Startup Grind Europe-Asia Connect

Tbilisi, Georgia

Nov. 8 - 10, 2019

Startup Grind is the largest international network of startup founders, with over 600 chapters around the world and a reach of 2 million.

Join the 3rd largest Startup Grind conference in the world. Hosted at the ancient Silk Road destination Tbilisi, Startup Grind Europe-Asia Connect will bring together speakers from the world's most famous companies, entrepreneurs, educators and investors who are happy to share their experience.

This will be an event unlike any other the region has seen with:

  • 1500 delegates
  • 30+ speakers
  • 20+ countries

The event will include a wide variety of sessions and formats, bringing you the latest developments in innovation, technology and talent, will include highly...


Derek Andersen
Archil Talakvadze
Chairman of Parliament of Georgia - Parliament of Georgia

Archil Talakvadze (born January 16, 1983) is a Georgian politician serving as the Chairman of Parliament of Georgia. A member of the Georgian Dream Party, Talakvadze was elected to the Parliament in 2016 through the majoritarian vote from the Western District, Ozurgeti and was a Majority leader until June 25th, 2019 when he was elected as the Chairman of Parliament of Georgia. During the 2012 and 2016 election cycles, Talakvadze served two different positions in the Government - the Vice-Minister of Corrections (Justice) and the Vice-Minister of Interior. Talakvadze is known as a reformist, visionary leader. Behind the Speaker Kobakhidze, he worked on constitutional reform and amendments (2018) changing the governance model and strengthening the institutional democracy of Georgia. Talakvadze led adoption of the new Road Safety Legislation resulting in the 14% decrease of traffic accidents and casualty in a year. Talakvadze led majority owned initiatives on poverty reduction, tax reform, environment and emissions control. Talakvadze endorsed Kakha Kaladze in the 2017 elections and served as the campaign manager for his race for Mayor of Tbilisi. Talakvadze worked on a bipartisan resolution with the opposition condemning the human rights violations taking place on Russian occupied territories of Georgia. Talakvadze is married, with two children.

Derek Andersen
Tamaz Georgadze
Founder, CEO - RAISIN

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 and 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 the University of Giessen) and international economics (from Tbilisi State University).

Derek Andersen
Brigitte Baumann
Founder - Go Beyond Investing

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.

Derek Andersen
Sacha Michaud
Co-founder - Glovo

Glovo co-founder Sacha Michaud is a serial entrepreneur, with over 15 years of experience developing Internet companies. Founded in Barcelona, Glovo is transforming the way consumers access local goods, enabling anyone to get almost any product delivered in minutes. The company is currently present in more than 23 countries across Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Sacha Michaud is also the founder of several digital businesses, including Latinred, sold to StarMedia.

Derek Andersen
Amrit Dhir
Head of Global Operations - GOOGLE FOR STARTUPS

Amrit Dhir leads operations and expansion for Google's global network of physical spaces for entrepreneurs ( 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).

Derek Andersen
Zachery Coelius

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 a 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 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.

Derek Andersen
Amy Peck
XR & Future Tech Strategist - HTC Vive

Amy Peck is the founder and CEO of EndeavorVR, a leading global VR/AR (XR) strategy and consulting firm. Amy is a recognized thought-leader in the space and speaks globally on the future of XR. She has deep connections within the industry and works with Fortune 500 companies, digital media/production companies and tech startups on XR strategy, content, development, product and GTM.

Derek Andersen
Sheel Mohnot

Sheel is the founding partner of the 500 startups FinTech Fund, which he has run for the past 3 years. His own startup experience includes 2 successful FinTech exits – a payments company (FeeFighters) and a high-stakes auction company (Innovative Auctions). He's invested into over 80 companies in the past 6 years, mostly in the fintech space. He formerly worked as a financial services consultant at BCG and started his FinTech career at the non-profit p2p lender Kiva. He lives in San Francisco and enjoys travel.

Derek Andersen
George Arison
Founder & CEO - SHIFT

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.

Derek Andersen
Zoltan Varga

"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 groups 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 the 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 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.

Derek Andersen
Gamal Moukabary
Founder & CEO - Bonify

Moukabary is the founder and CEO of Bonify ( 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. 

