Persol Startup Factory - WhatAVenture
Persol Startup Factory

Persol Startup Factory

Startups for the agricultural & mining industry wanted!

Do you have an awesome product or service & are ready to expand to new exciting markets?

Persol Corporation is ranked among top 50 trading companies of Iran. Headquartered in Tehran and with offices in Moscow, Shanghai and Hongkong, it has access to Iranian, Russian and Chinese markets and wants to partner up with you in order to open new business opportunities. Thanks to its lean structures, Persol is fast and transparent in making decisions and flexible to find the best cooperation form with you (from reselling and revenue sharing models to an equity investment and establishing new joint-ventures). Benefit from the know-how, resources, and network of this strong partner and grow your business.

  • Travel expenses covered (transportation and accommodation)
  • Budget for testing, field trials and prototyping available

Program start: 15.03.2018

First application deadline: 14.04.2018
Final deadline: 30.04.2018



  • Plant Production
  • Irrigation systems
  • Agricultural Machinery
  • Precision farming
  • Active and Smart packaging
  • Postharvest technologies
  • Mineral Processing
  • Precision Mining
  • Mineral Processing and exploitation
  • Precision exploration
  • Logistics
  • supply chain management

Persol Logo

Startups in agricultural and mining industries wanted! Join our market entry program and scale up your business with a strong partner to high-potential markets.

The application is closed

Join the
Startup Factory

Scale up your business and expand with a strong partner to new high potential markets. Startups with the most promising offer will have the chance to join the Persol Startup Factory.

The application is closed

Scope of the project

PERSOL is a renowned Iranian trading and manufacturing company, founded by Dr. Pedram Soltani in 1996, who is also first vice president of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.  With subsidiaries in Russia and China, Persol is active in international trading, processing & logistics of minerals, oil & gas derivatives, food trade and professionally supplies petrochemicals, chemicals, cellulosic products & paper, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Improving the quality of its trading practices and work processes in the last 21 years, PERSOL has had so far the following achievements:

  • Ranked for 3 consecutive years from 2015 among the top 500 Companies in Iran in terms of annual turnover
  • Received Golden Membership of ICCIMA in 2013.
  • Ranked 34th between trading companies in 2017.
  • Ranked first among companies which are being managed by women in 2017

The solutions Persol is seeking are scalable services or products which are already in the market and can be scaled up by our existing international network or new technologies that allow Persol to contribute to the digitalization of traditional processes of mining & agriculture. The cooperation model will be discussed case by case and it could differ from reselling and revenue sharing models to an equity investment and establishing new joint-ventures.

We are looking for startups with smart ideas and high-spirit teams to bring them into the heart of high-potential markets.

Join the Persol Startup Factory

Topics & challenges


  • Plant production (plant breeding, plant cultivation, plant protection, plant nano-biotechnology)
  • Irrigation systems
  • Agricultural machinery
  • Supply chain management and logistics
  • Precision farming (IoT, big data and decision support system, Smart farming, drones)
  • Disintermediation (marketplaces)
  • Organic agriculture
  • Tissue culture
  • Soilless culture (hydroponic)
  • Active and Smart packaging
  • Postharvest technologies (pre-cooling, hydro-cooling)


  • Precision Exploration
  • Efficient mineral exploitation
  • Mineral processing with latest technologies
  • Mineral supply chain management and logistics

What’s in it for you?

Scale up your business with a strong partner
Expand to high-potential markets
Get guidance during the whole process
Get a PoC budget

Message from the board

persol chairman“It doesn’t take too long to get to the far destinations, only if you choose the right vehicle. Persol claims to be the right vehicle to take you straight into the heart of an untapped market, to Iran. Having a widespread network, both inside and outside Iran and being recognized as a well-reputed, transparent and pro-innovation company, Persol has decided to expand its territory of collaborations and investments on innovation and creativity to other territories. We are navigating on a blue ocean but this ship has more capacities for startups to co-navigate with us the potentials of Iran market. Join us in this journey!”
– Dr. Pedram Soltani, Chairman

persol ceo“At Persol, we want to drive the market. We don’t want to be driven by it. We have been changing the market, changing processes, changing the consumers’ expectations and many things else but there are a few things we will not change. Our passion for growth and development. Our commitment to our customers and our concern for the planet. Now and for decades to come.”
– Dr. Parva Soltani, CEO

The journey

First application deadline:
14 Apr. 2018
Final: 30 Apr 2018

Remote pitches:
31 May 2018

Innovation camp:
25-26 July 2018

Proof-of-Concept phase:
August-October 2018

Demo day:
04 Oct. 2018

Successful launch
or cooperation

Join the
Startup Factory

Scale up your business and expand with a strong partner to new high potential markets. Startups with the most promising offer will have the chance to join the Persol Startup Factory.

The application is closed


Should I speak Farsi?

No. The whole process will be in English.

Are only Startups from the agricultural and mining sector included?

No. We are equally interested in Startups working on technologies, solutions or services that could be used for agriculture and mining but have not yet provided an application in this field.

Is it necessary to travel to Iran to join this program?

Its mandatory to attend the Demo Day at the end of the program (if you are among the selected startups) and we highly recommend to be there for the Innovation camp (2 days) in order to meet the Persol team and discuss the opportunities in person. Depending on the product/service, Teams can join the innovation camp also via Skype.

What is the Innovation Camp?

It’s a 2 days workshop, where startups, as well as Persol experts and top management, will meet to:

  • Identify open and critical questions
  • Match between startup capabilities and requirements of Persol corporation
  • Clear common understanding of the next steps:
    field trials, PoC Roadmap incl. budget, marketing scenarios, business case

Are the travel costs for the Innovation camp covered?

Yes. The following is covered:

  • Economy class flight ticket
  • Hotel in Tehran

Is there a fixed amount of Startups to be selected for the Acceleration Phase?

No, all applications will be screened and evaluated individually.

Who decides about the participation to the Acceleration Phase?

A jury consisting of the Managing Director and members of top management of Persol Corporation.

What happens during the Proof-of-Concept Phase?

  • Validation of the proposal
  • Pilots and field trials

What does the budget during the Proof-of-Concept phase include?

  • Budget for testing, field trials and prototyping foreseen (amount depending on project scope, subject to negotiations)
  • Travel costs subsidized

When will I hear if I am included in the program?

We will do our best to inform all applicants whether or not they will be admitted as soon as possible during the multi-stage selection process – and at the latest one month before the Innovation camp (until 21.05.2018).

How to join the program?

  1. Click HERE and fill out the application form and provide us with the core information about your company (It takes approximately 15 minutes to present and register your startup)
  2. Best-in-class startups will be invited for an online interview (remote pitch) with our team and experts from Persol corporation to discuss their business model, technology, and growth ambitions.
  3. Successful candidates will then be invited to the innovation camp.
  4. The selected Startups will enter the Proof-of-Concept phase and will pitch at the final event in front of top management of Persol Corporation.

Expand to untapped markets with us.
Contact us for more information.

Shakiba Khosravani Shakiba Khosravani