection and introduce it to the network, connect with investors and business partners



A 100-day dedicated Mentoring program will be run for teams that have reached the final stage to learn how to present an international event, learn more about ways to achieve goals, connect with investors, and find potential customers.


In the past year, there were many wonderful mentors from different countries, some of them called the godmother or godfather. These mentors worked individually with the startups, during which time they set their key performance indicators and their basic metrics and tried to improve their challenges.


A number of mentors also known as knights, performed their Mentoring for a specific challenge to the startups.



Several Mentors in the specific scopes and the basic challenges needed for startups and scalable, held webinars with questions and answers.

Eventually, they held webinars for investors to negotiate so that teams could prepare for the final meeting and presentation to the investor.



The 100-Day Silk Road program covers recruitment challenges, teamwork, scrum, and product development, product design, product management, public relations, marketing, sales and growth hacks, metrics, technical, legal, delivery and negotiation. Also, the webinar was held in partnership with the Eseminar Platform.