- About Us
Join world-class founders and funders in an exploration of the frontier markets from Eastern Europe through Central Asia. Hosted at the ancient Silk Road destination Tbilisi, it will showcase Georgia's legendary hospitality and creativity & will provide a welcoming and exciting environment to mingle with brilliant founders and investors and inspiring visionaries in a variety of fields.
With visa-free entry for almost 100 countries Georgia offers a welcoming environment for diverse founders who often do not participate in US and UK events.
This event will draw 1500+ persons and will include highly conducive networking opportunities, extensive exhibits, and talks by some of the hottest and most insightful founders.
Mamuka Bakhtadze is the Prime Minister of Georgia, a post which he has served in since 2018. Prior he served as Minister of Finance of Georgia.
Before moving into public service as Minister of Finance he worked as a CEO of JSC Georgian Railway. Before that he also held various high positions in the private sector such as being CEO of Georgian International Energy Corporation and Member of Georgian Industrial Group’s Executive Board.
He holds an MBA from INSEAD, Bachelors in Organization & Management of Foreign Economic Affairs from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. He also earned a PhD from Georgian Technical University in Electrical Engineering.
Brigitte Baumann has been named an angel investor of the year in Europe, served as president of the European Business Angels Network, personally invested in almost 100 companies, and was named one of the Top 50 Women in Startup and VC in Europe. Now she leads Go Beyond, an online angel investing platform.
Amrit Dhir leads operations and expansion for Google's global network of physical spaces for entrepreneurs (campus.co). He works with technology startups drawing from his experience in new business development for some of Alphabet's most innovative products and groundbreaking technologies: projects in Google Research (i.e. machine learning, natural language processing, etc.), the Cultural Institute (e.g. Google Art Project), Google[x] (now X), and Google Life Sciences (now Verily). He's also learned from some spectacular failures and a background in law (itself a kind of a failure). Amrit is additionally an angel investor, a regular volunteer, an aimless writer, a dabbler in languages, the Hakeem Olajuwon of Fantasy Basketball, and effectively homeless.
As CEO he leads Raisin and takes in particular care of partner bank acquisition, business development, legal and regional expansion efforts. Prior to building and scaling Raisin, Tamaz has spent 10 years with McKinsey & Company, the last 3 years as Principal leading also McKinsey Savings and Investment products Service Line for EMEA countries. He served some of the very largest retail, universal and wholesale banks throughout Europe and in Asia. Tamaz holds a PhD in agricultural economics, graduated with honors in law (both from University of Giessen) and international economics (from Tbilisi State University).
Zoltan Varga is described in Wikipedia as one of the most significant investors in Hungary. At the beginning of his career he was the Chief Executive Officer of the First Hungarian Venture Capital Fund Management Company and Centech New Hungary Venture Capital Fund.
He is CEO of Central Médiacsoport Zrt., one of the largest media group in Hungary. He founded, together with private and institutional investors, the venture capital company Central-Fund Kockázati Tőkealap-kezelő Zrt., which now owns HSBC Credit Zrt., has/had a shareholding in Wizz-Air, EME Zrt. and Eispro Kft. from May 2014. Consolidated revenues of the group reached HUF 70 billion in 2014, with a staff of almost 2,000 people. He is founder and CEO of Centrál group which has been operating since 2004 on the Hungarian market. Established as a factoring company, the group has expanded its activities and now is involved also in receivables and property management and financial consulting.
He graduated from the University of Pécs at the Faculty of Economics. During his studies he worked for the Dresdner Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In 1990 he joined the Budapest Stock exchange board and in 1991 the Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), where he first worked in the London and later in the New York office of the company and in Budapest he managed the sales and commercial departments as deputy manager until 2001.
Varga believes wealth also means responsibility, therefore it is important for one to invest into society. He founded a successful mathematics foundation in his home town, Bonyhád and is a devoted supporter of several foundations like Bátor Tábor (Bravery Camp) and Mosoly Alapítvány (Smile Foundation), but he also sponsors Budapesti Fesztiválzenekar (Budapest Festival Orchestra) and Vígszínház (Theatre). At present, he works on a project supporting the talented at mathematics. He is building a mathematics empire on his property near Zirc.
