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
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 & 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).

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 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 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). 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.

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 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.

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
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
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 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. 

Derek Andersen
Mikayel Vardanyan
CPO and General Manager - PICSART

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. 

Derek Andersen
Gamal Moukabary
Founder & CEO - Bonify

Moukabary is 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
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.

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). 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.

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 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
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
Country Director - Startup Grind

Founder of Crumbiz and has been active in Israeli High-Tech, Internet and the Digital Industry since 1999, Founded InteGreat in 2008. Shahar can lead entrepreneurs from an idea to Worldwide Product Marketing. Entrepreneur, Investor, Advisor, Mentor and Philanthropist. Since 2013, Shahar is Startup Grind’s Country Manager in Israel (Israel’s definitive hub for the flourishing Startup Ecosystem).

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 (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.

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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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