News & Updates Shares by STAN

STAN Talks

Mistakes to Avoid When Fundraising.

STAN Talks

How To Start Angel Investing.

Glimpse from Inside

Summary of the STAN's 15th Pitching Session.

STAN Talks

Legal Basics for Startups and Investing.


The 16th Jewel of STAN's Portfolio!

Ecosystem Meetup

Spotlight on Innovation

Summary of the STAN's 14th Pitching Session.

Introducing our Board of Trustees

Hayk Harutyunyan

New Angel Alert

Hayk Harutyunyan, welcome to STAN!

Zarik Boghossian

New Angel Alert

Zarik Boghossian, welcome to STAN!

Hovhannes Mardirossian

New Angel Alert

Hovhannes (John) Mardirossian, welcome to STAN!

Hovhannes Mardirossian

All You Need to Know About STAN Pitching Sessions

Hovhannes Mardirossian

STAN Portfolio Startups in Q2 2023

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Meet BrandLens

The Newest STAN Portfolio Startup.

Hayk Harutyunyan

New Angel Alert

Art Ghazaryan, welcome to STAN!

Gayane Aghajanyan

New Angel Alert

Gayane Aghajanyan, welcome to STAN!

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Meet Saima

Revolutionary Video Speed Solution

Hovhannes Mardirossian


Supporting First-Time Founders with Scientific Background

Hayk Harutyunyan

New Angel Alert

Vahram Sukyas, welcome to STAN!

Hayk Harutyunyan

New Angel Alert

Hratch Sofoian, welcome to STAN!

Hovhannes Mardirossian

STAN Portfolio Startups in Q1 2023

STAN signed Gender Manifesto

5 Startup Hopefuls from STAN's 12 Pitching Session

What Not to Do:
Advice From STAN Investors to Startups

STAN Invests in PopUp School

GUST Instructions

All you need to know to apply to STAN!

From Local to Global

How 3 STAN Startups Grew From Local to Global

STAN Talks

Mistakes to Avoid When Fundraising

On April 15, 2024, we hosted "STAN Talks: Mistakes to Avoid When Fundraising" at the Fast Creative Campus in Armenia. The event featured Stepan Khzrtian, a former corporate lawyer with over a decade of experience working with hundreds of founders across all stages of the startup lifecycle, from incorporation to exit. He quit his private practice to start Corpora, which helps founders raise money faster by automating the legal backend.

With over 10 years of experience practicing corporate law, he shared his insights to avoid mistakes that can complicate fundraisers. He discussed the complexities and nuances that founders encounter at different stages of startup development, described the good and bad aspects of SAFEs and priced rounds, and shared many tips.

Here are the key takeaways from the Stepan’s presentation

  • It's worth considering doing a priced round when raising $1 million or more. Although finding a lead investor can be challenging, building early relationships with venture capitalists can help. Starting a monthly newsletter for updates and inviting potential investors can make them familiar with your company when you are ready to raise funds.

  • Partnering with the right legal team can help you cut down on legal expenses for your priced round. Legal fees have skyrocketed lately, with Series Seed rounds sometimes costing up to $100,000. However, you can avoid these costs by collaborating with specialized boutique law firms. Corpora offers automated priced rounds led by top-tier startup lawyers, all for a flat fee of $25,000.

  • Beware of the anti-dilution concerns with stacking post-money valuation cap Safes. Instead, consider raising a priced round after you’ve done a Safe round or use Safes with a pre-money valuation cap or a discount.

  • Consider using a "dilutable" post-money valuation cap Safe. Adjusting the post-money valuation cap Safe to dilute investors in each round similar to a priced round can be a good idea. However, be aware that this modification may complicate your fundraising process and require clear communication with investors to avoid misunderstandings.

  • Although the Safe was introduced to simplify fundraising, mainly for pre-seed and bridge rounds, its widespread adoption has led to increased founder dilution, prolonged legal oversight, and higher legal costs over time. Beware of these downsides when raising a Safe round.

Beyond the informative sessions, the event featured extensive networking opportunities.
Attendees had the opportunity to connect with fellow founders and industry experts.

STAN Talks

How To Start Angel Investing

On April 11, 2024, we held an online STAN Talks session on the topic of "How to Start Startup Investing."

The session featured Rem Darbinyan, who is a STAN Angel, a Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor with over 60 investments and LP in VC funds. He is also the founder of SmartClick, a proprietary computer vision solution provider, as well as the founder & CEO of ViralMango, a startup utilizing AI to offer comprehensive insights into influencer and creator discovery, alongside in-depth analytics.

During the first part of the discussion, Rem focused on the reasons why startups often fail. He shared insights on well-known cases such as Tumblr, Better Place, Quibi, and WeWork. Rem emphasized the importance of examining the team's alignment, expertise, and market understanding before investing. He also provided advice on avoiding common mistakes that startups make, particularly in areas such as financials, product development, and market understanding.Rem went on to explain the history of angel investing, sharing that the term was first used in the 1900s to describe wealthy individuals who donated money but didn't expect a return. It wasn't until 1978 that the concept of angel investors investing in startups became popularized by William Wetzel, a professor at the University of New Hampshire.Rem encouraged investors to focus on startups with a clear product-market fit, a solid understanding of their industry, and a clear competitive advantage. Additionally, he shared his experience in validating potential startups for investment by tracking their online performances. He emphasized the differences between angel investing and investing in venture capital funds. Furthermore, Rem discussed the low success rate of startups, with 90% failing over their lifetime, and the challenges of investing in them.He also highlighted the importance of understanding the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) concept and the risks involved in startup investing. Rem advised investors to make informed decisions, focus on portfolio diversification, and look for startups with a strong team and a clear market need. He recommended platforms like Y Combinator and Angel List for discovering potential investments.Finally, he emphasized the importance of networking and attending startup events.

Here are some key takeaways from his talk

  • It's important to understand that the majority of startups fail, and even successful investments may face challenges in achieving significant growth.

  • Having personal experience in starting and running a startup can provide valuable insights and help angel investors make informed investment decisions.

  • Understanding the startup market and learning from industry feedback is crucial for successful angel investing.

Rem suggested that joining an angel network like STAN would be a good starting point for those who are interested in investing in startups.

Glimpse from Inside

STAN's 15th Pitching Session

The Science & Technology Angels Network (STAN) hosted its 15th pitching session on March 1, 2024. This session stood out with a high number of guests participating in the event both in person and joining us remotely. We were heartened to host the representatives Business Angels Moldova (BAN) at our event and hope this will be a start of fruitful cross-border deals with the involvement of the angel investors from both networks. We were humbled to host a fantastic cohort of 8 pitching startups, that build diverse solutions from healthcare to industrial automation, from recruitment automation to low code application development. Let’s now dive into the details of the event.


STAN received 23 applications from the startups willing to pitch their ideas to STAN angels. It was a challenging task to shortlist the startups. Most of the applications presented impressive ideas with strong founding teams behind them.It is always difficult to reject, especially the strong applicants, but we had to make a choice. After careful consideration we selected 8 teams to pitch to the STAN angels. The guiding principles for the shortlisting were the experience of the founding team and our assessment of the startup's readiness to scale internationally.While being sure that our selection was well thought, we understand that the long-term success of an entrepreneur lies in dedication. So we encouraged the rejected team to pursue their goals with the same and even higher motivation by sharing the words of Winston S. Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”


Biotech, HealtTech & Welness Applications

  • Foldink - a biotech startup developing bio-inks for the technology of 3D bioprinting to help scientists grow living tissues in laboratories and save lives.

  • Uray is a handheld urine analyzer, focused on enhancing health screening for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), and kidney stones in primary healthcare settings.

  • Got it Life is an AI-powered self-care app that enhances the psychological resilience & productivity of enterprise employees through guided internal-external dialog & Psycholinguistic recognition system.

Hardware Solutions

  • TACTUN is providing the controllers and software platform for every machinery under development. They reduce R&D costs by 80%, shifts companies from single-time to recurring revenue models, and boasts controllers with 10x the accuracy and speed of industry alternatives.