Derek Andersen
Yevgen Lisnyak
Head of Strategic Partnerships - Visa

Yevgen Lisnyak is the Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures in CIS & South-East Europe (17 markets). His main areas of responsibilities include identifying, support and development high potential partners for Visa in new robustly growing fintech business environment driving the cashless economy. Yevgen joined Visa in 2017 as a Director of Digital Solutions team. In this role at Visa Yevgen successfully managed and launched implementation of transit and smart city solutions in Ukrainian and CIS cities from the scratch. Now Yevgen concentrates on support of neo banks and all types of disruptive fintech companies and fintech ecosystem development in multiple markets. Yevgen Lisnyak brings to Visa Strategic Partnerships team over 10 years of international experience in IT and consulting gained with leading international companies. Mr. Lisnyak holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Physics and Mathematics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT).

Derek Andersen
Bill Reichert
Managing Director - GARAGE VENTURES

Bill Reichert has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and operating executive. Since joining Garage in 1998, Bill has focused on early-stage information technology and materials science companies. He has been a board director or board observer at CaseStack, WhiteHat Security, ClearFuels Technology, Simply Hired, MiaSole, D.light Design, ThermoCeramix, & VisaNow, among others. Prior to Garage, Bill was a co-founder or senior executive in several venture-backed technology startups, including Trademark Software, The Learning Company, and Academic Systems.

Derek Andersen
Marvin Liao
Partner - 500 Startups

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.

Derek Andersen
Steve Adelman
Founder & Managing Director - Nexus Partners

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. 

Derek Andersen
Madlene Minassian
Head of Corporate Affairs - Picsart

Madlene Minassian is a California native who earned her Master of Public Health (MPH) and Bachelor’s Degree (BA) in Sociology from the University of California at Los Angeles, making her a proud UCLA Bruin. She then embarked on an adventure to NYC and eventually landed in Yerevan, Armenia. In 2014 she joined PicsArt, a leading photo editor and social network with over 130 million monthly users. At PicsArt, she was instrumental in the early years of community development and content programming. As Director of Global Content, she led the Content team, set on creating a relevant experience based on over 1 billion images created each month on the platform. In her current role as Head of Corporate Affairs, her goal is to turn every person she meets into at PicsArt evangelist. Madlene sits on a number of non-profit boards dedicated to improving health, education, and social conditions for Armenia’s population. She is also an instructor at the American University of Armenia (AUA). Along with her husband, two sons and dog Happy- she spends her time hiking, practicing healthy living, and reveling in service to society.

Derek Andersen
Ken Singer
Managing Director - UC Berkeley Center for Entrepreneurship

Serial entrepreneur, technology executive & advisor to numerous startups in the US & Europe. A 15-year veteran of the mobile industry (enterprise softwarem digital advertising), he has founded or co-founded five companies. He was founder/CEO at App Central, directs UCB's Entrepreneurship center, was founding board member of Applied Innovation Institute & now chairs the European Innovation Academy.

Derek Andersen
Chris Burry

Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the international trade and development industry. Skilled in Business Process, Business Planning, International Business, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Go-to-market Strategy. Strong business development professional with a BA focused in Political Science from Swarthmore College. Chris is a member of US MAC’s management team. Prior to that he was a founding member of Avanade, a joint venture between Microsoft and Andersen Consulting. Founded in 2000, Avanade has grown to 9,500 global employees and annual revenues of over $850 million, with offices in 22 countries and projects in 30. Prior to Avanade, Chris was a senior executive at Andersen Consulting and a senior technology consultant at EDS. In these roles, he oversaw numerous large-scale projects for clients in the energy, financial services, healthcare and government sectors. He has experience working in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia. Chris was also a columnist on operating systems and infrastructure for ComputerWorld magazine and an adviser to the research division of IDC (publisher of a number of technology magazines) on cloud computing and the future of technology. He was also a regular speaker at industry conferences for Microsoft and IDC. Chris has an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College in Political Science (with honors). He lives in Emerald Hills, California.

