(July 25th 2015) Said Rahmani, founder and CEO of Sarava Venture Capital firm joined a delegation of Iranian officials and business leaders in “Iran-EU conference on Trade and Investment” held in the capital of Austria, Vienna, on 23rd and 24th of July 2015 and delivered a speech on enormous investment opportunities that exist in the Iranian start-ups.
As the first post-sanction economic conference held after July 14 nuclear deal, Vienna Iran-EU conference with the aim of re-establishing economic ties between Iran and the European Union and promoting trade and outlining regulations and policies that encourage foreign investment hosted Iranian delegation led by Minister of Industry, Trade and Mine, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh.
Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance, Ali Tayebnia and Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology, Dr. Sorena Sattari along with a team of high-ranking officials and private sector business representatives in the sectors of finance, banking, foreign investment, oil, gas, petrochemical, mines and automotive industries also attended the conference. The delegation met with business representatives, investors and entrepreneurs of the European Union to share insights, explore opportunities and “network with high level authorities, policymakers and other stakeholders.” as stated in the official website of the conference.
Said Rahmani in his speech outlined the potential of Iran’s boosting start-up market and pointed out on the growing entrepreneurship culture in Iran as well as the underlying investment opportunities of this sector. “Growing number of start-ups along with increasing willingness to create diverse businesses in the past two years is an indicator of Iranians undeniable desire for change.”
In his speech, Said Rahmani compared Iran’s current economic structure with the one in the US during early 1990s, when US economy was on the verge of a tech revolution by emergence of successful tech companies such as Yahoo, eBay , PayPal ,etc. Then he gave a brief history of Sarava, “Sarava Venture Capital was founded when future was unclear; at a time when inflation rate was at its highest in years. Regardless of ambiguity of the economic situation, Sarava started supporting Iranian start-ups and acted as a powerful entity in the formation of the strong start-up ecosystem that we see today.” With a powerful start-up ecosystem, Iran managed to reach the highest growth rate of Global Entrepreneurship Index in 2014.
Sarava boasts its high-profile portfolio of top internet companies with record-breaking growths including Digikala, Anetwork and Café Bazzar. He concluded his speech by introducing the enormous potential of investment opportunities in Iran’s start-ups, considering Iran’s demographics of 64% of population under the age of 35 combined with high internet, mobile and smart phone penetration rates as well as the flourishing enthusiasm of the youth for entrepreneurship.
The conference was held in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization and joint chambers of commerce of Iran, France, Germany and Britain. Lifting of sanctions has brightened prospects of further foreign investment inflow and has provided the ground for a more stable economy as the key driver of investments.
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