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The startup ecosystem in Uzbekistan and types of intellectual property

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Analysis of startup ecosystem in Uzbekistan. Explanation of three types of intellectual property and the differences between them
Name: Salmonbek Komilov
ID: 12215084
Course: Management of Venture Business
Professor: SOHN DONG WON
Final Project
1) Explain 3 types of Intellectual Property, respectively.
Three types of Intellectual Property are Copyright, Patents, and Trademarks.
Copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects creative and artistic works and confirms your
authorship. They include:
literary works like novels, books, plays, newspaper articles, poems, reference works;
songs, music, films, videos;
artistic works like drawings photographs paintings, sculpture, architecture;
software, computer programs, games, applications, databases;
technical drawings, maps, advertisements
Copyright protections happen automatically which means that after you create something, it becomes
yours. But, if you register your work under copyright, you will have more leverage in taking an
infringer to court.
For instance, if an employee creates something within the scope of his employment, the employer gets
the copyright for the work of an employee. But, if an independent contractor creates something, he
becomes the owner of his work until he transfers the copyright via official agreement.
In the USA, if the copyright is owned by an individual, it usually lasts for 70 years since the death of
the copyright holder. If the copyright is owned by a legal entity or company, it lasts for 95 years after
its first usage.
Patent is a type of intellectual property that protects discoveries and inventions that are new and
useful and can provide a unique new solution to a problem. They could be both products or processes.
Patents prevent others from using, making, or selling your products or processes. Patents are issued by
governments for a fee for a fixed period, usually 20 years. Once the time is up, anyone can use it.
Trademark is a type of intellectual property that is expressed in a symbol, word, name, or phrase and
differentiates your product from others. For example, the slogan “Just do it” is the trademark of Nike,
and the logo of bitten apple is the trademark of Apple. Trademarks are registered by the government
for a certain fee. Trademarks help companies to distinguish themselves from others. Anyone can set
up a soda company, but only one soda can be called Fanta. There are many smartphone companies,
but only one smartphone is called Samsung. However, having a trademark for one type of product
does not mean we can’t use this trademark for another type of product. For instance, you can sell
Coca-Cola smartphones because people wont be confused.
2) Describe the difference among the 3 types of Intellectual Property.
There are several differences among copyright, patent, and trademark. Trademarks do not expire
compared to copyright and patents. They will live as long as the owner decides to stop using it.
Moreover, Trademark registration is more complex compared to copyright.
Patents are different from copyright and trademarks in a way that if you did not manage to register
your innovation first, another person can register it before you even if you created it.
All three intellectual properties require different fees to be registered. In the United States, the
registration of copyright will cost you about $65 which is the cheapest out of three. The trademark
registration fee starts from $225 while the registration fee of a patent starts from $1000.
Three intellectual properties have different levels of difficulty in the registration process. The easiest
one is the registration of copyright which can be done personally online without any legal help.
However, to register a trademark you might need legal help. Patent registration is the most complex
out of all which usually requires the help of a lawyer.
1) Discuss the current situations and problems of "venture ecosystems" of your country
The role of startup ecosystems, i.e., venture ecosystems, in the sphere of entrepreneurship is huge. A
startup ecosystem encompasses a group of entrepreneurs, startups, and organizations that work and
cooperate together to create new startups or enhance the existing ones. Organizations and other
entities that are included in startup ecosystems are research and academic institutions like universities,
financial institutions like investors, banks, and venture capital funds as well as supporting
organizations such as incubators, accelerators, and accounting agencies. The collaboration of all of
these entities and stakeholders results in the emergence of innovative ideas and the development of a
startup in the market. However, the success of a startup ecosystem depends on understanding its
strengths and weaknesses and appropriately addressing existing problems within it. To understand the
startup ecosystem in Uzbekistan, I will consider the Startup Friendliness Index (SFI) that was
developed by Enpact. SFI analyzes the potential for the development of entrepreneurship by assessing
six aspects: Infrastructure, access to Finances, Market conditions, Human Capital, the liveliness and
maturity of the Startup Scene, Macro Political and Legal framework. These features create an
environment that either enables or impedes entrepreneurship.
Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia with more than 34 million; thus, it offers
huge market potential. Uzbekistan has a pretty young population with an average median age of 27.8.