AI-Powered Solutions

  • PromptAds is a tool for advertising based on AI-powered chatbots.

  • Hiresonic, an AI Recruiting Assistant, which helps to save recruiters time by automating repetitive tasks such as candidate screening and sourcing.

  • Grocera is a platform that collaborates with grocers and influencers, facilitating upselling for groceries and dispatchers based on recipes. At the same time, it assists cooking bloggers in better monetizing their content.

Low Code Applications

  • GSoftApp is a low-code database application platform and framework created to streamline and simplify the development process.

Angels and Guests

This pitching session was special in terms of high participation of angels and hosting guests who joined the pitching session in person and remotely.We were happy to welcome the driving forces behind the STAN – our co-founders Ruben Arutyunyan and Igor Khalatian. The pitching session was energized thanks to the presence of our fantastic angels: Rem Darbinyan, Sargis Badalyan, Hayk Mamajanyan, Hayk Harutyunyan, Stephan Reckie, Gugo Martikyan, Vahag Karayan, Sassoon Kosian, Armen Martirosyan, Avetis Antaplyan, Sergey Yengoyan, Alexandre Meterissian, Vahram Sukyas, and Gayane Aghajanyan. It is heartening to witness continued enthusiasm and continuous active engagement in the pitching session of our founding angels Artur Alaverdyan, Igor Avanesyan, Artur Tovmasyan, and Vahan Vardanian.The session was particularly special as it marked Gayane Aghajanyan's first since joining the STAN family as an angel. Her active participation was a highlight, adding a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to our efforts.This pitching marked our first time welcoming the representatives of Business Angels Moldova, adding a new layer of depth and connection to our event.We had the honor of hosting David Davidian and Satenik Gharibyan from Incore investment company, Luiza Avetisyan, a serial entrepreneur, co-founder of and Hirebee platforms, Khachik Katrjyan, the founder and CEO of Global Saving Systems, one of the pioneers of sustainable energy solutions in Armenia, Evgeniya Teryan, the founder of the Lsaran International community and a recognized expert in Change Management, Vicken Arslanian, a serial entrepreneur being the founder top niche and specialty perfume reselling organizations in the US and Kuwait. The diverse expertise and interest in fostering innovation among our guests underscored the collaborative spirit of the pitching session. Each participant brought unique insights.Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who contributed to making the session a success.

STAN Talks

Legal Basics for Startups and Investing

On February 29, 2024, we hosted "STAN Talks: Legal Basics for Startups & Investing" at the Service Titan Armenia’s office in the heart of Yerevan. Hayk Mamaganyan, STAN Angel Investor and Founder of HVM Law firm, shared perspectives on the latest trends in fundraising and dealmaking from the legal perspectives. Hayk delved into the complexities and nuances that entrepreneurs and investors encounter in the different stages of the startup development, from incorporation to cap table, from SAFEs to C-Notes.

Key Takeaways

  • 2023 was one of the toughest years for the global innovation ecosystem. It had the lowest VC funding since 2017. Startup valuations dropped but historically high. Startups started implementing smaller rounds. Many had down rounds. The ecosystem experienced massive lay-offs by tech giants.

  • For 2024, the ecosystem has more positive expectations with a potential of moderate rebound. Investors will be more focused on profitability potential. Generative AI is a global trend, but investors are looking for viable use cases. Having AI is not a panacea for getting funding. We will witness more lay-offs to be announced this year.

While the global innovation and VC market is in a turbulent stage, the early stage and angel funding is demonstrating stability and in some cases a significant growth. However, given the market conditions, angel investors are gradually shifting from founder friendly SAFEs to Convertible Notes.
Beyond the informative sessions, the event featured extensive networking opportunities. Attendees had the opportunity to connect with fellow entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts.

STAN Angels have invested in GembaPro!

Angels of the Science & Technology Angels Network (STAN) have invested 85 thousand dollars in GembaPro. This is the 16th startup in the portfolio of STAN.
GembaPro was founded in 2022 by an international team of tech executives with prior experience in McKinsey & Company, Google, Yandex, Boston Consulting Group, and SBER. GembaPro is an interactive training software for blue-collar workers helping heavy industries close a $2.5T productivity gap․ GembaPro is an alumni of Alchemist Accelerator, which is the world’s leading B2B acceleration program that helps startups to disrupt enterprise solutions.

“From the outset, GembaPro has been focused on bridging the productivity gap in heavy industries through innovative training solutions. This investment from STAN not only validates our vision but propels us further towards global market expansion,” said Andranik (Ando) Konstantinidi, Co-Founder & CEO of GembaPro.Alexandre Meterissian, one of the investing angel investors and a member of STAN’s board of trustees, will join the board of GembaPro to support the startup with his domain expertise and a broad network in the global mining industry.“As an angel investor, I look for startups poised for global success. With a market ripe for digitization, supercharged with an exceptional founding team, GembaPro appears at the right time with an undeniable offer to the market. I am excited to invest in GembaPro and join its board.” said Alexandre Meterissian.GembaPro is collaborating with the global leader in the production of metals and is gearing up to increase its market coverage in the Americas, Australia, and South Africa.Several weeks ago, GembaPro announced they had been selected for the Start-Up Chile Ignite grant & acceleration program. We are proud to mention that Cemex Ventures named GembaPro among the TOP-50 most promising startups redefining the ecosystem.In closing, we congratulate GembaPro and its founding team for this achievement. We appreciate their commitment to revolutionizing training solutions for heavy industries. We thank our angel investors for their foresight and support in backing GembaPro. Here's to the exciting journey ahead!

Ecosystem Meetup

Empowering Armenian Startup Ecosystem

On October 20th STAN hosted Empowering Armenian Startup Ecosystem Meetup. The event aimed to get together the ecosystem builders to address the challenges and discuss ways to support players in the Armenian startup ecosystem in these trying times.

We express our gratitude for the participation of Ministry of High-Tech Industry of the Republic of Armenia, Robert Khachatryan and other government officials who have extended their support to the collective advancement of the Armenian ecosystem.STAN Board Member Suzanna Shamakhyan moderated the event and encouraged the ecosystem representatives to evaluate the present landscape, identify obstacles, and collectively seek solutions.

A big thank you to all attendees for their support and effective discussions. We hope we have encouraged you to engage in more discussions about the startup ecosystem and actively seek solutions.We look forward to the next steps and collaborations around a joint vision of keeping the growth of the Armenian startup ecosystem!

Spotlight on Innovation

STAN's 14th Pitching Session

The 14th pitching session of the Science & Technology Angels Network (STAN) took place on October 19, 2023. During this event, STAN angels convened to engage with startups seeking to bring their ideas to enhance their current ideas and products through added resources and guidance.


22 qualifying startups submitted applications to join the STAN pitching session. The selection process was rigorous, as choosing the participants who would present their pitches to STAN angels proved to be a challenging task. For this purposes, the preselection contest was conducted by the STAN pre-selection committee with over 16 startups presenting their ideas, products and services. The pre-selection committee members for the 14th pitching session were STAN Angels Hratch Sofoian, Vahram Sukyas, Zarik Boghossian, Sassoon Kosian, Vahan Vardanyan, and STAN CEO Ruben Osipyan.


The selected startups were evaluated based on the factors such as the startups' preparedness, their current stage of development, alignment with the specified target areas, the disruption and scaling potential, industry/market trends, traction and presentation level. STAN usually gives preference to startups involved in scientific and technological innovation, placing a particular emphasis on AI as a foundational technology or integrated into diverse industry verticals.



  • HopShop is an app designed for the fashion influencers who create an instant online store to monetize their social media accounts by listing the looks they wear on posts.

  • Knoxlabs is the only everything AR/VR marketplace that offers easy buy, sell, and product discovery.

  • Sceyt is dedicated to facilitating complex communication solutions like in-app chat and calling for businesses of all sizes. With Sceyt you can add a fully featured chat to your app in minutes, and launch faster.

  • Optimyzee Inc. is an automation tool for Google Search Ads creation.