Derek Andersen
Shahar Matorin
CEO Crumbiz and Israeli Country Manager - Startup Grind

Founder, CEO Crumbiz and Country Manager Startup Grind Israel – Father, Business culture catalyst, Startup Ecosystem Builder. Globally connected professionally with a can-do attitude. Shahar has over 20 years of global startup ecosystem experience. He is responsible for putting Israel on the Global Startup Grind map. Crumbiz began as Shahar realized that networking, emails and forums were not always effective tools to build, manage and leverage Global Business Relationships; he invented a professional platform to both build and leverage Global Business Relationships; thus changing the way we work and live – more coming soon

Derek Andersen
Yann Le Floch
Token Banker - Maslow Capital Partners

Yann Le Floch is a heterodox investment banker, developer of financial products and business especially in the Blockchain ecosystem. He has worked for BNP Paribas investment banking for more than 10 years, in the derivatives trading floor, in corporate restructuring, strategy and consulting, and in the Blockchain Lab. He evolves today for a financial boutique in the token economy, by advising and financing some startups in the sector, and large companies (banks, funds, industries) and governments (Europe, Asia, Venezuela). In addition, he has been advocating for more than 10 years for the development of the programmable economy and smart money to create new macroeconomic models for democratic, environmental & societal purposes. Yann is a graduate from Lycée Louis Le Grand and an engineer from Mines Paris PSL, certified Blockchain from MIT, and Sustainable Business from Harvard Business School.

Derek Andersen
Ethan Pierse
Founder - Borderless Ventures

Founder of Borderless Ventures focused on FrenchTech, CEE, and ASEAN startups. Former Managing Partner, Nest Venture Capital. Director at The CryptoAssets Institute, evangelizing the blockchain economy across Europe and Southeast Asia, advising government administrations, corporations, and funds on tokenization. Serial entrepreneur in digital and ecommerce in the US and Western Europe. 20+ years digital marketing strategy advising Coca-Cola, HP, BP, large banks, airlines and governments. Ethan connects and enables cross-border startup investment and business development between the US, France, Central and Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia.

Derek Andersen
Co-Founder - TECHUB

Israeli Hi-Tech professional Angel Investor for Start Ups. Executive Chairman at Extreme Group since 2015. Senior Advisor for Israeli hi-tech investments at Synergy China Funds. Focusing on the fund's investments in software companies in various areas such as: Big Data, Enterprise software, Mobile Applications, BI, IoT, Fintech, and more. Founder partner of TECHUB Academy, Georgia, and DAN IT – Education Center, Ukraine.

Derek Andersen
Daniel Reilly
Community Manager - STARTUP GRIND

A mobile developer, head of product, entrepreneur and problem solver who has spent his career building and enabling people to build new and impactful things. He also runs the Glasgow chapter of Startup Grind where he helps educate, connect and inspire entrepreneurs within the community. 

Derek Andersen
Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit

CEO and co-founder at MarsBased, and Regional Director at Startup Grind for Southwestern Europe. MarsBased is a 10-people full-remote development consultancy from Barcelona specialised in web and mobile applications developed with Ruby on Rails and Javascript frameworks. Àlex runs the sales/marketing area and is in charge of communications & growth of the company. His background in consulting & development (ex-Deloitte, ex-VASS) and his international profile helps him with the technical and the business perspective. His experience with volunteering (over 5 years at ESN) have helped him to build one of the strongest communities in Barcelona through Startup Grind, events for developers, curating Startup Digest, and managing a Slack community for entrepreneurs and startups in Barcelona.

Derek Andersen
Marian Gazdik

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 (organized by Financial Times, Google, Respublica and Visegrad Fund), the list of outstanding challengers who are leading world-class innovation from Central and Eastern Europe.

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About Georgia

Georgia's legendary hospitality and creativity will provide a welcoming and exciting environment for every guest. With brilliant nature and exceptional cuisine Georgia is one of the friendliest countries in the world. Welcoming nature of Georgian people is one of the main reasons why world travelers keep coming to Georgia and return home with whole new experiences. Moreover, recognized as the candle of wine you have the opportunity to discover great Georgian wine and Georgia's unique method of Qvevri wine making that represents the UNESCO World Heritage. With visa-free entry for almost 100 countries Georgia offers a welcoming environment for every visitor from anywhere in the world.

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