In Azerbaijan, the state offers particular assistance for the execution of start-up projects. One of such state support measures is the "Startup" certificate providing tax benefits to micro and small entrepreneurs by the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (KOBİA). Gunay Imanzade, head of Metatesk LLC, winner of the Presidential award for innovation and entrepreneurship, is one of the young entrepreneurs who do business with the support of the state. A young entrepreneur has given an interview, which is presented by AZERTAC.
- Ms. Gunay, first of all, would you like to provide information about your company. What makes your project different?
- The current project focuses on the organization of education in the virtual world. Target audience of the project is children between the ages of 6 and 14. If I were to go into great depth, kids who are interested in space exploration may learn about it not from a book but rather from a 3D virtual world where they can explore space in a rocket with their classmates and teachers. As per the demands of modern world education, students acquire knowledge beyond the confines of the classroom and behind desks. With modern technologies, they have access to education.
- It is an interesting project. How did you carry out this project and start a business?
- Students, teens, and young adults had no choice but to study online throughout the pandemic. Schoolchildren and students continued their studies using a variety of online resources. After some time, this process became dull for them. At that time, I came up with the idea of creating educational content using children's interest in games, when Metaverse technology was just beginning to spread quickly. With that, I have taken initial steps of the project. The project was met with great interest, and I benefited from the chance to expand the crew. I currently oversee a team of over thirty specialists at my company.
- The field of activity of your company is new for the Azerbaijani market. What are the statistics of those who wish to benefit from your services in our country?
-In fact, the Azerbaijani market lacks sufficient information in this area. We therefore focus more on the international market. Still, local students participate in our project as well. Lessons on a variety of topics, including space, water cycle in nature, atmospheric layers, and the planet Earth, pique the attention of our children. We operate in the national market on a corporate basis as a firm. There are not many individual applicants. We provide educational topics that we have designed for the students. Furthermore, our company gives educational institutions the ability to develop themes based on the preferences of its teachers. Students can participate in these one-hour classes once a week. Paid classes are currently conducted only in English. Azerbaijani students pay 15 dollars for an hour, while international participants pay 50 dollars.
- Mrs. Gunay, you stated that the your company`s primary focus in on the international market. With which state do you collaborate the most?
- This project is receiving a lot of attention, particularly in China due to certain reason.One of these is how quickly individuals adopt new technologies. The People's Republic of China is our primary source of income. This nation's citizens are more receptive to and comfortable with technological progress. The number of our Chinese customers is growing, as the pricing we provide is equally acceptable.
- How did you obtain the necessary funding when you established this business, and how are you doing financially right now?
- The idea of realization this project occurred to me while I was employed as a teacher in China. Present circumstances have inspired me to complete the project. My monthly salary covered the first funding required for this project. Over the following years, our team and company collaboration grew, and today Metatesk LLC enjoys a pool of 200,000 USD capital.
- What kind of support did the state provide you with as your company expanded?
- We have been implementing our project since 2021. In the course of this period, we have received a large number of state awards. In addition, I won the "Technofest Azerbaijan" event took place in Baku in 2022, as well as the Presidential award. In addition, one of the benefits of a startup certificate is an income tax exemption, which is quite helpful in the beginning. KOBİA also offered support in all legal matters, including the establishment of the company, as well as in filing proper of tax reports.
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