  • Octopulse AI is created for simplifying campaign launches - no data science or content teams needed.

  • OHMYSYNT is a cloud platform that helps marketers personalize AI-generated content for their brands, ensuring it aligns with specific products, ambassadors, and styles.

  • Grate Media is a platform that provides food mavericks a media, brand and commerce marketplace to help drive visibility and earnings potential.

Healthcare & Biotech

  • 10X Immersive helps children/patients to have less painful, anxiety-free pediatric dental procedures using a personalized most immersive Virtual Reality system.

  • Biocentric.AI is a vanguard in the integration of state-of-the-art AI methods for efficient utilization of three-dimensional molecular data with large-scale molecular modeling, underpinned by fundamental biophysical principles of drive drug-target interactions.

Blockchain & Radar platforms

  • ChainGuard is a community-driven blockchain analytics platform empowering individuals and businesses to track, evaluate, and act upon real-time crypto transactions.

  • Waveye is an early-stage technology startup focused on imaging radars for autonomous platforms.

Next Step

Following the pitching session, the STAN team is currently in the process of organizing the follow-up meetings between the startups and the angels interested in investing in the promising ventures.Stay tuned to learn more about the upcoming pitching sessions and when to apply!

STAN Board of Trustees

Igor Khalatian

Igor Khalatian

Co-Founder of STAN, Chairman of the Board

Igor Khalatian is an entrepreneur with over 20 years of successful expertise in the high-tech sector globally. Previously Igor established a co-browsing and screen-sharing technology startup, LiveLOOK, in 2007, which was acquired by Oracle in 2014. Later, he assumed the role of Vice President of Development at Oracle.In the mid of 2023, Igor founded the world’s first AI-based dating service, IRIS Dating.Igor is an avid mountaineer who has conquered Mount Everest, as well as 5 out of 7 highest points on each continent of the world. He has a master's degree from Yerevan Polytechnic Institute, a doctorate in computer science from the USSR Academy of Sciences, and a Ph.D. from the Bell Labs research facility in the US. Dr. Khalatian is the author of 13 US patents. He is also an official member of the Forbes Technology Council.Igor Khalatian, together with a group of 18 additional angels, established STAN. Since 2018, he has held a position as one of the co-chairs within the organization. Igor's influence has been crucial in molding the development and influence of the Armenian startup ecosystem.

Ruben Arutyunyan

Ruben Arutyunyan

Co-Founder of STAN

Ruben's diverse background includes being the founder and President of the highly successful HENDERSON Fashion Group, a prominent men's business and leisure outfit retailer with an extensive presence across more than 50 cities in Russia, and in Armenia.He graduated from Yerevan Polytechnic University with a mechanical engineering degree in 1989. Additionally, he has an MBA from Moscow's Higher School of Commerce. Between 2017 and 2019, he presided over the board of trustees of the Ayb Educational Foundation. He has supported the UWC Dilijan educational project and has served as chairman of the Ayb School Board of Trustees. He has also been a member of the Aznavour Foundation Board of Trustees since 2019.Ruben Arutyunyan is one of the initiators of creating the Science & Technology Angels Network in 2018. He has been the founding angel of STAN since its inception in 2018. Over the course of 5 years, he was the Co-Chair of the STAN. Ruben has played a pivotal role in shaping the growth and impact of technology-focused startups in the region.

Avetis Antaplyan

Avetis Antaplyan

STAN Angel

Avetis is the Founder & CEO of HIRECLOUT, a 2-Time Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company and a Global Tech Recruiting and Consulting firm with partners such as Uber, Hulu, SonyPS, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Rivian, StubHub, and many of the best tech companies in the world. He has helped hundreds of companies scale their Tech & Engineering, leading to acquisitions and IPOs.Avetis’s educational background includes completing the Executive Leadership program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Business & Economics degrees at California State University, Northridge. Avetis is also an official member of the Forbes Technology Council.Avetis Antaplyan joined STAN in 2021, bringing with him a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to supporting Armenian startups as an investor and advisor. Avetis is among the most active angels of the STAN. His portfolio includes startups such as Saima, Doodooc, BrandLens, PopUp School, DoctorYan, Bliink, and many others.Avetis's main passion lies in empowering the Armenian tech ecosystem to reach new heights and emerge as a global leader. Through his active involvement with STAN and dedication to supporting local startups, he endeavors to propel Armenia's tech landscape to international prominence.

Alexandre Meterissian

Alexandre Meterissian

STAN Angel

Alexandre has deep expertise in public policy, communications, and corporate strategy and has advised the senior leadership of many high-profile organizations in managing strategic policy issues and regulatory, financial, and business challenges. Some of his clients have included Uber, Expedia Group, Intuit, Coca-Cola, BlackRock Metals, Altasciences, Syneos, HEXO, Rio Tinto, ArcelorMittal, Shoppers Drug Mart and GlaxoSmithKline.Prior to joining Teneo, Alexandre was a partner at HATLEY Strategy Advisors, which was acquired by Teneo in 2020. He led the government affairs group, advising clients on policy issues both provincially in Québec and federally in Ottawa. Previously, Alexandre worked for Canada’s Foreign Affairs and Immigration Ministers in Ottawa. Alexandre received his bachelor’s degree (B.A. Arts) at McGill University and his master’s in business (M.Sc. Strategy) at HEC Montréal.As a proud Armenian-Canadian, one of Alexandre's passions is the economic development of the Republic of Armenia. He is currently the Canada representative for Enterprise Armenia, the country's national promotion authority.Alexandre is an angel investor and an LP in a Canadian-based venture capital fund. He joined STAN in January 2023 and, in this brief period, has already showcased an active commitment to supporting STAN programs and engaging with Armenian startups. With a demonstrated passion for fostering growth and innovation, Alexandre's active involvement in STAN initiatives and his extensive background make him a valuable board member.

Suzanna Shamakhyan

Suzanna Shamakhyan

Ex-officio board member, VP of Strategic Programming of FAST

Suzanna Shamakhyan is a versatile leader dedicated to education, network-building, and youth empowerment. As Vice-President of Strategic Programming at the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), she helps develop Armenia's science and innovation ecosystem, driving initiatives to modernize education and advance research. With extensive experience in leadership roles over the last 12 years, she spearheads impactful projects, creating a multiplying impact.Additionally, Suzanna is an Associate Professor at the American University of Armenia, contributing to students' academic development by combining practical knowledge with a global perspective. Previously, as the Head of International Cooperation at Russian-Armenian University, she facilitated partnerships with institutions from 40 countries, implementing 25 major projects that fostered global collaboration. As the driving force behind building the university's internationalization strategy and structures, she established the department from the ground up.Beyond her professional work, Suzanna is actively involved in volunteerism, supporting causes ranging from human rights to educational opportunities for indigenous communities. Her dedication to creating impact led her to establish the European Youth Parliament (EYP) in Armenia. As the Founding President of EYP Armenia in 2012, she created a platform for over 10,000 young Armenians to become active participants in society, fostering dialogue, leadership skills, and civic responsibility.

Hayk Harutyunyan

Hayk Harutyunyan Joins STAN!

We are happy to announce that Hayk Harutyunyan has joined STAN! Hayk brings a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur, investor, manager, and sustainability advisor.Hayk holds the position of Chairman at the Energy Agency of Armenia. He also co-founded a renewable energy group and an agricultural holding. Hayk is an advisor on sustainability and renewable energy for large corporations and financial institutions abroad. His extensive background includes serving as the Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia and holding key positions as chairman or board member in various state-owned organizations.Additionally, Hayk has led projects such as the development of a new nuclear power unit in Armenia. He founded the Armenian British Business Chamber and served as its chairman for 3 years.Hayk’s educational background includes Executive MBA Degree from Skolkovo School of Management (Russia), a Master's Degree in International Relations from Cambridge University (UK), a Bachelor's Degree in Politics and International Relations from Lancaster University (UK), and an IB Diploma from the Regent’s School (Thailand).We believe that Hayk's outstanding entrepreneurial and leadership skills will make a valuable addition to the STAN startup community.

