PASHA Bank, a leading corporate and private bank in Azerbaijan, in partnership with Azercell Telecom, today announces the inaugural World Start-up Competition project in Azerbaijan. The initiative is aimed at cultivating and promoting innovative entrepreneurial development in the country.

The best information technology business projects will be selected within guidelines set out by Seedstars (Switzerland) and Barama Innovation Centre, and the promoters of these projects will be awarded grants to see the projects implemented. Applications will be evaluated by representatives of PASHA Bank, Azercell, Seedstars, and in the initial stage by independent experts. Top projects will receive prizes, and the winning project will be presented to the international panel of judges at the grand finale of the World Start-up Competition to be held in Lausanne in January 2014. The best projects will receive investment and international mentor support.

Sona Abbasova, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at PASHA Bank, comments that the Bank pays special attention to the projects of the first-time entrepreneurs. "As a sponsor of the World Start-up Competition and a leading investor in SME's in Azerbaijan we hope that this project will empower most talented and innovative Azerbaijani entrepreneurs by providing them with investment as well as invaluable contacts and networking opportunities on an international scale."

The World Start-up Competition is being held in 20 countries around the world. The final stage of the Azerbaijan project will be held on 29th March 2013 in the Conference Hall of the Azerbaijani Alumni Association. For more information on the project please refer to: www.seedstarsworld.com. Applications to participate can be completed online at www.barama.az with the deadline for submission on 10th March 2013.