Science and innovation
Startup Academy Catapult
Catapult startup academy in Almaty takes stock of activities for the first time
An educational space, Catapult startup academy with a co-working space for students intending to start
their own business established at the Eurasian Technological University, was opened on 3 March, 2017.
The first three startup academies established at the partner university were opened in Astana, Atyrau and
Such cooperation makes it possible to provide a complex and free support for beginning entrepreneurs
from a business idea to its presentation on the market, i.e. this does not involve only consulting and
information support, it means attracting investors, assisting in applying for participation in the financial
programs of the DAMU Fund and receiving state grants.
Since the launch of Catapult in Almaty, 120 potential entrepreneurs, intending to develop their business,
were consulted on the aspect on non-financial support to emergent and current entrepreneurs.
40 potential, emergent and current entrepreneurs received training upon the educational programs of
DAMU Fund titled Startup Academy and Support for a New Business at the startup academy. After the
training participants presented their business plans and presentations at the DemoDay Marathon of
Business Ideas. All projects were reviewed by investors and mentors. The best projects of participants
were financed by inventors and DAMU Fund.
Among investors and mentors were the founder RV OIL&GAS Company Rasul Abdukhalilov, Managing
Director for Marketing and Communication from Kazakhstan Stock Exchange Evgeniy Mukhamedzhanov,
the Coordinator of Program for Acceleration in the Most Business Incubator Dinara Babich, and the
President of the Eurasian Technological University Nurzhamal Salimgereyevna.
In addition, business meetings with participation of successful entrepreneurs were held. One of them was
young and creative businessman, the founder and the CEO of one of the leading assemblies in payment
systems in Kazakhstan PayBox.kz Alexey Nazarov. During his speech, he gave many motivational
advices, emphasizing that time means life, business is proud of an entrepreneur and any action leads to
success and constant self-development.
Another participant of the business meeting was a prosperous businessman, founder of one of the
successful schools in Almaty which specialize on FunkyTown street-culture Marat Yagfarov. The most
important moment of his development was training in the program titled “Business Connections” in 2015.
After completing the program, he came up with various ideas on the development of business in
innovative technologies and dance performances with the use of neon and projecting devices. Marat
inspired seminar participants through his business experience and told about how he had the business
idea, what he did in the first place and what problems he faced. Moreover, he shared the secrets of how
to successfully develop own business, highlighting that all that matters is a constant desire to move
Successful entrepreneur Galiya Utibekova also visited the seminar of the startup academy. Galiya is the Director of the White Elephant Thai Restaurant, the Board Member of Association of Business Women in Almaty, the Director of the Kazakhstan-Swiss Institute of Tourism, Restaurant and Hotel Business, the writer and the inventor. She mainly specialize in food service, catering and training of caterers. The 2012 year was a key moment in the development of her business, when she completed a course in the program “Business Connections” and passed internship in the field of food industry in the USA. There she had many ideas on business development of innovation technologies and production of a natural traditional food from a new perspective. Galiya told that everyone faces not only ups, but downs during his or her life, and it is significant not to give up when they face downs.