Zarik Boghossian

Zarik Boghossian Joins STAN!

We're excited to announce that Dr. Zarik Boghossian, a passionate serial innovator, entrepreneur, educator, and angel investor has joined STAN. He has led multinational teams for 35 years in creating advanced technologies and solutions spanning various domains, including Digital Media & Signage, On-Demand Services, Social networking, legal, Solar energy, e-commerce solutions, Augmented Reality, Web-3 & AI, and Aerospace systems. Notably, he was pivotal in developing mission-critical Electric Power System Flight Software for NASA's International Space Station.Over the past 18 years, Zarik has been a key figure in Armenia's IT industry and as the Co-Founder and CTO of Wovenmedia, with its subsidiary Wovenmedia Armenia. Zarik leads the development efforts of its 4-th generation patented Digital Media Solution currently being used by Sams Club, a Walmart company.Additionally, as a Professor at Pepperdine University for 15 years, Zarik imparts his expertise to business students by teaching Entrepreneurship, International Management, and Social Entrepreneurship courses. As a public speaker, Zarik promotes the importance of leadership, kindness, and imagination in life through his trademarked concepts "Leadership as a Service™" and "Imagine Always™."STAN is thrilled to have Zarik Boghossian, as his exceptional entrepreneurial and leadership expertise will be a valuable contribution to STAN startups.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Hovhannes (John) Mardirossian Joins STAN!

We're excited to announce that Hovhannes (John) Mardirossian, a President Emeritus, Life Time Member, and Chairman of Technology and Education at Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America (AESA), North Eastern Section, has joined STAN as an Angel Investor.His fundamental experience in fiber optics, structural acoustics, sonar and wireless technology will significantly impact the Armenian startup ecosystem.STAN is thrilled to have Mr. Mardirossian as he brings his wealth of experience and expert knowledge to empower startups within our community.

All You Need to Know About STAN Pitching Sessions

Congratulations, your startup received the message that it was selected to pitch to STAN Angels. What's next? We’ve prepared detailed guidelines and recommendations for you explaining what our pitching sessions look like and how to best prepare to maximize your chance for success.

Pitching Schedule and the Event

First, you will be provided with the agenda of the pitching session event, where you can see the location and the timeslot of your pitch. Each startup is given 5 minutes for pitching and 5 minutes for the Q&A session with the angels. So overall, each pitch takes 10 minutes + 5 minutes for the post-pitch discussion between angels.The pitching event usually has a networking session between the startups and angels. So for those startups that are present on-site, it is an excellent opportunity to ask questions, get more feedback, and connect with the investors. The founding team of the startup or at least one of the founders are expected to be present at the event. That way the founders will be able to get the most out of networking. It can look questionable if the founders are unable or unwilling to pitch personally.The STAN pitching session is an invite-only closed event. It is not open to the public. To ensure proper confidentiality, only the selected startups are invited to the pitching room. Note that there is typically a photographer present at the event, who may ask each team member to take a photo at the venue. Those materials may be used by STAN in the future for marketing purposes.

Pitch Presentation

Your presentation is the most important component of your pitch.
Ensure that the information you present verbally during the pitch matches the data in your on-screen slides and on the Gust platform (especially your funding, post-money valuation, and other specific figures and data). The investors review Gust applications after the pitching session, so it is crucial to keep them up to date. You can read more about correctly filling out your Gust application here. If you pitch online, make all the technical checks (microphone, camera, etc.), and ensure a proper internet connection to avoid any unexpected issues.
Practice your pitch as much as you can and rehearse potential questions that investors might ask during the Q&A session. Anticipate questions about your business model, revenue projections, scalability, and more. This preparation will help you respond confidently and succinctly.Consider outlining a strategy for engaging with investors after the pitch, especially if they express interest. Plan how you'll share additional information, respond to their inquiries, and keep them updated on your progress.

What to Expect From STAN Angels

STAN’s typical ticket size is from $30K to $100K. On average, the STAN investment per startup is around $50K. STAN Angels are comfortable co-investing with investors from other angel networks if the ask of the startup is larger than STAN’s commitment.After the pitching session, the STAN team sums up the interest of angels in particular startups. Interested angels will have several follow-up calls with the teams they like to go deeper into details. When you're having follow-up calls with interested angels, make sure to personalize your discussions based on the individual angel's interests and questions. Tailoring your approach can help build stronger connections and demonstrate your commitment. In some cases, angels may also visit the startup offices to see the status “behind the scenes.”Based on the meetings and the follow-up due diligence process, angel investors make their decision and formulate their investment commitment. From that information, the STAN team prepares an investment agreement (SAFE or a Convertible Note). Angels transfer the investment amount upon signing the agreement. It may typically take a few months to finalize the follow-up process and get an investment, so be patient and prepared for all the steps.

Emphasize Your Strengths

Research STAN Angels' portfolio on our website and previous investments to understand their preferences and areas of interest. Tailor your pitch to align with their investment focus, showcasing how your startup fits into their portfolio and adds value to their investment strategy.Emphasize any traction your startup has achieved since the initial application, such as user growth, revenue milestones, partnerships, or product developments. Highlighting progress can make your pitch more compelling and demonstrate that your startup is making strides toward its goals. It’s always a good idea to also share financials with investors if you have proven traction and good unit economics that prove your growth hypothesis and will provide another reason for investors to fund your startup.

Be Flexible and Transparent

Acknowledge potential risks and challenges your startup might face. Being transparent about these challenges and explaining your strategies to mitigate them can show your awareness and preparedness to handle obstacles.While it's important to have a well-prepared pitch, be ready to adapt if the conversation takes a different direction. Investors might have unique perspectives or questions that you haven't anticipated. Being flexible and adaptive in your responses can showcase your ability to think on your feet.Conclude your pitch with a clear call to action. State what you're looking for from the investors (funding, partnerships, etc.) and what steps you'd like to take next. A well-defined call to action guides the conversation toward the desired outcome.

General Tips

Some additional information regarding the event:

  • Pitching is done in English.

  • It is always a good approach if a single person does the pitch.

  • Another best practice is to have the same person who pitched answer all the follow-up questions. Even if you have a business background, but technical questions are asked, it is much better to prepare for those questions and answer them yourself.

  • Be concise during the Q&A session to make the most of it. Do your best to listen to the questions carefully. Don’t be shy; if necessary, repeat the question and confirm that you understood it correctly.

  • Properly communicate your ask (funding needed, valuation, what you will spend it on, and what you will deliver with that funding).

  • Despite all the technical checks, complex presentations (with video, a specific sound, or animation) don’t always work. So, consider keeping it as simple as possible.

  • Practice your pitch, ideally in front of people who can give you informed feedback. And refine your pitch based on the feedback.

  • Participate in public demo days and watch demo days of well-known acceleration programs (e.g. 500 Global, Berkeley SkyDeck, etc.).

  • Reach out to peer startup founders for tips on successful pitching and angel relations management.

  • Be smart with the valuation of your startup. Keep the balance between your expectations and offer a fair valuation to the angel investors given your traction, readiness of your product, and other factors impacting the value of the startup.

  • Try to avoid emotional appeals. Remember, this is a business transaction and angels are business investors. You must have passion for your idea and product, but appeals to emotion won't make up for shortcomings in your business model or other essential omissions. Keep the pitch about the functional side of things and tangible benefits and less about how much of a labor of love your startup is.

General Tips

By incorporating these suggestions into your pitch, you'll be thoroughly prepared for the pitching sessions with STAN Angels.Despite the result of your pitch, remember that you are the architect of your success. Keep learning, keep chasing your dream and always keep a positive attitude and good luck!

“Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.”
Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies

STAN portfolio teams had significant progress in the second quarter of 2023. Let's take a look at the impressive accomplishments of our portfolio startups and their ambitions for the future. has been successfully admitted to the SkyDeck Europe accelerator program. They have hired a US-based consultant to help devise and implement a robust product-led growth strategy. The solution currently spans multiple areas, and in an effort to specialize their offering, they are seeking a specific application or scenario to concentrate on.

