Shadow Foundr was honoured to be invited to participate at this month’s Startup Grind Europe-Asia Connect, in the beautiful Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
Held in the spectacular Rustaveli Theatre and focusing on developing countries in the Eurasian region, this was the 3rd largest Startup Grind conference in the world. Our Origination Manager, Giorgi Chikviladze, was asked to participate in a panel discussion on angel investing and investor readiness.
The panel was moderated by Brigitte Bauman, a prominent European angel investor who has personally invested in around 100 companies and was recently named one of the top 50 women in Start-ups and Venture Capital in Europe.
With an impressive line-up of speakers, this was an excellent opportunity for Shadow Foundr to learn more about countries with developing start-up and angel investing sectors.
The Startup Showcase and pitching competitions throughout the conference, also presented the potential to find bootstrapped companies from the region, which have talent but have limited access to capital.
The trip helped Shadow Foundr establish great relationships with industry stakeholders from all over the world and understand the needs of both investors and founders in different regions.
The most Easterly European country in the Caucasus region near the Black Sea, Georgia, among many notable things, was a birthplace of wine some 8,000 years ago and is home to 525 native grape varieties.
Tbilisi is an ancient capital of Georgia, with rich history, architecture and traditions. During the 20th century, Georgia was a famous vacation destination in the Soviet Union but remained largely undiscovered to the West.
This is now changing however, with the capital growing in popularity and recently described by MTV as possibly “the coolest city in the world”.
Over the last few years, a vibrant startup ecosystem has been rapidly emerging not only in Georgia, but in the entire Caucasus region. The extremely well-organised event provided a fascinating insight into some of the differences between European and US-based investors, as well as angels and VCs.