BUSINESS
Startup Grind Georgia to assist Georgian startups on their way to success
14 July, 2017
Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs from all over the world. The community aims to promote innovative entrepreneurship, identify successful startups, encourage them to share experiences with each other and inspire young people. The official global sponsor of Startup Grind is Google for Entrepreneurs.

Sharing experience for entrepreneurs is conducted through the series of monthly business events and conversations.

The first Startup Grind in Tbilisi, which aimed to promote
the development of the ecosystem of the startups was organized by the Georgian Innovations and Technologies Agency and Georgian Entrepreneurs Network in 2014.

Here we offer you an interview with a principal strategist of the company Root Deeper Marketing and the director of Startup Grind in Tbilisi Colin Donohue.

-Mr. Colin, you are the main strategist of the American company Root Deeper Marketing. Could you elaborate on your work?

- I do business guarantee with companies which want to grow. I do a lot of work with Google Adwords, help companies to manage what they invest in advertising and increase revenue from their online marketing.

-What is the main idea of Startup Grind and what possibilities does it offer to entrepreneurs?

-Often, entrepreneurs or people who do startups are isolated. So the main idea is to connect them with more experienced people to exchange ideas, maybe investors find interesting companies for them and help them in their future activities. The main idea is to create a community where people can get information and deepen relationships with the persons working in the same field, and they will be able to establish new contacts and embrace friendly atmosphere. For all successful companies in Georgia it will be a chance to discover new opportunities.

-Is it necessary to pay annual membership fees, or it’s free?

- Startup Grind does not have annual membership fees. We have tickets for events to cover various expenses, such as food, etc. It happens because society should not always be dependent on government or different organizations and it should cover its own expenses. Otherwise, there has been some nice support from US embassy. It’s more like bringing speakers from US and different councils.

-Georgian economic reality is different from American. How it will solve the problems Georgian entrepreneurs are facing?

-Definitely, it will be very important for Georgian entrepreneurs. They will meet with more experienced colleagues, receive advices and ideas and establish relationships beyond Georgia. Georgian entrepreneurs will be able to get more attention from foreign investors.

-It means, Startup Grind will be very helpful and beneficial for Georgian startups.

-Yes, I think so. We need young talented people who can be found in Georgia. A person may not be the owner of the company, but may have a strong will to become part of this environment. Georgian startups have to understand that their business may not be successful from the start. The main thing is to try. The main thing is that you will get experience and you will learn from your own mistakes. Most people who started successful companies had no working experience before. But they were not afraid to make mistakes. One should not criticize people who make mistakes while trying to achieve success, because it is the only way for self-development.

-During interview, we mentioned the issue of foreign investors. How do you think, is Georgia attractive country to them?

-Yes. Generally, Georgia has a good environment for business development. There is no big capital here, which makes it more interesting to discover new values. The problem is that Georgia is not yet fit for the Startup Grind environment. This is a kind of balance that needs time to reach. Georgia should have a strong reputation and it will take years to work on this issue.

-So, Startup Grind will help Georgia to attract foreign investors.

- Definitely. People may come here who will not directly invest in Georgia but will recommend to foreign colleagues. Development of international relations is one of the most important factors as well.

Author: Bedisa Dumbadze

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