Doctor Yan

Doctor Yan has partnered with one of the major insurance companies in Armenia. During the past quarter, they achieved a 15% increase in the patient base and a remarkable 36% rise in appointments, totaling 5,500 completed appointments. They have 52 new registered doctors and are currently in the early stages of establishing an advisory board.

Denovo Sciences

Denovo Sciences has achieved wet lab milestones in its drug discovery programs, started a new partnership in Asia, and has secured grants from Armenia and Europe. They have also increased their computational power through grants, startup programs, and getting access to a supercomputer which will allow for large-scale experiments. They are expanding their partnerships with academic and industry players from US, Europe, and Asia.

PopUp School

The PopUp School team recently participated in the esteemed BAJ accelerator program, which has provided valuable insights and connections. As a result, they are currently engaging with investors who have expressed interest in the venture during the accelerator phase. PopUp School was recognized as one of the world's top 200 elite EdTech startups. This distinction opened doors for collaboration with, a highly respected US government-sponsored platform.

Axona Lab

Axona Lab has transitioned to the GCC market, targeting businesses that operate in the region, and launched the study of outdoor locations, covering 500 locations in Dubai, UAE. A new partnership was developed between Axona Lab and Yemnak, which is helping introduce Axona Lab in GCC and specifically KSA. Axona Lab will launch data as a service platform for outdoor locations in UAE (and other GCC countries later) called This is estimated to be launched in August 2023.


BLiiNK has pivoted and transitioned to a Freemium business model for individuals and released a new app version. The team participated in ViVaTech 23 and is currently working with new leads from the event. They have successfully partnered with Ergonomics/Digital Health specialists in India, Canada, and Israel. The team continues investing in digital marketing and is going to launch referral and affiliate programs. They are gearing up to start clinical research and publish the results.


BrandLens made its mark on the global stage by representing BrandLens at SXSW, being a sponsor at CommerceNext, and participating in VidCon annual convention.
Furthermore, BrandLens successfully unveiled the much-anticipated 2.0 version of its platform, introducing enhanced features and functionalities to serve its users better. A highly successful campaign launched in AppSumo further amplified the company's efforts, generating widespread attention and user engagement.


Manot has launched its platform and has major upcoming integrations with big companies. The startup was an CVPR silver sponsor, where they also exhibited manot and gathered several approvals for product-market fit. They received new funding from Argonautic Ventures in February.


Mythrill has been implementing generative AI in all of its content creation features. The initial integration of generative images in 2022 brought an immense boost to the quality of visuals created for the series, which is a key unique feature of Mythrill. They have been focusing on translations and launched the first translated story in June, with two more following within the next month.
They currently have 23K registered readers and around 40 authors, an incredible 6.7x increase in the number of long stories jumping from 60 in the first quarter to 400 as of the end of the second quarter. Soon Mythrill will release its functionality for audio content creation.

Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting developments!

Meet BrandLens

The Newest STAN Portfolio Startup

BrandLens is the premier app-less platform for effortless short-form videos and UGC (User-Generated Content).BrandLens participated in STAN’s 12th pitching session and has become the 13th portfolio startup of STAN. Four STAN angels, including Ruben Arutyunyan, Kevin Bartanian, Avetis Antaplyan, and Igor Khalatian, have invested in BrandLens.It is an innovative video creation platform that simplifies generating and engaging with user-generated video content.With BrandLens, brands can effortlessly create authentic videos in collaboration with their community, customers, fans, or anyone else. The best part? No need for additional apps or downloads.See below two examples of how startups used the BrandLens platform to pitch to STAN Angels:
Visit the BrandLens website to learn more about innovative ways to engage your audience and generate authentic user-generated video content for your brand or agency. You'll discover how the platform eliminates the need for apps or downloads, making the process seamless and user-friendly.
At STAN, we are dedicated to supporting Armenian founders who are building science and technology-intensive innovative startups. BrandLens is a shining example of our community's remarkable talent and ingenuity.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Art Ghazaryan Joins STAN!

We are delighted to announce the addition of Art Ghazaryan to the STAN team as a new angel investor. Art brings a wealth of experience and professional expertise that aligns with STAN's mission and objectives.
Art's educational background is diverse and distinguished. As an MIT Sloan Fellow, he has received top-notch training and knowledge. He holds a diploma with the highest honors from Yerevan State University in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Furthermore, he has earned master's degrees in entertainment and media from Ohio University and computer science from Tufts University.
As a co-founder and CEO of Ympakt, a boutique venture studio and impact-focused research lab, Art's work exemplifies the power of design thinking. Ympakt's portfolio teams are dedicated to building purpose-driven startups that create both profit and positive change in the world.Art has a remarkable entrepreneurial experience having founded and managed four successful startups with a strong presence in Armenia in various fields, including image processing, music education, biotech, aerial analytics, social ventures, and photography.In addition to his venture-building experience, Art has also contributed to international development programs as a manager at the World Bank and UNDP. His multi-national and multi-disciplinary experience has led him to spearhead projects in government, academia, and private foundation sectors in Armenia, Rwanda, and Indonesia.Art has made significant contributions to social impact initiatives, focusing on capacity development for ethical leadership and entrepreneurship in emerging regions. He has also pioneered engagement and nudge platforms to influence consumer and citizen decision-making, particularly in development settings. Furthermore, he has developed platforms that foster artistic expression, originality, and greater semiotic engagement, vital aspects of human flourishing and active global citizenship.Art's investment interests encompass a wide range of fields, including ML/Imaging (B2C, photography, digital marketing, B2B computer vision, aerial analytics, Greentech), biotech (ML-Drug Discovery), and edtech (music literacy, STEM, non-profit).We are thrilled to share common values and passion for innovation and technology entrepreneurship in Armenia and are confident that Art’s involvement in STAN's activities will amplify our collective efforts.Welcome aboard, Art! We are excited to embark on this journey together.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Gayane Aghajanyan Joins STAN!

We are delighted to announce the addition of Gayane Aghajanyan to the STAN team as a new angel investor.
As an attorney at Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP, she specializes in representing self-insured employers, third-party administrators, and corporations in the intricate realm of workers’ compensation.
Additionally, Gayane serves as a board member at The Center for Truth and Justice, a non-profit dedicated to making a meaningful impact.
We are excited to have Gayane on board and confident that her legal expertise will greatly benefit STAN!

Meet Saima

Revolutionary Video Speed Solution

Science & Technology Angels Network (STAN) is thrilled to announce the successful investment made by its angels in Saima following STAN's 12th pitching session on February 24, 2023.Saima, founded by a highly skilled and diverse team with extensive experience in the private and public sectors, has made groundbreaking advancements in personalized adaptive speed solutions for video materials. In collaboration with renowned Dr․ Prof Hovhannes Manvelyan (Chairman of the Department of Neurology at YSMU, UCSF postdoc), Saima has developed a cognitive assessment mechanism, leveraging research from esteemed institutions such as Stanford University. This mechanism identifies users' baseline comprehension and utilizes AI technology to dynamically adjust the speed of video content, tailoring it to individual listening paces. Saima's solution revolutionizes video watching by providing a customized experience that enhances comprehension and memorization.To get a better understanding of Saima's pioneering solution, please watch the following video:

Saima successfully graduated from Berkeley's prestigious SkyDeck accelerator program in Spring 2023. With the rapid growth of online learning, optimized solutions that maximize knowledge retention and adapt to individual learning speeds are primed to capitalize on these trends, attracting both consumer and commercial user bases.STAN Angels Astghik Khachatryan, Avetis Antaplyan, Armen Panossian, Hratch Sofoian, and Vrej Sarkissian have invested in Saima's pre-seed round, joining forces with a lead angel investor from Silicon Valley.STAN congratulates its angels and the Saima team on this remarkable achievement and wishes them an exciting journey ahead!

