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A new wave of entrepreneurship is changing everything, from Sydney to New York and from London to Tel Aviv. Dynamic teams that start with just an idea or a small prototype are growing into successful large companies within only a year or two. And this is happening not only in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Berlin, but in many smaller cities and towns all over the world.

Eastern Europe is an especially interesting place for entrepreneurship. Great technical talent and an open innovative mindset are the main advantages that allowed companies like AVG, Skype, Prezi, and Viber to get started in this region or grow their offices locally, becoming global success stories.

But how do you build a modern tech business? What do you need to know? How to validate a product, get access to markets, and find an investor? And how can you become a successful angel investor by investing USD 10k or 20k into tomorrow’s multimillion dollar company?

Join us this year at TbilisiFTW to learn everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about startups, entrepreneurship, and angel investing. Brought to you by the veterans of the startup industry in Central and Eastern Europe, and organized by USAID-REG, Netokracija, and Teres Capital, TbilisiFTW is coming to a city near you for a two-day unforgettable experience of pitching, talking to successful startup founders and seasoned investors.



Day 1, Tuesday, April 15: Startup and entrepreneurship day

9:30 am – 10:15 am Registration and welcome coffee
10:15 am – 10:20 am Welcome and introductions by FTW Crew
10:20 am – 10:30 am Word of Welcome by Ministry of Economy, Georgia
10:30 am – 10:45 am Intro to Pitching Competition by Mike Reiner (StartupWiseGuys) and Nigel Sharp (Lionsharp)
10:45 am – 11:00 am KEYNOTE: Where can entrepreneurship take you? By Max Gurvits, (Teres Capital)
11:00 am – 11:15 am KEYNOTE: What makes a great startup team? By Mike Reiner (StartupWiseguys)
11:15 am – 12:00 am Pitching session 1 (5 pitches with jury Q&A)
12:00 am – 13:30 pm Lunch
12:30 pm – 2:15 pm Pitching session 2 (5 pitches with jury Q&A)
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm WORKSHOP 1 – The accelerator experience, Mike Reiner (StartupWiseGuys) and Yeva Hyusyan (Microsoft Innovation Center Armenia)
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm WORKSHOP 2 – Understanding and working with investors, Mike Reiner (StartupWiseGuys), Max Gurvits (Teres Capital) and Tena Sojer (Netokracija)
4:00 pm – 4:15 pm Coffee break and networking
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm WORKSHOP 3 – Building a great product, Can Saracoglu (String Ventures) and Nigel Sharp (Lionsharp)
5:15 pm – 5:45 pm Two finalist pitches and jury Q&A
5:45 pm – 6:00 pm Jury selection and winner announcement by StartupWiseGuys
6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Closing and Networking

Day 2, Wednesday, April 16: Investor Day

9:30 am – 10:15 am Registration and welcome coffee
10:15 am – 10:30 am Welcome and introductions by FTW crew
10:30 am – 10:45 am Introduction by local co-hosts, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Georgia (Tinatin Gholadze) and Bank of Georgia University (Akaki Kheladze)
10:45 am – 11:15 am KEYNOTE: Disruptive Trends in Global Tech Investment; Startups in Young Ecosystems, How to Hack your Way to International Success, Can Saracoglu (String Ventures)
11:15 am – 11:30 am KEYNOTE: Investing in Technology in Georgia, Aieti Kukava (Alliance Group Holding)
11:30 am – 12:30 pm ANGEL INVESTOR PANEL, moderated by Max Gurvits (Teres Capital). Speakers: Vasil Revishvili (Bank of Georgia University), Akaki Kheladze (Bank of Georgia University), Goga Melikidze (Smartex Capital), Aieti Kukava (Alliance Group Holding), Mike Reiner (StartupWiseGuys), Can Saracoglu (String Ventures)
  • Benefits, risks, and rewards of angel investing
  • Differences between developed and developing markets for investments (market and regulatory differences)
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm WORKSHOP: Silicon Valley Investment Case Study, Can Saracoglu (String Ventures)
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm WORKSHOP: CEE/regional Investment Case Study, Mike Reiner (StartupWiseGuys)
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Coffee break and networking
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm INVESTMENT PROCESS PANEL, moderated by Can Saracoglu, (String Ventures). Speakers: Vasil Revishvili (Bank of Georgia University), Akaki Kheladze (Bank of Georgia University), Goga Melikidze (Smartex Capital), Mike Reiner (StartupWiseGuys), Max Gurvits (Teres Capital)
  • Sourcing, validating and executing investments
  • Co-investing with other angels and VC funds
  • Monitoring the investment
  • Exiting the investment
  • Angel networks: types and differences
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Closing and Networking


For entrepreneurs:

  • Learn the personal stories of building a successful startup
  • Pitch your startup idea or project to a jury of experienced investors and mentors
  • Start building your network in the international startup community
  • Improve your product, business development and leadership skills

For (aspiring) investors

  • Understand the mechanics of successful angel and venture investing
  • Meet the leading international investors that are changing the European startup and technology market
  • Discuss the dos and don’ts of selecting, checking, investing, and supporting entrepreneurs