- 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.
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.
Marvin is a Partner at Micro Venture Capital Fund 500 Startups, running the SF-based accelerator program as well as investing in Seed stage startups. He Invests in Digital Media, Enterprise SaaS, Marketplace, Mobile, AdTech/MarketingTech, Digital Health, Internet of Things, and Fintech startups.
Formerly an experienced client-facing senior executive in the media and technology space in both large and startup growth companies, having managed large multifunctional teams across multiple countries.
He has P&L management experience and was most recently responsible for 100% YoY revenue growth while running a business unit and building new sales channels in EMEA and the Emerging Markets regions for the last ~4 years at Yahoo!.
A 10.5 year veteran of Yahoo! Inc., Marvin has held roles in the various departments of sales, business development, ad operations, and marketing. Most of his roles were regional or global management roles giving him extensive experience across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States in his career at the company.
Marvin presently serves on the boards/advisory boards of several internet advertising and ad technology companies across the globe. He is a frequent speaker at many digital marketing and startup conferences.
A longtime fan, participant, and observer of the digital revolution occurring for the last 15+ years across the world, he is interested in opportunities with top growth companies large and small with a focus on driving monetization and expanding into new international markets.
Steve Adelman founded Nexus Partners in 2000, a consultancy focused on working in a collaborative manner with its clients on growth and innovation. Steve has been a leader and advisor to high technology and financial services companies for over twenty-five years.
Steve is passionate about working with clients to define their business goals, to create programs to achieve them and to determine the appropriate metrics to measure their success. He works with clients to create and execute their business and financial models, market entry and go-to-market efforts, partnership programs, financial and technology investment strategies, and helps to build and manage teams to drive strategies to successful execution. Some of Steve's current and past clients include Adobe, American Express, Cisco, HP, Hitachi, Merrill Lynch, Palm, Omidyar Network, the U.S. Secret Service, VMware and numerous startups from Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia.
Steve was a Senior Managing Partner at Gartner Consulting, responsible for strategic accounts in Northern California. He has also been a strategy consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton and The MAC Group/Gemini Consulting. Previously Steve was Vice President of Corporate Development at Novell, responsible for investments, acquisitions and strategic partnerships. He was President of GTS (renamed Broadware, acquired by Cisco), one of the first streaming Internet video companies. As Executive Vice President at Reuters NewMedia, Steve managed early stage investments and partnerships with companies including Yahoo!, Verisign, Wired and Infoseek. As Chief Operating Officer Steve was responsible for the turnaround of Trademark Research Corporation (now Wolters Kluwer Corsearch). He started his business career at AT&T's Bell Laboratories.
Steve is an Adjunct Professor at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, the University of San Francisco School of Management, and has been an invited speaker and panel facilitator on partnerships, strategic investments and business analytics in the era of big data. He holds a BS in computer science from Columbia University and an MBA from the Wharton School. He served a full tour as a paratrooper in the Israel Defense Forces.
In the community, Steve has been active as Co-founder of the YMCA Trailblazers, a national father/child program and led the first branch in Cupertino; member of the Cupertino Educational Endowment Foundation Community Council; and as a volunteer with the Cupertino Rolling Hills 4H.
Steve lives in Silicon Valley with his wife Carrie, who works in the Cupertino Union School District, and his daughter. His son is currently attending UC Davis.
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.