Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, is coming to Tbilisi for the first time on June 11th, at Georgia Tech Park.
Continuing on its goal to put the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging countries, Seedstars World expanded its competition to more than 60 countries for 2016 up from the 36 countries of the 2014 edition. Its past participants have raised 20M USD together, providing employment to 360+ employees all around the world.
The regional winners of the local events from each country are invited back to Switzerland to pitch at the final event in March 2017 in Switzerland for a prized 500,000 USD equity investment.
The Seedstars Summit will also feature industry-specific tracks in parallel to the general Seedstars World competition like the 500,000 USD travel specific prize awarded at last year’s summit. The Jacobs Foundation is also offering a grant of 50,000 CHF for product customization or a pilot project in the Francophone market.
The jury members will include Aieti Kukava, CEO, JSC Alliance Group Holding, Irakli Kashibadze, Chairman of GITA, Nick Tabatadze, Founder, L79 Ventures, Alexandre Stern, Senior Director and Innovation Man at Lowendalmasai, and Tiffany Obser, Senior Associate at Seedstars World. The event is made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Star Sponsor Alliance Group Holding, Business Information Agency, and Georgia Innovation and Technology Agency. Georgia Society of Investment Professionals has played the role of event organizer in tandem with Alliance Group Holding. Gocha Nikolaishvili, Seedstars Ambassador to Georgia, said in anticipation of the event:
“The first time always has special importance and meaning, as Seedstars World will be organizing first event in Tbilisi in cooperation with GSIP (Georgian Society of Investment Professionals). Georgia is very good destination for investors to invest and start a business (for that details can be checked on the website of Georgian National Investment Agency)”.
“The government has been making efforts during last few years to support startups and entrepreneurship, an example of one government initiative was the Tech Park Georgia, built under GITA (Georgian Innovation Technology Agency), which is also supporter of the event, providing the venue and funds. The Seedstars local event in Tbilisi has solid support from local organizers in the private sector, notably Alliance Group Holding and BIA Business Information Agency, which will be sponsoring event as a key sponsor for three years starting in 2016. We’re confident that with the support of our partners and sponsors we will make significant impact on the development of the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurship in Georgia.”
The best startup in Georgia will be invited to pitch for the opportunity to compete at the final event. The competing startups cover a wide range of sectors from fintech and hardware to e-learning and travel. The twelve pitching startups include: Treepex, a Green Loyalty Program that plants a tree in exchange for buying partner products, Augep, an augmented reality menu and mobile application, Lingwing, a self-learning system for languages in the e-learning market, Winker, a dating platform to enable people to meet in real life, GoTrip, a web platform to create and share your trip with other travelers, Mosavali, a platform for farmers in emerging markets with learning, decision support and interaction with the agricultural value chain, Investco, a banking platform that takes crowdfunding to capital markets, Pandora’s Box, a hardware and software to measure drifting performance for drivers and racing competitions, MyStartupHelp, an all-in-one web-platform that offers startups informational, educational, promotional, programming, consulting resources, Holo, a multifunctional holographic device for dynamic presentations, Fotorator, an interactive device for the photo printing vending industry, and QuickCash, an online capital provider for SME’s in Georgia with innovative scoring platform and 30 minute processing time.
The basic criteria for applicants stipulates that the seed-stage startups have less than 500’000 USD raised, that it has been less than two years since the startup was founded, and that a MVP exists.
Seedstars World is also looking for smart startups that solve regional issues and/or develop profitable products for the global market. With partners such as MEST, Google for Entrepreneurs, and Microsoft, Seedstars World identifies fast-growing and pioneering startup scenes and is on the mission to support regional businesses and their growth.
“Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. We honestly think the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is by investing and promoting entrepreneurship” explains Alisee de Tonnac, Seedstars World CEO. “We look forward to seeing how the different startup scenes have evolved in a year and the new startups in the country.”
Seedstars World is the most exclusive startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes. It is one of the fastest-growing networks for tech entrepreneurs in the world. Based in Geneva, Switzerland and founded by Alisee de Tonnac and Pierre-Alain Masson, it is supported by the venture builder Seedstars.