The Next Tech Startup Ecosystem To Emerge — Iran

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Amid the slightly chaotic world we live in these days, technology and the Internet marches on, like a great cloud moving across the Earth, unstoppable. This Cloud has no politics about where it goes. Sometimes it’s has issues here and there. But it just keeps rolling. And the latest country the Internet startup economy is emerging is: Iran.

Now Techly.co, a new TechCrunch-esque blog written entirely in English, has launched to try and rally the country’s nascent tech scene.

Techly.co was started by Nasser Ghanemzadeh and Mobin Ranjbar.

The founder and CEO at Opatan, the first, and possibly the only, Iranian Cloud Startup, Ghanemzadeh is also co-founder of the Iran Startups startup community site.

Ghanemzadeh has also helped organise the Lean Startup Machine Tehran and several Startup Weekends.

Ranjbar, while acting as Editor in Chief of Techly.co, is also the founder of Shariksho, the first co-working space in Iran.

“As you know Iran right now is a ‘black box’ for most people outside it. We hope to open up the scene here and cover Iranian startup and tech news,” Ghanemzadeh told me, speaking from Tehran. “We have more 100 startups all growing fast. Every week a new startup is born.”

The ecosystem is of course young. Perhaps the biggest Startup there, Digikala is an ecommerce site along the lines of Amazon, reportedly worth $150m already.

According to Ghanemzadeh, there are a handful of emerging VCs in the country including Simorgh, Shenasa

Sarava, Sharif VC and one called MAPS, which has just launched.

Accelerators include DMOND Group (a brand of Plug & Play) and Avatech. Two other teams are working to start Accelerators, including Ghanemzadeh, and there are many old-school Incubators.

Currently Iran Startups has monthly meetings, and does several other activities to boost the Iranian startup ecosystem.

Iran Startups even have T-Shirts. The above was a present to Roxanne Varza, an ethnic Iranian based in Paris with Microsoft’s Accelerator, who recently met with the scene there (mine is poised to be revealed).

With international events starting to appear in the country, such as the recent FailCon Tehran and the Iran Startups group on Facebook swelling to 3,500+ members, the country seems well on its way to begin the process of joining the international tech startup community.