Hovhannes Mardirossian

STAN-GEW 2023 event

Supporting First-Time Founders with Scientific Background

On Monday, November 13, STAN successfully hosted a thought-provoking Panel Discussion focused on Supporting First-Time Founders with a Scientific Background. Gratitude to our esteemed panelists, including Narine Kotikyan, Art Ghazaryan, Mihran Aroian, and Marcelo Rubinger, whose valuable insights shed light on harnessing Armenian scientific capabilities to the fullest.The discussion culminated with a shared understanding of the importance of cultivating a unique Armenian approach to innovation and science support.
Special thanks to GEW Armenia 2023 and EPIC - Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation Center for their facilitation, contributing to the success of this event.
Stay tuned for more engaging events throughout the week as part of Entrepreneurial Week!

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Vahram Sukyas Joins STAN!

We're happy to introduce the newest angel joining STAN!
Join us in welcoming Vahram Sukyas, a tech industry veteran with over 20 years of experience! As the Chief Technology Officer at VIQ Solutions, Vahram brings a diverse background in engineering, scaling digital products, cloud technologies, AI, cybersecurity, and more!
Previously, Vahram held influential roles at Warner Bros. and Technicolor's M-GO division, where he played a key part in launching and scaling the M-GO platform to millions of devices across multiple platforms.
STAN is proud to have Vahram on board, expanding our expertise and investment opportunities for Armenian startups.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Hratch Sofoian Joins STAN!

We're delighted to introduce another fantastic angel joining our STAN community!
Let's give a warm welcome to Hratch Sofoian, a seasoned professional management consultant with a passion for all things digital, data, and B2B! With extensive experience at leading consulting firms Deloitte & Capgemini, Hratch brings expertise in business development, large-scale business transformations, and serving as a trusted advisor to bridge the gap between technology and business.
But that's not all! Hratch is also the founder of HerTrove, a prime destination for luxury designer dresses and couture, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit and deep knowledge of product development and business growth.
STAN is thrilled to have Hratch on board, sharing his invaluable insights and helping Armenian startups thrive. Stay tuned for exciting collaborations and opportunities!

STAN portfolio teams had an awesome first quarter of 2023.
Let's take a look at the impressive accomplishments of our portfolio startups and their ambitions for the future.

Denovo Sciences

The Denovo Sciences team published a scientific paper in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal and had their poster presentation accepted at the ICAR 2023 conference in Lyon. They expanded their team by hiring foreign researchers and successfully completed the SkyDeck acceleration program. Additionally, Denovo Sciences received investments from the SkyDeck fund and TripleS Venture Capital. They are now on the verge of establishing a collaboration with a leading biotech company. Notably, Denovo Sciences secured 2nd place in the Growth Stage Startups category at the Sevan Startup Summit 2023 in Vizag, India.

PopUp School

Within the last month, PopUp School attracted a total of 3.7K visits to their platform. They achieved a sign-up rate of approximately 25.27%, resulting in 935 new registered users. 3.85% (36 users) of those registered users converted into paid customers. PopUp School has been shortlisted as one of the top 200 startups competing for the GSV Cup Elite, where they can win $1 million in cash and other prizes. PopUp School stood out among 900+ startups from 69 countries in the selection process.

Doctor Yan

Doctor Yan experienced a significant growth of 150% in the number of appointments since June 2022. Currently, over 13K patients and 700 doctors are utilizing their platform. The team is in the final stages of establishing partnerships with a large hospital and an insurance company. Doctor Yan recently introduced a new product line, a personal assistant for doctors, which greatly facilitates doctor acquisition.


manot has successfully acquired paying customers who are benefiting from their system's ability to adapt to unexpected real-world scenarios 10x faster. Moreover, their system has demonstrated a 20x increase in accuracy and resolved issues with 30% lower costs. With over 20 customers on the waiting list, manot has 3 three ongoing pilots in delivery robotics and 1 paying customer in a production environment. Their achievements have gained recognition in Forbes and SF Business Times. Additionally, manot secured new funding from Argonautic Ventures in February, amounting to $375K with a $7.5 million valuation cap. Their first paying customer in the autonomous robotics field is Tinymile.
Watch Chinar Movsisyan, founder and CEO of manot, presenting at Berkeley SkyDeck Demo Day. launched a new product it calls "ChatGPT for companies" and is currently conducting Proof of Concepts with several companies across the US, Europe, and Asia. They are in the final selection process for one of the largest US acceleration programs. In the second quarter of 2023, plans to introduce Google Drive integration.


HopShop released an updated version of their AI technology with 30% more precise results. This enhancement led to an average retention increase of 10%, with user activity surging by 30%. As a result, the total number of users has exceeded 9K.


BLiiNK acquired 250 new users, and one of them converted into a paid user. They achieved 1st place among Idea Stage Startups at the Seaside Startup Summit and will be participating in VIVA Tech 2023 in Paris from June 14 to 17. BLiiNK initiated a partnership with the Association of Armenian Kinesiologists and has plans to launch a marketing campaign in the US in the upcoming quarter.


doodooc had a successful year with several B2B projects, including being the official music visualizer at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Fan Zone and creating five custom visualizations for Serj Tankian's "Perplex Cities" album. In the next few months, they intend to release Music Albums and Live Real-Time Visualizer features. doodooc achieved 1st place in the Growth Stage Startup Competition at the Sevan Startup Summit 2023 in Vizag, India.

Axona Lab

Axona Lab is currently focused on the UAE market and is conducting an experiment to identify the best locations for Out of Home advertising, with 500 locations being assessed.

Stay tuned for more updates on these exciting developments!

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Manifesto for a gender-balanced ecosystem

STAN has established the following objectives in 2030, which originated from the EBAN manifesto on gender diversity:

STAN has established the following objectives in 2030, which originated from the EBAN manifesto on gender diversity:

  • 30% of company angels are women

  • 30% of female business owners

  • more female members on corporate boards

Learn the EBAN manifesto and get inspired...

EBAN encourages business entrepreneurs to take the following three actions to triple the number of women in our ecosystem:1) Triple the proportion of female angel investors.
In cooperation with business angels across Europe, we will strive to reach a 30% female membership rate by 2030. We will encourage, motivate, enlighten, and inform people about being more inclusive. We will also work together on other ecological projects.
2) Boost financial support for female businesses.
By investing at least 30% of their capital in female entrepreneurs by 2030, we urge individual angel investors and the entire investment community to support a more gender-balanced, resilient, and innovative portfolio.
3) Boost the proportion of women on corporate committees.
The percentage of women on the EBAN board of directors is above average, and the organization has a long history of female leaders. Our group will keep moving in this direction while reaffirming the dedication of our members to expanding inclusion. EBAN will also encourage our community to boost the representation of women on the boards of directors and strategic committees of their portfolio companies.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

The 5 Start-ups Chosen for STAN 12th Pitching Session

The Science & Technology Angels Network (STAN) hosted its 12th pitching session on February 24, 2023, where STAN angels got together to meet the startups aiming to transform their ideas into reality or scale their existing products with additional resources and guidance.This time, 25 eligible startups applied to participate in the STAN pitching session. The competition was tough, and it was challenging to select the few who would make their pitch to STAN angels. The final decisions were made based on the startups’ readiness level, the stage in their lifecycle, and correspondence to the target areas. STAN prioritizes startups engaged in science and technology innovation, with a special focus on AI as a platform technology or technology integrated into various verticals.

After a careful selection, 5 startups were chosen for the main pitch. Here are the startups:

  • doodooc - a generative music visualization platform providing a high-quality solution for musicians and sound artists to create unique animated visualizations.

  • Triple A Audio - a specialized creator of music production software known as virtual instruments used to score films, TV series, and video games that offer remote recording services to composers globally.

  • Foldink - a biotech startup developing bio-inks for the technology of 3D bioprinting to help scientists grow living tissues in laboratories and save lives.

  • INTED - an AI-based personalized adaptive speed solution that improves comprehension and memorization of video and audio materials by automatically tailoring the speed to an individual’s listening pace.

  • BrandLens - a content generation and engagement platform for effortless and authentic user-generated content video creation with communities, customers, fans, or anyone.

