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EghtesadOnline: The 13th Iran Web and Mobile Festival wrapped up on Friday by introducing Iran’s top startups and entrepreneurs.

Unlike previous years, the event was held online due to Covid-19.

Iran’s startups and knowledge-based companies competed during IWMF, which is organized by the private sector, the festival’s website reported.

Milad Ehrampoush, co-founder of IWMF, told reporters that this year’s event was warmly received by participants, which included many fledgling startups with high potentials.

The event’s other cofounder, Shayan Shalileh, said the 13th round was a unique experience. 

“It resembled earlier editions where the jury introduced and awarded the winners without any sideline events. It is a pity we could not meet all these talents in person due to the pandemic,” he added.

The online event included prerecorded messages and talks, along with live panels and debates that were streamed via Instagram.

As part of the event, documentaries on Iran’s startup ecosystem were released online. 

In talks and panels held on the occasion, prominent figures discussed the impact of recent developments, especially the problems created by the coronavirus pandemic, on Iran’s startup ecosystem and business prospects.

Despite Covid-19 taking a harsh toll on businesses, IWMF organizers witnessed lively participation in the festival’s competition, especially in the fields of online sales, digital marketing, e-health, fintech and business-to-business (B2B) services.

One of the highlights of Iran Web and Mobile Festival is the competition attended by top Iranian startups and knowledge-based companies, in which 2,400 websites and mobile applications were grouped in 62 categories.  

For participating in the competition, businesses are required to register on the IWMF website. 

In the first round of the competition, only 1,400 were deemed qualified by the voters. The participants were then shortlisted to 300. The winners were announced on Friday and can be viewed on the IWMF website.

This year, for the first time, IWMF introduced a new category titled online movies and series. Two categories recorded the highest rate of participation in the current event, namely agriculture and fintech. 

One of the other fields, which recorded a sharp surge in participation, was e-learning. With Covid-19 shutting down schools, the number of websites and online education services has tripled.

 

Voting Rules

Just like the previous years, two sets of winners were picked separately by the public and experts. 

There were also special categories, the winners of which were selected by a panel of judges or co-founders of the festival.

Everyone could participate in the public vote by creating an account on the IWMF website and vote for their favorite online services. 

Winners of the Expert Vote awards were picked in three stages. Expert voters, who are business insiders and specialists, reviewed the list of participants and voted “yes” or “no” for each service, indicating whether they were qualified to participate in the competition or not. These votes converted into scores. Only the top 12 services in each category with the highest approval rate remained in the competition.

The IWMF panel of judges, who were business veterans with years of experience in different fields, reviewed the 12 services in each category and picked five. Once again, the experts reviewed the candidates and picked the winner from them.

 

Special Category

In addition to winners of Public Vote and Expert Vote, IWMF hands out Special Category awards every year. Winners of this sector are directly picked by the panel of judges or co-founders of IWMF.

The Vatandar application won the best innovation award. It provides a variety of services to Afghans living in Iran, aiming to make their lives more convenient.

Special Category awards went to eight winners. The translation of “Strategic Analytics” and “Agile”, two books by Harvard Business Review Press, won the best book award in the books category.

Cryptoland currency exchange website won the best website and business award and the best app award went to Divar, Iran's leading online classified ads service. 

The award for the best innovative solution against Covid-19 went to In1Min, a website providing scientifically reliable and authentic content in a wide range of topics related to Covid-19.

The best digital advertising campaign award went to Alibaba Company for launching a campaign for travel lovers.

Vitrine Kitchen, an application connected with a Tehran-based restaurant, won the best web application award in the special category.

 

Iran Startups