Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
About the Submission Criteria
Q: Do I need to have experience or expertise in the field in which I am submitting my project proposal?
A: No. We are interested in good ideas. No one has a monopoly on good ideas, not even “the experts.” There is no experience or expertise requirement for purposes of submitting proposals. Come one come all.
Q: The proposal submission guidelines seem really strict. Are they all mandatory?
A: No. The proposal submission guidelines are just that: guidelines They are not talismanic, Manichean rules and should not be a hindrance to your submitting a proposal. The guidelines are intended primarily to make you think and then guide your thinking as you frame your idea and describe your project. A fully formed proposal ready for prime time will ultimately have to contain specific responses to all the criteria, but it need not do so at this stage. The important thing now is for you to read and internalize the guidelines and submit a brief, thoughtful description of your proposed project with as much information as you can reasonably provide given the short deadline. Certainly, your proposal should at least explain the strategic significance of your project idea, how it contributes to the larger goals of national strength, why it is feasible and why it should be done now.
Q: If I have a project idea which is not fully developed, should I still submit it?
A: Yes! We highly encourage the submission of all project proposals that are thoughtfully presented. So make sure to get your idea into the mix by the deadline.
Q: What’s all this about profit-making? What if my proposal relates to something that’s not about making a profit?
A: It is not required that a proposal be for a profit-making venture. But proposals do have to address a problem or set of problems that Armenia needs to overcome in order to facilitate private capital formation and the creation of a vibrant private sector. The larger point is that Armenia and projects for Armenia can no longer be predicated on a charity mentality. For Armenia to develop its own capabilities, the conventional wisdom that has governed thinking for the last 30 years must be exploded and approaches rooted in the charity mentality must be retired. In order for the Armenian nation to survive much less thrive, it must create wealth and compensate the authors of all things big and small, even make them rich, not take for granted that Armenians will do things for free. As Mr. Gucci said, you get what you pay for.
Q: I have a project idea, but it doesn’t seem to fit into any of the five categories, or pertains to more than one. What do I do?
A: Submit your proposal! The categories are broad and flexible. When submitting your project, simply select the one you feel aligns best with your proposal. If it fits into more than one category, you will be able to indicate this. However, for purposes of the selection process, our selection committees will have the discretion to determine into which category your proposal best fits.
Q: What are some examples of project ideas you are looking for?
A: We are looking for ideas that address one or more systemic organizational, or institutional issues, risks, deficiencies or problems that Armenia must overcome in order to achieve economic and physical security and realize its full potential. For example, proposing to build a school in Armenia, laudable as that goals is, would not quite do. But proposing an executable framework through which primary education in rural Armenia could be developed would.
About the Submission Process
Q: The proposal submission page is password-protected. How do I submit my proposal?
A: You must register online at unitedaio.org prior to submitting a proposal. Registration is free and open to all Armenians and friends of Armenia. Once you are registered, you will have access to the submission guidelines and submission page but not immediately. Before being granted access to the website, you will first undergo a screening process which usually takes a day or two. Please give us that time to approve your registration.
Q: I have registered but the site will not allow me to submit a proposal right away. Is this normal? What do I do?
A: Yes, it is normal and a feature of our process. All Armenians and friends of Armenia are welcome to register and participate in United AIO. But prudence dictates that we maintain a screening process to ensure the security and integrity of what we are seeking to achieve. This process results in a brief delay between the time you register and when you are granted access to the website. Please give us at least 24 hours after registering before you attempt to submit a proposal.
Q: If I register on May 25 to submit proposal, will my proposal still be considered for selection given the registration screening process?
A: Yes. Don’t worry. All those who register by the deadline will be allowed to submit a proposal for consideration once their registration is approved.
About What Happens After I Submit My Idea, Whether or Not It Is Selected for Presentation
Q: If my project is selected for presentation, what’s next? Who will have ownership of the project? Will the person who submitted the proposal be able to lead its execution?
A: As a practical matter, the proponent of a project will have the primary responsibility for moving the project forward and will be expected to provide such leadership. The purpose of United AIO is to connect project proponents with individuals and entities who can potentially assist with the realization of their projects. Once those connections are made, the details of any subsequent collaboration and the delineation of duties, responsibilities and expectations will have to be negotiated and defined by the parties involved. It bears noting the obvious: should be a project become a collective undertaking, it is highly unlikely that the project proponent alone will retain decision-making authority. With respect to any intellectual property that may be involved in connection with a proposed project (e.g., a patentable, copyrightable, or trademarkable elements), proponents are advised to seek counsel and negotiate the terms governing the disclosure or non-disclosure of such intellectual property with all relevant parties, in advance, in order to ensure that their rights are protected.
Q: What resources and/or funding will United AIO provide for proposals? What will the role of United AIO and member organizations be in the execution of the selected proposals after the June 5th conference?
A: Neither United AIO nor the organizations and groups under its umbrella promise to provide resources to proposals or guarantee any result. United AIO is here to make connections possible between projects ideas and their proponents on the hand and resources, human and material, on the other. The individuals and organizations who attend and participate in United AIO will decide for themselves whether to back one or more projects, contribute human and/or financial capital or other material resources, how much to contribute and on what terms. Those details will be left for project proponents to work out with potential sponsors if a match is made.
Q: If my project is not selected for presentation, can United AIO still help me with my idea?
A: All project proposals regardless of whether they are selected for presentation or not, will be published on United AOI’s website for all registered conference participants to see. Individuals or entities who are interested in supporting your project with resources or funding will be able to get in touch with you.
About United AIO
Q: How can I get involved with United AIO as an individual who is unaffiliated with member organizations?
A: United AIO is sponsored and organized by the organizations and groups that have come together under its umbrella. But it is not limited to those groups. It is for all Armenians and friends of Armenia. And all are welcome. Indeed, it is one of our major goals to encourage and bring all “unaffiliated” Armenians into the mainstream of engagement for Armenia, regardless of whether they do or wish to belong to an organization or group. This is about all of us getting involved in whatever way we can, to contribute our talents, energy and resources to the Armenian cause. United AIO’s efforts are all-encompassing and all-inclusive, open to individuals, groups, and organizations alike. Contact us at or via social media to get involved.
Q: Is United AIO only for Armenians in the United States and Armenian-American organizations?
A: No. United AIO is open to all individuals and organizations who are friends of Armenia, the Armenian people or the Armenian cause. All those who are interested in joining our efforts, attending the conference, or submitting proposals, regardless of country or region are welcome. The conference will be entirely virtual, so geography is no barrier. Register online at unitedaio.org.
Q: Will there be follow-up events or conferences after United AIO 2021?
A: We will make an announcement about the future of United AIO at the close of the conference.