The change of leadership in 2016 has led to a significant economic transformation, creating many
opportunities. The new president understood how the economic development of the country was
crucial and took big steps. Especially, the development plan for 2017-2021 prioritized economic
development and liberalization. Along with economic development, the new leader recognized the
importance of venture business and entrepreneurship in the country. Thus, the year 2018 was
announced as the year of promoting entrepreneurship and technology. Moreover, there is great
potential for the emergence of startups in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is rich in natural resources like gold,
copper, uranium, oil, and gas which creates new opportunities for running a business. Especially, with
the development of the banking sector, the need for fintech has significantly increased. There are also
many other areas in which young entrepreneurs can find new opportunities like in food processing,
ICT, textile, tourism, construction, and others. For the past years, government-owned organizations
were established to support new startups. As the startup ecosystem in Uzbekistan is in its beginning
stage, there is still much to be done. Fortunately, Uzbek people are pretty entrepreneurial from their
nature, so there is a big potential for the development of a solid entrepreneurial environment for new
startups in the country.
Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, has received an overall score of 35.6 in terms of the Startup
Friendliness Index and was ranked 49th out of 72 observed cities. To compare, London is in first place
with an overall score of 63.6. As we can see, Uzbekistan does not have the most pleasant environment
for entrepreneurship. Now, lets consider each aspect of SFI.
In terms of the Macro framework which encompasses the political and legislative system, Uzbekistan
has a low global average score of the SFIs. Though the process of registering a new business has been
significantly eased for the past several years, challenges still exist. There are many laws that need to
be improved and upgraded. While Uzbekistan has
embarked on implementing new laws and policies
towards enabling the business environment, the
outdated laws still persist. Another challenge is that
the new laws that the government creates are not
pretty inclusive and are not addressed towards real-
life problems of business people. This happens
because people cannot participate in policy-making
and are not given the opportunity to express their
opinions on new policies that could be improved. In
reality, these policies are kind of useless and do not
work for improving entrepreneurship and promoting
private sector development. That’s why the
regulatory quality in Uzbekistan is poor. In addition,
the tax system is still challenging for some
entrepreneurs. For instance, businesses in the e-
commerce sphere have to pay higher taxes than other
businesses from other fields. Another thing that
hinders entrepreneurship is corruption which is at a
pretty high level in the country. Nepotism and
bureaucracy combined with corruption make it difficult to adopt new laws and policies.
Human Capital is an aspect of SFI which concerns the ability of entrepreneurs to find talents with
appropriate skills in the early stages of running a business. While some factors have led to making
Human Capital the strongest domain out of six domains, there are still many challenges that need to
be addressed. Human capital was considered as one of the most significant obstacles towards
promoting startups in Uzbekistan along with access to finance. Entrepreneurs stated that there is a gap
between education and the need of the market. The working population in Uzbekistan is about 22
million which poses both challenges and opportunities. But the need for a skilled workforce is high in
the market. Thus, the government pays close attention to the education of the population. In recent
years, the number of universities, especially private ones, has grown significantly. Private universities
becoming more and more popular in Tashkent due to the fact that they provide a good quality
education where students receive in-demand skills that are needed in the market. The situation is good
only in Tashkent. Other regions suffer from the shortage of skilled workers significantly. So, startup
founders have a higher chance to find skilled workers in Tashkent compared to other areas in
Uzbekistan. Concerning the economic participation of women, their participation in the management
of private businesses is one of the lowest in Central Asia and the Eastern European region. This is
because women traditionally stay at home looking after children. Especially in the tech sphere, the
participation of women is very low. Also, only a few females get higher education compared to men.
However, a good side of the labor force in Uzbekistan is that it is pretty inexpensive. For instance, an
average fresh graduate is paid about $260 while an average software developer $570. Moreover, the
labor regulations are not very severe. There are almost no trade unions in Uzbekistan that fight for
labor rights.
Access to finance is a big challenge in Uzbekistan. It is extremely hard to find a business angel or
venture capitalist. Most startups have to depend upon government funds that are supported by strict
government control or loans from banks with high rates.
