Bridging Batumi to Silicon Valley

Georgia’s coastal city hosts the first national Startup World Cup

September 9, 2022
Georgian 'Theneo' wins the national edition of the Startup World Cup in Batumi
Photo: UNDP Georgia/Seyran Baroyan

Top ten Georgian startups competed in a national edition of the Startup World Cup held in Batumi on 10 September. International judges granted a spot in the Startup World Cup semi-finals in Silicon Valley to Theneo which explores ways of generating high-quality, interactive API docs. The finest Georgian startup will go on a big stage to showcase in front of 100+ potential investors and compete for a grand prize of US$1,000,000 in investment.

Supported by the European Union (EU), UNDP, the USAID Economic Security Program and Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) and Batumi City Hall, the Startup World Cup Georgia was held by Startup Connect and USMAC as part of the Mayors for Economic Growth/M4EG initiative, an EU-UNDP regional partnership with municipalities. The award ceremony was also supported by the private sector, with Chelti Vinery and MediaLab contributing to the event.  

The award ceremony in Batumi was attended by Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Economy Irakli Nadareishvili, Batumi Mayor Archil Chikovani, M4EG Project Manager at the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub Tina Stoum; the USAID Georgia Economic Growth Office Director Marika Olson and the USAID Economic Security Program Chief of Party Mark McCord.

The event was part of the Bridge to Silicon Valley conference that gathered over 150 speakers from the US, UK and the EU. International experts shared their unique expertise in high-growth potential startups, venture capital, commercialization of innovation and new financial solutions for development.

“The Startup World Cup Georgia is a celebration of entrepreneurship. It positions Georgia at the centre of innovation and the knowledge economy. This event highlights Georgia’s best and brightest entrepreneurs, showcasing their talent and commitment. In addition, it brings leaders from Silicon Valley to Georgia, which continues to build the country’s profile on innovation’s global stage. The USAID Economic Security Program is honoured to support the competition. We wish all the competitors the best of luck as they pitch their concepts to the judges.”
Mark McCord, the USAID Economic Security Program Chief of Party
“We are particularly happy to see this world-class startup event taking place in Batumi. Using support from the EU and UNDP, the city is working on an innovative municipal transformation portfolio of a start-up ecosystem that aims to renew urban identity and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship.”
Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia

The jury of the Georgian edition of the Startup World Cup includes such renowned figures as Nina Levchuk, a Startup and Venture Capital Lead at Google Germany with vast experience in business development, sales, marketing, cross-functional teams and strategy for leading world organizations, and Levan Shalamberidze, a senior investment professional at the Financial Institutions Group (FIG) of the World Bank Group.

The final stage of the world’s biggest startup competition will take place on 30 September, in Los Angeles, US, with top venture capital representatives and businesses from over 70  countries gathering at Silicon Valley to reveal the winner. 

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