On April 23, 2019, Georgian Association partner StartupGrind Tbilisi hosted an event at Tbilisi State Conservatoire which featured successful Georgian entrepreneur Valeri Chekheria, CEO of the Adjara Group Hospitality. The event attracted 500 attendees in Tbilisi and another 60 “virtually” through live stream in Zugdidi. Mr. Chekheria discussed the growing international recognition of Georgian brands. Many in attendance were Georgian startups as well as Georgian tourism and hospitality community representatives.

Startup Grind Tbilisi is dedicated to growing and fostering the startup community in Georgia. Networking is key to their efforts so the first hour of the event provided time for networking among startups, businesses, investors and ecosystem representatives. The networking session was followed by remarks by high level speakers from the US Embassy, Tbilisi City Hall, Georgian National Tourism Administration and private sector representatives. The key note speaker, Mr. Chehkia, is an author and manager of the successful Georgian hotel brand “Rooms” which has become a landmark in Tbilisi and elsewhere, with outstanding hotel interior design concepts. The key takeaways of his talk were what social responsibilities a business can bear for local community development, how big companies can avoid competing with local SMEs and instead stimulate their growth, and finally what should the management culture be that can lead to building a successful brand.

The next event is planned for May 25th in Tbilisi and will feature Lowell Ricklefs, an American businessman from Seattle, WA who launched his business Traction to help fellow entrepreneurs scale and sell their business. Mr. Ricklefs will conduct private advisory meetings with Georgian startups, andSTG STG-2 participate in a “fireside chat” with Startup Grind Tbilisi.

The Georgian Association is pleased to be able to partner with Startup Grind Tbilisi to help expand opportunities for the Georgian Startup community by linking them with possible mentors in the United States.