The startup scene in Uzbekistan is in its beginning stages. First actors have been involved only
recently. was one of the first organizations that showed participation in the startup field. In
2003, it conducted the Startup Mix. As the audience grows, the conference is held regularly with the
partnership of Inha University in Tashkent. Other accelerators the exists in Uzbekistan are, Water Solution Innovation Lab, Green Business Innovation. In addition to these
initiatives funded by donors, there are also a number of private co-working spaces. Ground Zero is the
largest one in Tashkent. Apart from co-working, it also gives training for startups. Some of the
academic institutions that actively work with startups are Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and
Agricultural Mechanization Engineers that work towards providing innovative solutions to ecological
challenges and Inha University in Tashkent that supports active and innovative ideas. However, as the
startup scene is pretty young in Uzbekistan, the number of startups is pretty low. Though there are
successful startups like MyTaxi and Express24, the startup ecosystem in Uzbekistan is not backed by
a number of high-equity success cases. Such successful startups would inspire other people to engage
in the startup scene and open their own ventures.
In recent years, the improvement of infrastructure has become one of the priorities in Uzbekistan.
Many international organizations committed funds to support infrastructure development. Concerning
utilities, Uzbekistan is among the top. The supply of electricity and water is stable in Tashkent. While
the living cost in Uzbekistan is pretty low, the cost for a co-working space is pretty significant with an
average of $100 per person per month. Other threats to entrepreneurship include high inflation rate,
climate change, and rising energy prices. Internet penetration is also pretty low. Many parts of
Uzbekistan do not have access to high-speed internet. However, the mobile internet is developing
pretty fast. The cost of the internet in the mobile network has decreased considerably for the past
several years.
Figure 2. Interacting Actors
The economy of Uzbekistan was not so good in the last decades. But, due to the development of the
service sector, construction, and industrial sectors, the economy has seen significant growth. Tourism
has a high potential due to its rich history. Besides, industries like textile and food processing have
also big potential to improve. Investments in Uzbekistan have played a huge role recently. However,
growing inflation and fluctuating commodity prices put obstacles to entrepreneurs.
2) Discuss how to solve the problems and to improve the venture ecosystems
First of all, the government should adopt a startup policy. As the startup promotion is spread among
several ministries and agencies, there should be one unit that will be responsible for coordinating all
the organizations engaged in startup promotion. Then, there will be a synergy among them.
Secondly, as there are many outdated laws, the government should take responsibility to modify and
remake those policies. Especially, the tax system should be reconsidered as there are discrepancies.
For instance, the tax for e-commerce businesses is extremely high compared to other industries.
To promote entrepreneurship culture, entrepreneurship clubs can be created in universities. It is
crucial that both governments and university officials supported such initiatives.
While the quality of education is okay in private universities, public universities need close attention
from the government. Education in public universities has a formal nature without the emphasis on
market needs. Many students in Uzbekistan apply to universities in order to get a diploma rather than
to acquire higher education and in-demand skills. The curriculum in these universities is old and
should be improved. Moreover, it is important that university lecturers and professors were also
highly educated were professionals in their fields. The government should offer additional training
programs that will enhance the professional level of executives.
Many supporting organizations do not have functioning websites that provide information about their
programs. Information is spread across different sources like Telegram, Facebook, and Instagram.
There should be a platform that will unite all the actors of the startup ecosystem and provide
information regarding startups. In this platform, users should be able to get information about existing
startups, business angels and venture capitalists, and mentors who will be able to share their expertise
as well as answer questions.
Government should also pay attention to promoting women's entrepreneurship. Though the number of
women engaged in private and informal sectors increasing, there is still a shortage of women in
technical spheres. Many startup events and programs in the tech field should be addressed to women.
However, the traditional social role of women still prevents them from participating in business
activities. Thus, campaigns featuring successful Uzbek businesswomen could promote the perception
of women as entrepreneurs.
The entrepreneurship culture is still an infant in Uzbekistan. Only a few people consider
entrepreneurship as a full-time career. It is important to change this mindset if the government wants
to attract more Uzbek people to entrepreneurship. Possible action towards this could be media
campaigns that highlight successful entrepreneurship stories, motivational videos, and live startup
competition on TV that might interest future entrepreneurs. Universities should be more responsible
in nurturing entrepreneurs and give more lectures and motivational speeches inviting local and foreign
successful entrepreneurs. Also, bootcamps, hackathons, and other events could also be very helpful.
All of these approaches will have a huge impact on engaging many potential entrepreneurs.
Webb, A. (2020, April 16). The Difference Between Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents.
The New York Times.
Enpact. (2019, October). Startup Ecosystem Report Tashkent. Enpact.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
The Difference Between Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents. The New York Times
  • A Webb
• Webb, A. (2020, April 16). The Difference Between Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents. The New York Times. • Enpact. (2019, October). Startup Ecosystem Report Tashkent. Enpact.