With a large educated and tech-savvy young population, Iran is home to a number of startups. To highlight the liveliness of the sector, two of them - Techrasa and Hamfekr - organised a road tour of Iran in late October 2017, featuring competitions to select ten startups from seven cities to participate in a final contest in April 2018.

Around 400 applicants registered their projects. Out of them, 84 were selected to compete before an international jury that toured the country. The ten finalists included projects such as a handheld device that measures the level of blood glucose with IR spectroscopy and artificial intelligence (Ako), an Uber-like platform assigning loads to trucks in different areas and cities (BarOn Co) and a social platform to encourage book-writing and book-reading (Lookabook). Simply put, there is a sufficient number of entrepreneurs for angel investors to back.

Two Rising Second-Hand Sales Platforms: Divar and Sheypoor
While the aforementioned projects are not yet very well-known, domestic e-commerce platforms in Iran have had great success - not least because international sanctions mean Iranians cannot use their local credit card to buy from Amazon, Ebay or similar international trading platforms. Two of these platforms have become particularly well known - Divar and Sheypoor.

Divar was launched in 2012, but has since become the first website Iranians go to when they look for consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales. It was founded by Hessam Armandehi and Reza Mohammadi, who also co-founded the Iranian (Google Play-like) Android marketplace Café Bazaar in 2010.