EghtesadOnline: A memorandum of understanding was signed between MTN-Irancell, University of Tehran and science and technology officials on Sunday, working toward the establishment of a venture capital fund and a startup accelerator which are to help promote knowledge-based firms and startups.
The document targets the launch and development of an innovation and acceleration center, alongside establishing a venture capital fund to provide fledgling firms with financial support, as reported by Irancell’s official website.
Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari was present at the event and was one of the signatories to the MoU. He said, “Venture capital funds are a necessity to the country,” adding that the funds are part of the solution to promoting sustainable finance arrangements in Iran.
Secretary of Information Technology, Communications and Cyberspace Development Council, Mehdi Faqihi, who also was among the attendees, highlighted the need for expanding and upgrading the ICT infrastructure to create innovative and technology-based jobs for university graduates, Financial Tribune reported.
Faqihi noted that the MoU takes advantage of Irancell and the university’s capacities in “identifying, selecting, developing and supporting” startups and knowledge-based firms that own comprehensive plans or products of high development potential.
He added that the vice presidential office aims to encourage knowledge-based economy through efforts such as developing the required infrastructure.
He also expressed the council’s readiness to help expedite the certificate-issuance process.
“As per the MoU, Irancell is set to build and equip the center, and to provide the necessary infrastructures to render it operational,” said MTN-Irancell’s CEO Mehdi Qalambor Dezfuli.
On Irancell’s future plans, Dezfuli stated, “Reaping the benefits of firms, alongside the knowledge and goods produced in the innovation center, financial support of companies and startup teams and forming joint ventures to establish venture capital funds are among [our] goals.”
MTN-Irancell as the largest mobile Internet service provider in Iran had previously signed MoUs with Khuzestan Governorate, Mashhad Municipality and knowledge-based firms and centers to support startups.
The University of Tehran has provided a 3000-meter site at the College of Engineering for the development of innovation centers and is to participate in its management. Furthermore, the university will facilitate the activities of both the center and the venture capital fund, with the aim of speeding up the scientific and technological growth of startups.