The Innovent Iran Event, collaboratively organized with various startup and international groups, including IFIA Research Innovation Teams(RIT) Department, addressed the opportunities and challenges within Iran’s startup landscape, with a primary focus on artificial intelligence innovations. The event took place on Thursday, January 11, 2024, with a robust attendance of over 300 participants.
Comprising three discussion panels, the first panel centered on startups, the second on finance and investment, and the third on artificial intelligence. Each panel featured experienced experts who discussed relevant topics and responded to attendees’ questions. Additionally, IFIA RIT team members stationed in the hall’s outer space patiently and energetically addressed inquiries from attendees interested in the invention process.
The inaugural discussion panel at the Innovent Iran Event delved into startup topics, with the participation of esteemed professionals such as Mr. Masoud Shafaghi, the Strategic Planning and Executive Office Manager at the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations-IFIA in Geneva, Switzerland; Mr. Reza Hessami Fard, the Executive CEO of Gahwareh Company; and Mr. Mohammad Reza Sobhan, the Co-Founder & CEO of Tivan entrepreneurship club. Mr. Shafaghi emphasized the importance of defining a startup’s starting point, end goal, and the path to achieving it, so that the road map is determined correctly and there is a proper expectation of the performance and output of the route. He highlighted the significant impact of senior managers’ branding on a structure’s progress, contrary to common belief and mentioned that the more senior managers pay attention to their branding and create their brand structure correctly, the more clearly the growth and progress in a structure can be seen.
Furthermore, Reza Hessami Fard emphasized that the inception of a startup is initially formed with an idea that a person thinks about continuously—a solution capable of addressing societal and individual challenges, presenting an innovative alternative. In this discussion panel, Mr. Mohammad Reza Sobhan stated that in order to build a startup, it is important to keep in mind that the people who make up the main structure are from different specialties and disciplines so that we can benefit from the presence of experts with different views in different fields.
According to the insights provided by Mr. Masoud Shafaghi in this panel, a startup’s structure can be dynamic and progress through audience engagement. The audience transforms into advocates for the system by generating authentic content. In other words, every audience member, based on their experiences within the structure, becomes an agent for that system. This process ensures that the dynamics and liveliness of a structure are maintained.
One of the crucial points highlighted by Mr. Masoud Shafaghi was that the business structure of a startup can yield favorable results when a knowledgeable and expert leader defines appropriate policiesand when the individuals within the working system, possessing the requisite trust and insight into the organization’s missions and goals, adhere to the established policies and operate within their framework. This approach allows the startup structure to progress methodically toward its goals and visions.
In the second panel, Mr. Meisam Zargarpour, the producer of the 10 A.M Podcast, and Dr. Mohammad Reza Nazari, the CEO of AIDC, discussed finance and investment factors crucial for investors injecting capital into startups as well as in teams looking to start economic activity. Dr. Nazari emphasized the need for business people to empathize with the audience and consider the values important to them. The panel also addressed key issues regarding the continuity and resilience of individuals venturing into startup initiatives.
The third panel of the Innovent Iran Event focused on artificial intelligence (AI) with the presence of Mr. Pouria Mehrabi, CEO of Smartory Labs, and Mr. Reza Noormohammadi, a Ph.D. holder in artificial intelligence and blockchain from the University of British Columbia, Canada. The discussion highlighted that while AI has been present since the 90s, its recent surge in popularity is attributed to its increased usage in startup businesses and daily life. Mr. Reza Noormohammadi reassured that AI, while not without challenges, would not pose a threat but is entirely dependent on past data and statistics.
Following the event’s conclusion, experts and attendees gathered in the hall’s outer space for further discussions. Mr. Shafaghi addressed questions from attendees, both after his panel and the subsequent discussions, aiming to clarify doubts about the startup innovation space. In his view, establishing a startup environment varies for each individual and presents challenges. Seeking advice from experts and strategists who are familiar with the path can significantly contribute to the progress and success of the startup while averting potential setbacks.
The Innovent Iran event concluded at 21:00 on Thursday, January 11, 2024, at Tehran Book Garden’s Koshk hall.