“Watching a supportive community of prominent Armenian professionals invest and support innovative ideas is inspiring. We heard pitch presentations from 5 Armenian startups at the seed stage of their business. We look forward to seeing their ideas come to life!” said the founding angel of STAN and the founding CEO of the Foundation for Armenian Science & Technology (FAST), Armen Orujyan.

Following the pitching session, the STAN team organized follow-up meetings between the startups and the angels interested in investing in their venture. This process will be followed by due diligence and eventual investments in the startups.In the last 12 months, STAN has invested over $160K in 5 startups. STAN helps promising Armenian startups to get access to risk capital and strategic guidance that propels them to the next step in their startup journey.

What Not to Do:
Advice From STAN Investors to Startups

Here are some key takeaways on what not to do when pitching your startup idea to investors, based on the insights shared by our guest speakers during a recent info meeting prior to the 12th STAN Pitching session.These successful founders, entrepreneurs, and investors provide valuable advice to help you attract the right investor for your startup.Jesus Lozano (Chus Jan), EU Senior Expert on Digital Economy and Digital Transformation, ICT Ecosystem Builder, Business Angel & AdvisorSuren Aloyan, Co-Founder & CEO of PopUp School Ed Tech Company, Founding President & CEO of Dasaran Ed Tech CompanyVahag Karayan, STAN angel, Co-Founder & CEO of BrandLens Inc, Former NASA System Engineer, and entertainment industry executive

Mistakes to avoid in selecting an angel investor

Chus Jan emphasizes the importance of understanding investors and knowing what they want to hear. This includes being well-prepared with financial projections and identifying potential obstacles. It's crucial to come up with traction and a clear marketing strategy. Additionally, Chus mentions the scarcity of investors in Armenia who truly understand the field.Suren Aloyan advises that angel investors should be individuals who share your vision and mission, demonstrating their dedication and support. Research the startups the angel has previously invested in and inquire about their reasons for wanting to be involved with your venture.

How not to value your startup

Chus highlights that valuation varies among investors and depends on the stage of your startup. It's essential to choose the appropriate instrument or tool, such as a convertible note or partnership agreement, for each investor.Vahag Karayan shares his opinion that if the idea and founding team are strong, the valuation can be agreed upon.

Common pitfalls in building financial models for your startup

Chus recommends having someone with financial expertise on your team to manage investments if you lack knowledge in financial models. In any case, he advises against going more than 6 to 8 months without sales or proof of concept.Vahag emphasizes that Armenian startups often struggle to understand the global market and financial trends. He suggests having a team member with an international background to provide valuable insights.

Mistakes to avoid when choosing the founding team

Vahag suggests that founders in Armenia should consider team members from Europe or the US to enhance diversity and strengthen the team, and to assess the weaknesses and strengths of the founding team, and bring in a co-founder who can complement them effectively.Chus evaluates the soft skills (problem-solving, communication) as well as the hard skills and knowledge of the founding team. Factors like network, customer relationships, and experience are also considered, along with the attitude of team members.Suren chooses individuals who share his vision and are mission-oriented. He creates an environment where they feel like true startup enthusiasts working towards achieving results.

What not to do when pitching your startup

Chus emphasizes the importance of establishing connections on intellectual, emotional, and ethical levels. He also suggests asking yourself important questions during the pitch, such as whether your solution solves a problem, if you have expertise in finance, and if you are generating traction. Remember, business angels invest in growth opportunities.Vahag advises being confident, enthusiastic, and a good listener during your pitch. Reflect on feedback and address questions appropriately.Suren highlights the significance of understanding psychology when dealing with potential investors. Adapt your pitch by taking notes and continuously improving it. Focus on describing the problem and selling your vision. Sometimes, you may need to educate people about the demand for your product or service.

Final advice for startup founders

Chus encourages startups to fail fast and fail cheap, recognizing that time is limited in the startup world.Suren mentions the need to be comfortable with uncertainty and willing to take risks, even if they seem daunting, and to do what others aren’t willing to.Vahag emphasizes the importance of working through uncertainty to increase the chances of success before depleting all your funds.

By taking note of these insights, you can avoid common pitfalls and improve your chances of pitching your startup successfully to investors.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

STAN Invests in PopUp School

We are excited to announce that the Science and Technology Angels Network (STAN) has joined forces with other notable entrepreneurs and investors, including Vahe Kuzoyan, Co-Founder of Service Titan, and Cal Henderson, Co-Founder of Slack, to invest in PopUp School. PopUp School is an innovative EdTech platform that provides personalized e-learning for grades 8-12 students. The platform focuses on matching teaching and learning styles to create impactful learning experiences.

PopUp School

PopUp School is a subscription-free K-12 e-learning platform that allows teachers to share and monetize their knowledge through in-platform lesson building. Its unique matchmaking algorithm helps paid subscribers find lessons that align with their preferred learning style, be it visual, kinesthetic, reading/writing, or auditory. The platform offers unlimited online lessons to cater to diverse learning needs.Under the leadership of co-founder and CEO Suren Aloyan, PopUp School has secured over $540,000 in pre-seed funding. This funding will enable the platform to enhance online education and tap into the immense potential for disruptive and innovative approaches in the field. The STAN Angels group, led by Avetis Antaplyan and accompanied by Astghik Khachatryan, Hayk Mamajanyan, Levon Budaghyan, and Kevin Bartanian, is investing in this venture.Avetis Antaplyan has expressed confidence in Suren and his team, highlighting their extensive experience in the EdTech sector in Armenia and their previous success with DASARAN. The STAN Angels believe that the team's strong business and product development skills will be crucial in scaling PopUp School's product across the United States. With a talented team of early-stage advisors and investors, PopUp School is poised for success in the Armenian startup ecosystem.With the newly acquired funding, PopUp School aims to expand its platform and leverage its innovative matchmaking algorithm to help students discover the most suitable lessons for their learning needs and pace. The platform acknowledges the uniqueness of each student and their diverse learning requirements, with a special focus on teachers.

Success of the School

PopUp School's achievements have already garnered recognition in the education sector. It has been honored as the Startup of the Year by the GESS Education Award and received a Globee Business Award for Startup of the Year in IT Software. The platform has also been featured in AP Business News as a leading provider of e-learning in subjects such as Algebra 1, Geometry, and English Language & Arts.Suren Aloyan explains that PopUp School has developed a patent-pending technology that diagnoses teachers' teaching styles and matches them with students based on their learning preferences. The platform's success lies not only in its accolades and nominations but also in its ability to disrupt the education system.Suren and his team possess over 13 years of experience in K-12 education, having interacted with more than 34,000 teachers to understand their challenges and facilitate impactful learning for millions of students. Their contributions have significantly increased computer literacy among teachers in Armenia from 5% in 2010 to 81% in 2016.Suren's journey began with revolutionizing the education system in Armenia through his DASARAN EdTech Company. He built the first electronic school management system, which became a widely used SaaS platform connecting teachers, students, and parents across the country's public school system. DASARAN, meaning "classroom" in Armenian, boasts over 1.2 million users, representing full penetration of the Armenian education market.Drawing from this remarkable success, PopUp School was born. It utilizes a cutting-edge matchmaking algorithm to revolutionize the educational landscape in the United States, customizing its platform to suit local educational priorities and specificities.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

Apply to STAN! Application Submission Instructions

Ahead of the upcoming pitching session on, we’ve prepared detailed instructions on completing your application on Gust.
For additional questions, please email us at [email protected] to complete the Gust application.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Since August 18th, 2023, there have been some technical issues with registration on the platform. The bug is currently being investigated by the Gust; in the meantime, we advise all the applicants to use a VPN for the sign-up process. Free VPN apps like VeePN, Hola VPN, etc. can be useful for the safe and smooth registration.


In order to access the STAN application page, please follow this link. You will be redirected to this page. Click the “Apply for funding” button to start the application.


Create an account in Gust to proceed with the application.

Hovhannes Mardirossian


Fill in your name and surname. Select which of the following relationships your startup has: Co-Founders, Advisors, and/or Contractors. Click next and proceed to the startup name and incorporation type (if any).

