Born in Dorms: How NaKo Games Competes on the World Stage

3 Day Startup explores the journey of student entrepreneurs from all over the world in the ongoing blog series Born in Dorms. Universities are ripe for more innovation: the combination of bright students, open information, and more accessible tech creates an environment where student companies can flourish better than ever before. These highly motivated and driven students share their successes, failures, and everything in between as they navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship in their local communities. Read more about each student’s unique perspective on building a viable company in and around campus.

Cofounder Narine Yeghiazaryan and team members from NaKo Games

Narine Yeghiazaryan, from Yerevan State Linguistic University, was a Linguistics and International Communications major when she thought of the idea for a company. Since graduating in 2010, the  company NaKo Games has successfully developed games across various platforms. Founded in  2013, Yeghiazaryan and her team helps customers experience games through multiple channels  such as Windows Phone, Windows 8, Android, and iOS.

NaKo logo black

As Yeghiazaryan explains, “Our mission is to bring the best gaming experience to our users, be it on mobile or on tablet. Games are our passion!” This singular focus has helped the team create an experience with the customer in mind. Every iteration improves on the previous model, taking customer feedback, interface, and adoption in mind. The company has published the first suite of games and currently working on updating their existing line of products. With a vision for the future, NaKo Games is also developing new, large-scale applications to reach new customers.

Yeghiazaryan attributes their success to their team and partnerships. “It is all about working with the right people and creating a healthy environment,” she says. Having that culture and drive helped them gain crucial partnerships to support the growth and development of the startup company. For example, NaKo games was accepted into the incubator mLab ECA, where the team currently calls home. They have also received support from corporate partnerships, like Microsoft Armenia.

The results speak for themselves. After publishing their first two games on the Windows Phone Store, they received 100,000 downloads in just 20 days. Since then the team has been busy porting the games to other platforms like iOS and Android to ensure more customer outreach. But to stay relevant, Yeghiazaryan realizes the need to constantly update, improve, and build upon their successes to ensure the greatest user satisfaction and engagement. Most recently, the team participated in Armenia’s Ninth Annual International IT Exhibition – DigiTech Expo. NaKo Games was presented with the 2013 Best Game nomination in “Your Phone, Your Apps” contest.

NaKo Games wants to continue to build momentum from their current successes, and create a self-sustaining team that keeps user experience top of mind. Looking back, Yeghiazaryan realizes that working with the right people at the right time was crucial to their success. “You have to find people who think like you and are passionate about the startup. The rest is just hard work, commitment to the cause, and repeating the process,” she says. NaKo Games shows that with the “global startup ecosystem” ever expanding, there are multitudes of resources and support structures to help a budding entrepreneur. Yeghiazaryan believes that with the current opportunities and market, “Any startup in any location of the world can become globally competitive in a short period of time.” And NaKo Games is doing just that.

About 3 Day Startup

3 Day Startup (3DS) teaches entrepreneurial skills to university students in an extreme hands-on environment. In addition to supporting budding entrepreneurs, 3DS programs cultivate entrepreneurial communities that contribute to the growth of entrepreneurship ecosystems in the regions surrounding these university programs. This proven program provides students the tools they need to start successful companies. To date, more than 41 companies have come out of 3DS to collectively raise $14.5 million in investor capital and more than a dozen have been accepted to prestigious incubators and accelerators such as Y Combinator and TechStars.

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