After Georgians attended Startup Grind Global in Silicon Valley in February and made an impression on the global startup network interest in the country has grown.
Zach Coelius was a speaker at the 7000-person Startup Grind Global event in Silicon Valley and met Georgians attending. He became interested and “wanted to learn about the startup ecosystem in Georgia”.
While interest in Georgia is not new, a visit from someone like Coelius is amazing for a small country like Georgia.
“He’s kind of a rock star in Silicon Valley” Colin Donohue, a co-director of Tbilisi’s local Startup Grind Chapter. “He led an angel investing round for Cruise Automation which closed September 2015. March of the next year it sold for over $1 Billion. This size exit, with only $18 Million investment is astounding even for Silicon Valley.” Says Donohue.
While luck may have played a part in Coelius’ success he also has demonstrated well he is a master of startup success. He had 4 successful startups, and has gained a reputation as an investor for having a keen eye for value that others miss. Many people follow his leadership and want to invest in companies he finds exciting.
Coelius also has a knack for insightful comments on startup life. “With startups you eventually get smeared against the wall of your own incompetence” he famously said. “This just means that there is no upper-limit on the opportunity in startups. So you can go as high as you’re capable of. But everyone has their limits and once you push yourself to your limits you need to learn how to grow or involve others so you can exceed them.
Startup Grind Tbilisi is a monthly-ish speaker series sharing stories from startup founders and providing a place where Georgia’s startup community can gather and become strong. Our aim is to inform, inspire, and unite the startup community here. It’s a small country and if we want greatness we need to work together to be the best we possibly can.
June 25th’s event will be held 6-9 PM at Terminal coworking and office complex on Abashidze street. Sponsors of the event include the Embassy of the United States, Menu.ge, Palitra Media, Terminal, Imedia Hub, Orient Logic and Georgian Ventures.
Donohue estimates that the event will sell out so recommends buying tickets early. Startupgrind.ge
There also will be an invitation-only dinner for investors who want to learn more about angel investing. Interest should be directed to [email protected]