Zachery Coelius is currently an early stage technology investor and advisor. His notable investments include Cruise Automation (bought by GM for $1B+), Branch Metrics, SkySafe and a dozen other startups. He is an advisor to twenty companies including Hellosign, Swarm (bought by Integral Ad Sciences), Balanced Payments (Stripe) and many others. Mr. Coelius is also four-time entrepreneur. In his last company he was the co-founder and CEO of Triggit, an advertising technology company that was one of the first Demand Side Platforms, where he raised over $25m in venture capital and exited in 2015 to Linkedin and another financial buyer. He ran Triggit from 2005 to 2015, growing it from 4 to 60 employees and over $30m in revenue. Zachery attended the University of Minnesota as an undergraduate where he was named by the USA Today as one of the top 20 college students in the nation in 2004. He was also the recipient of the George Mitchell scholarship where he received a master’s degree in International studies at the University of Limerick.
George Arison is Founder and CEO of Shift, a people-powered marketplace revolutionizing the $750B used car industry. Shift has raised over $300 Million including investments from Goldman Sachs and top-tier VCs.
Previously he was a product manager at Google, where he worked on Helpouts and Fiber. In 2007, George co-founded Taxi Magic, which today books millions of yearly rides with service in 50 US cities. Prior to working in technology, George ran a parliamentary campaign for a leading opposition party in his native country of Georgia and published a book titled Democracy and Autocracy in Eurasia. George graduated from Middlebury College in 2000.
Arison was born into a politically influential family of ample means in the Republic of Georgia in 1977. At a time when tensions were still high between the United States and the Soviet Union, a 14-year-old Arison travelled to the US and received the benefits of an American private-school education. Although he had always desired to return to Georgia and involve himself in the politics of the region, his love for America and its many opportunities had him returning to its shores not soon after his return to his motherland.
His debut in the American professional market was at BCG in Washington, a job that his friend, and later partner, Toby Russell, helped him procure. It was when he was sent by the company to a few of the smaller cities to meet clients that he realised how tiresome it was to try and book taxis in unfamiliar cities. The need to simplify this hectic process is what propelled him to stumble upon this idea, and wasting no time, he set up a meeting over drinks with Russell and the latter’s entrepreneur-turned friend Tom Depasquale.
Moukabary is founder and CEO of Bonify (bonify.de) a Berlin fintech startup helping people benefit from their own financial history and data. They are "a creditworthiness start-up with a vision". The central hypothesis is that customers can use their own credit data to have sellers compete for their business. Early customers are attracted by free credit checks and financial optimization tools.
He has a diverse background including previously serving as CEO at Regis24, Consultant at McKinsey, and helping build peer networks of chief executives through involvement with Young Presidents Organization.
Dr. Mikayel Vardanyan is a seasoned executive with a strong engineering background and extensive managerial experience. He has spent over a decade in the IT industry, founding, leading and growing companies to impressive scales, while presenting at international conferences and events. He also is an angel investor and advisor for tech startups.
Currently, Dr. Vardanyan is General Manager & Chief Product Officer at PicsArt, the leading creative platform for social media storytelling with 100+ million monthly active users and over half a billion downloads. He leads and coordinates product development, monetization initiatives, and day-to-day operations for PicsArt’s 300+ employee Armenia office.
Dr. Vardanyan’s experience crafting positive organizational culture and navigating complex problems defines him as a leader who seeks innovative strategies and execution while inspiring teams to tap into their potential to grow, explore, and co-create.
Dr. Vardanyan, being an innovator himself, co-founded and served as General Manager of Monitis, a leading application performance monitoring SaaS company, acquired by GFI Software in 2011 and as of July 2014 part of TeamViewer. He also served as board member and co-founder of Sourcio, which was later acquired by HelpSystems.
Director at Startup Grind London. Founding Partner at IPM Growth, a VC company investing in extremely ambitious technology companies from the Central & Eastern Europe. Advisory board member at T-Mobile Czech Republic & Telekom Slovakia. Founder of BrainTrust, a think-tank helping top tech CEOs scale globally. Ex-Orange, ex-Reebok. Marian was featured in New Europe 100 (organised by Financial Times, Google, Respublica and Visegrad Fund), the list of outstanding challengers who are leading world class innovation from Central and Eastern Europe.