Applicants have submitted 726 projects as part of the Startup Support Program, including 580 projects refer to innovations and 146 projects refer to high technology direction.
According to the Partnership Fund, high-technology business projects will be discussed for two weeks by Silicon Valley experts, who will arrive in Georgia on August 22. Authors of the best projects will be able to hold face to face meetings with experts and introduce their high-technology business ideas.
Projects in the mentioned component has been submitted from the following fields: information technologies, cellular applications, artificial intellect, renewable energy, bio technologies, electronic education and so on.
In the component of innovations, the projects selection process will end in late August. Projects have been submitted in almost all fields: production, services, information technologies, education, electronic appliances and so on.
A great number of projects have been submitted from regions. The special committee will take a decision on each project. The committee consists of 9 members, including representatives of the Partnership Fund, Startup Georgia, Entrepreneurship Development Agency, the Innovation and Technology Agency and independent experts.
Innovative business ideas are discussed in two stages: at the first stage, submitted projects will be set out for general discussions, namely, experts will appraise the existence of innovative elements and compatibility of the submitted idea to the program requirements, goals and tasks. At the second stage, essential discussion of the submitted projects will be held and risks, business sustainability, investment attractiveness, skills of the project team and other characteristics will be appraised.
Presentations will be held about all projects approved in the first stage and they will be submitted to the committee. Only those projects selected at the final stage will be announced the competition winner projects.
In September the list of winner projects will be announced. As to the financing component, the process of concluding contract agreements and funds transfer will start in September.
The objective of Startup Support Program is to promote beginner entrepreneurs, the program participants, who do not have enough financial sources to start business or to develop it.
They have unique chance to implement innovative business ideas and launch their own business. At the first stage of the project implementation, the government will finance the first stage of the program by 11 million GEL. Later the program budget is expected to increase to 35 million GEL.
Startup Georgia, a specially established subsidiary of the Partnership Fund, will set up a new company (startup) with all winner beneficiaries and put 15 000-100 000 GEL capital.
Under this model, the program beneficiaries will have to put only 10% of total value of the project, while the submitted business ideas will be considered as a 45 % stake in the project. Therefore, with 10% co-financing component, the beneficiaries will hold a 50% and more stake in the new startup company. At the same time, the beneficiaries are able to buy off the Fund’s stake in the joint company on preferential conditions or draw a new investor.
In the event of unique innovative idea, the Innovation and Technology Agency will finance high-technology startups by 100 000 GEL and the beneficiaries will not have to co-finance project and its stake in the company will be 95%.