Hovhannes Mardirossian
Hovhannes Mardirossian


Describe the stage of your startup’s development; if it is already generating revenue, provide the amount from the past 12 consecutive months (Trailing Twelve Months / TTM).

Hovhannes Mardirossian


After signing up and accepting the terms of use, you will be redirected to the next steps of the application. Click the Next button after reading the instructions to proceed to the next stages of the application process.

Hovhannes Mardirossian


In the Overview section, please follow the instructions under each question carefully and try to complete all fields (even optional ones).

Hovhannes Mardirossian


In the Financials section, the essential parts are the current funding round which indicates in which stage you are now and the amount you seek.

Fill in your name and surname. Select which of the following relationships your startup has: Co-Founders, Advisors, and/or Contractors. Click next and proceed to the startup name and incorporation type (if any).

  • Friends and Family investment in a company often follow the founder’s investment, from people who are investing primarily because of their relationship with the founder rather than their business knowledge.

  • The pre-seed funding round is a way of financing that takes a startup idea off the ground: becoming able to engage in the project full-time, hire crucial team members, build a proof of concept (POC), prototype, or minimum viable product (MVP), prepare a go-to-market strategy and get some initial traction needed for raising the (next) seed investment round.

  • Seed investment is commonly used for further product and team development, official market launch, acquiring customers, and testing product-market fit and a business model.

  • Series A funding: investors are looking for companies with great ideas as well as a strong strategy for turning those ideas into a successful, money-making business.

  • Series B funding rounds are well-established, and their valuations tend to reflect that; most Series B companies have valuations between around $30 million and $60 million.

  • You can find more information here.

STAN focuses on funding early-stage startups. Normally, we consider startups in the Friends and Family, Pre-Seed, and Seed stages.

Hovhannes Mardirossian


Sharing financials with investors is always a good idea if you have proven traction and good unit economics proving your growth hypothesis. It will provide another reason for investors to fund your startup.

Hovhannes Mardirossian


Any Funding history that is available at the point of your application is important to be stated.For example, if you have any grant received so far, you can state it under the Friends and Family round. If any commitment is half transferred and half expected to be received in the upcoming months, please state the final amount initially agreed upon.

Hovhannes Mardirossian


Pitch Deck

The Pitch Deck is one of the essential parts of your Gust Profile. Investors usually pay the most attention to this part. Pitch Deck builds the investors' confidence in your business, thereby promising that your startup has the potential to excel and grow faster.

Important tips to make Pitch Deck

  1. Present your unique value proposition. It would be ideal if you provided a numeric measure of your solution's pain points and benefits.

  2. Make sure the pitch deck clearly explains your problem. It is essential to ensure the pitch deck clearly explains the solution, its underlying magic, and how it works.

  3. Clearly indicate the innovation component of your solution. Remember that Science & Technology Angels Network (STAN) invests in science-intensive startups. Having AI as a core component of your competitiveness is essential. However, we recommend not adding "AI-focused" if this is irrelevant to your solution.

  4. We want to see startups that have scaling potential. So clearly indicate your market. Explain your expansion strategy. If you are targeting a niche market, clearly explain the profile of your target customers.

  5. Make sure you analyze the competition and outline your advantages. Formulate what your "unfair advantage" over others is. If necessary, elaborate more on "unfair advantage" in the "team" related slide (see its description below).

  6. Provide a logical and straightforward assessment of the volume of your target market. Angels should see a growth opportunity in the selected market.

  7. Explain the educational and professional background of your founders and core team members. Explain why these people are the ones who will bring the idea to success. Indicate if they are working full-time in the startup.

  8. Clearly formulate your financial ask and valuation. Outline the key milestones that you will achieve with that funding. How long will this funding keep you alive? What will you do when the funding is over?

  9. Make sure the pitch deck is in English.

  10. Extensively test the pitch deck internally and with external key industry leaders. Make sure it will convey your key messages to the people who read the pitch deck the first time.

Recommendations for a great pitch:

  • Connect with your audience - being specific, talking about failures and successes so that you will connect with your audience/investors on a human and emotional level

  • Lead with Traction – focus on telling the problem and the exact customers having that problem so that investors will fully understand that the problem exists and bothers specific target customers and only then present your solutions. Some start-ups might not yet have customers or revenue. However, they can talk about unit economics for customers -the cost of acquiring one user in the given cohort.

Pitch Video

Although it is not mandatory, one of the most effective methods to share your narrative is with a pitch video, as it can demonstrate your concept in motion. Through music, movement, and interpersonal interaction, you may directly address your audience through video and motivate them. We recommend recording a 30 seconds introduction video for a wider recognition. Click on this link to record.


In the Additional Questions section, all questions are mandatory. If you have any references by which you applied to STAN, please state them.

Hovhannes Mardirossian


Please state the track under which you are applying:

  • Traditional angel investments: offer pre-seed to seed-stage investments in startups engaged in science and technology innovation. We have emphasized our focus on AI as a platform technology or technology integrated into various verticals that benefit Armenia and the world. Examples of various startups STAN has invested in are music visualization startup doodooc, science-fiction series startup Mythrill, and health-tech startup DoctorYan.

  • Moonshot projects: investments here are in high-risk/high-gain projects which offer ultra-sophisticated, deep technology solutions to tackle worldwide challenges. The stage of the project can vary from idea to production ready.

  • Women entrepreneurship: track provides impact investments for women-led, very early stage (idea/concept stage) startups to strengthen female entrepreneurship in Armenia.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

After completing all the required fields, you can apply and receive a confirmation email from Gust.

Hovhannes Mardirossian

From Local to Global

How 3 STAN Startups Grew From Local to Global

We are gearing up for the next STAN pitching session planned for Friday, 24 February 2023, and we’re happy to share some of the highlights of the “From Local to Global: How to Grow Your Startup” event we hosted at FAST creative campus recently. Three Armenian startups and participants of the STAN investment program – Denovo Sciences, doodooc, and HopShop, shared their success stories of going from small beginnings in Armenia to the global stage and the journeys they took.

Denovo Sciences

A participant of the Entrepreneurship World Cup Finals and the Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator, today Denovo Sciences is an AI-based drug discovery platform, but the idea for it arose early during one of FAST’s initiatives. Mher Matevosyan, Co-Founder Denovo Sciences, saysthe team spent a whole year conducting research and experimenting with different ideas. After participating in a number of accelerators, they now focus on biological experiments.They applied to SkyDeck after having almost a three-year experience in the field. For him, the biggest challenge was the management of time zones and communication throughout their journey with many of their investors from the US and the team in Armenia.


Doodooc is a music visualization maker based on deep audio analysis, and a participant of the 9th STAN Pitching Session and funding recipient from STAN angels. Doodooc’s visualizations were featured in music videos by Serj Tankian and Tigran Hamasyan. Arthur Asatryan, the marketing manager of doodooc, spoke of becoming the official visualizer of the FIFA World Cup Fan Zones in Qatar with its visualizations being displayed on every screen.


HopShop is an app that helps shoppers find and buy any fashion-related item from videos and images.HopShop came forward during InVent, a venture building program by FAST. The idea came from a personal experience when the team tried to find a clothing piece they saw in shops. Tigran Chakhalyan, co-founder and CEO of HopShop, recalled their journey of passing through multiple startup accelerators in Armenia and worldwide, becoming the national winner of the Entrepreneurship World Cup in Armenia, and participating in UC Berkeley SkyDeck. Currently,the application is integrated with more than 450 stores worldwide. With a growing number of competitors, they never forget to think ahead and make strategic plans to change and adapt.

About STAN - Science and Technology Angels Network

The Science and Technology Angels Network (STAN) unites a group of prominent Armenian professionals from all over the globe to invest in seed-stage Armenian startups engaged in science and technology innovation. With 11 portfolio companies to date, STAN has already had several success cases. Most of the startups have participated in a number of pitching sessions and succeed in implementing their visionwith the strategic advice, mentorship, and connections afforded by STAN.
If you want to become the next STAN success story, you can still apply for an opportunity to pitch to us at the next session on 24 February 2023.