Startup Weekend Baku

    Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
  8. Blog
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Startup Weekend Baku

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014

Friday, November 21 - 23, 2014
Event starts at 5:00 pm

ADA University
21 November - 11 Ahmadbay Agha-Oglu Street
22-23 November - High-tech Park, AF Business House Nizami 203 B, 3rd floor
Baku, Azerbaijan AZ1008

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Baku Startup Weekend is joining Global Startup Battle for the first time!

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life! The Baku Weekend brings together people with different skill sets – primarily software developers, graphic designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them. Why should you attend?

  • Build your network
  • Co-founder dating
  • Learn a new skill
  • Get face time with thought leaders
  • Join a global community
  • Actually launch a business
Please note: Opening ceremony will be held at ADA University on Friday, the rest of Startup Weekend will happen at High-Tech Park at the following address - AF Business House Nizami 203 B, 3rd floor next to Samed Vurgun Park. 

Follow us on Twitter: @SWBaku
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Friday November 21st

5:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

5:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

6:20 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

8:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 23rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:30 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Sang Pil Chun
Head of Caucasus region at Samsung Electronics

Mr. Sang Pil Chun is currently holding the position of Head of Caucasus countries at Samsung Electronics. His educational background covers bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration at Seoul National University – top university in South Korea. After successful 10 years of broad experience in Samsung Global Headquarters being a member of Strategic Planning Team in charge of future key business areas development and leading global business innovation initiatives Mr.Chun was assigned as Marketing Director of Russia. He lead several outstanding cultural and corporate social responsibility projects as Samsung support for Bolshoy Teatr in Moscow and Peterhof in Saint-Petersburg. In Azerbaijan he made a breakthrough achievement with the TV menu localization project and launching brand experience concept on retail environment enabling consumers to touch and feel the cutting edge innovations, as well as the important education support platform – SmartSchool. Mr.Chun is married and has 2 children.

Alper Celen
Managing Partner at Commit

Managing Partner, Alper Celen, founded COMMIT Network with a passion for business in the Middle East. Prior to COMMIT, Alper was member of the leadership team of McKinsey & Company’s Scandinavia Office where he led projects in telecom, supply chain, FMCG, and basic materials sectors in the Middle East and Europe and was an organization design expert for leading high-tech and public sector clients. Before McKinsey, Alper was a manager at Nokia Corporate Strategy where he focused on technology strategy and roadmaps. Alper has held management and engineering positions at three high-tech companies in the USA

Alper has an MBA with high distinction from MIT Sloan School of Management and an ME and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Karim Samakie
Investment Manager at Oasis 500

Karim Samakie is the Investment Manager at Oasis500, the leading startup accelerator in the MENA region. He is responsible for screening, selecting and investing in early stage technology startups. Karim leads monthly discussions for startups in order to help entrepreneurs transform their ideas into scalable businesses and prepare for venture financing. Aside from bringing more companies into the portfolio, Karim spends his days working with the 70+ companies that already make up the Oasis500 family. He helps them in securing additional funding from angels and venture capital funds and follow-on funding from Oasis500. As part of his responsibilities at Oasis500, Karim also trains entrepreneurs on financial modeling and venture funding.

Anna Degtereva
CEO & Founder @ Happy Farm, General Partner @ Startup AddVenture & U.T.Gem

Anna Degtereva is an active participant of European startup ecosystem.   She is the CEO and Founder of Happy Farm, the first American-Ukrainian full-service tech startup accelerator with offices in Kyiv, Ukraine, and Redwood City, USA. It has 31 portfolio startup companies from Ukraine, Spain, Italy, China, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus, 8 of which have already attracted seed investments. Happy Farm network consists of over a 100 board members and mentors who are successful entrepreneurs and investors from the US and Europe as well as dozens VC funds and hundreds of business angels form Europe, the CIS and the US. (   Anna also is the General Partner of large international conferences - Europe Venture Summit /Startup AddVenture (Kyiv, Dec 4-5, 2013, 1500 participants), Ukraine Tech Gem (San Francisco, Sept 18, 2014, 500+ participants) and CCC Startups, the international startup and investor rockstar conference series. Anna is organizing American Business Safari, a series of popular mind-blowing educational business tours to Silicon Valley for startups and investors.   Anna is the General Director of “Global Management Challenge Ukraine” company (international competition on strategic management), the founder and the organizer of the all-Ukrainian contest “Innovation Breakthrough”, and other projects. 

Event Judges

Fuad Hajiyev

Dr Fuad Hajiyev has a vast experience in IT and tech education. Dr. Hajiyev has his Ph.D. from Steklov Mathematical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (MIAN)
He has been a professor and dean at various universities in Kazakhstan, Turkey and currently works at ADA University. He also holds the position of Advisor to General Director at Nazarbayev University. 
 Dr Hajiyev is the co-founder of the Community of IT managers of Kazakhstan and Chairman at International Organizing Committee of the 1st International Student Olympiad “IT-Universe”.
His research interests are: 
Algebraic topology and its applications to the algebras of functions; 13th Hilbert's problem & related topics; Mathematical economy. Dr Hajiyev has more than 30 papers published. 

Soltan Bayramov
Marketing manager at ATL Group of companies

Marketing and business development professional with experience in a wide range of core marketing disciplines, primarily within Telecoms & FMCG sectors. Specializes in consumer & business segment marketing, product development, market research and feasibility analysis within established and startup 
environments. His academic credentials include BA (Hons) Business Studies and MBA from University of Wales, Cardiff.

Mikhail Blank
CEO of Plug and Play Dagestan

CEO of business incubator Plug&Play Dagestan, created by Russian private corporation Summa Group. Previously led business development for digital agency with $3M turnover, co-founder of the first online hyperlocal media in Russia and director of the private family club. Participated in the creation of Convivium Slow Food Moscow. Contributor in several online magazines.

Coaches and Mentors

Arman Suleimanov
Tech Entrepreneur

In June'12 Arman graduated with MSE in Computer Science from Princeton where I was working with Prof. Andrea LaPaugh on recommender systems, data analysis and social computing. 
Arman is currently leading the development of two iOS apps: 1) ‘Being Beethoven’ - the app lets you adopt and track daily rituals from the most effective people in the world:; 2) ‘Persimmon’ - the app helps you reach your goals through the power of visualization & daily steps:

The founding team of Collections (YC S12; Mountain View, CA; Collections is YCombinator alumnus and one of 8 finalists of SXSW 2013). He graduated from Princeton with Master's in Computer Science. Before that, he studied CS at Purdue and Lomonosov Moscow State University. The World Finalist at International Collegiate Programming Competitions - ACM ICPC in 2009 (Stockholm, Sweden) and 2011 (Orlando, USA).
Author of numerous projects at the intersection of recommendation systems, social computing, machine learning and natural language processing (Twitter News, Dewey, Papers for the Masses, BroDate, Tokoro, Social Ranking, Bunny).

Paul Warren
Associate at COMMIT Network

Paul Warren is an international business technology and media expert with the COMMIT network. Prior to his time at COMMIT, Paul worked in the U.S. with the market leading technologies group at Bloomberg L.P., where he had responsibility for processing the initial data publishing on earnings for hundreds of publicly listed companies. Paul also has also had direct experience in the Middle East in the trading, communications, and film production sectors. Paul graduated from Columbia University in the city of New York with a BA in Classics.

Elnur Babayev
Art Director

Elnur has graduated as an industrial designer in 2005 from METU/Turkey. Has received many local and international design awards, both in industrial and graphic field. Currently, works as an art director at international advertising agency in Baku. For portfolio please visit

Elshad Yusifli
Cofounder of Nettrends

Elsad Yusifli is co-founder of Alkredit, which is picking up all the credits of the national banks to provide a comparison, and online apply. He is also co-founder of Nettrends Online Media Monitoring Company which is one of the first revenue generating startups in Baku J   Before jumping into the startup world, he has six years of experience in telecom engineering and several years in digital marketing. Currently he is working in High Tech Park Azerbaijan, dealing with his own projects and sharing his experiences with new startups.

Aflatun Huseynov
Founder at 2.0

Aflatun is a digital marketing professional with 9 years of experience. After leaving the first digital marketing agency in Azerbaijan - digitalbr@nd, in 2014 he founded a new interactive agency called 2.0. Prior to digitalbr@nd, Aflatun was responsible for AdSahil, the first adserver technology solution in Azerbaijan provided by Sahil IT. For years he hardly worked on bringing latest interactive advertising technologies and standards to the local market. 

Amid Guliyev
Startup entrepreneur

Amid Guliyev is technology expert with 13 years of experience on server-side & mobile development. He is also co-founder of - Local cinema's showtime explorer, - Social media measurement tool and - technology blog. He has worked at R.I.S.K. Company as a Senior Software Developer on Aeronautical Solutions. He is a member of entrepreneur team
Together they did a lot of interesting projects for local and foreign market. Currently, he is a working and a co-founder of a Dubai based startup.

Aykut Keskin
Founder at

Majored in Industrial and Operations Engineering at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Has 3+ years of management consulting experience working with high profile clients in Telecommunications, Distribution and Finance. In 2012, Aykut co-launched Nuush.Az - an online food ordering service - and is currently the CEO. Aykut is also the co-founder at a digital solutions company based in Istanbul. Senfonico recently launched their first internal product- Futbolist, a mobile football news app, available for both iOS and Android. In the first 3 days of its release, Futbolist's viral marketing video reached more than 1 million viewers in Turkey.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Baku team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.

Strategic Partner

Organizing Partners

Bronze Sponsor

Gift Sponsor

Media Support


Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Baku is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Nail
  • Mammad
  • Aziz
  • Rustam
  • Shaig
  • Ulvi


Sheikh Shuvo

Originally born in Bangladesh, Sheikh was raised in New York City. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. in Government, with a focus on political philosophy. He has worked in a wide range of industries ranging from real estate marketing, municipal government, outdoor education, and, most recently, in healthcare software.
He currently lives in Seattle, WA, and is an avid outdoorsman, cook, and travel enthusiast.

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