The Most Successful Georgian Startup? Startup Grind: Meet George Arison Who Raised $110MM for Shift

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Startup Grind is a global community where people who have founded startups, want to found startups, fund them, want to work for them, or just learn about them gather.  Tbilisi hosts one of the chapters and is part of a million-person global community.  Come meet Georgians, expats, and visitors who are helping to build our startup community. The first hour and last hour are for networking, making friends and finding ways we can help each other build a strong and successful startup community here.

Come ready to meet strangers or learn new things about people you already know.  And come ready to see how you can help others!  It can be as simple as boosting a Facebook post someone wants to publicize or helping someone solve a problem they have or find a good employee. Come, join us for some food and drink and great conversations as we grow our startup community!

This month it’s a very special guest, perhaps Georgia’s most successful startup founder. George Arison (born “Irakly Areshidze” ) is a Georgian-born entrepreneur in San Francisco who founded Shift Technologies which has raised over $110,000,000 in investment and is poised to raise more this year for expansion.

Shift is an online, peer-to-peer, marketplace for buying and selling used cars. Prior to Shift, in 2007, he co-founded Taxi Magic, today known as Curb. This was a ride-hailing app even before Uber!  He worked at Google as product manager where he gained knowledge and contacts,  and also at Boston Consulting Group.

George brings a wealth of experience and connections from Silicon Valley and roots here in Georgia!

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Your VC Needs A Billion Dollar Exit. You Do Not.

“When I was fundraising for my first two ventures, it was universally accepted that you needed a slide at the end of your pitch that focused on exits. It was common for the slide to list a series of potential acquirers, their markets caps, along with standard industry multiples—even a completely made up potential acquisition price for your company. I’m glad that fiction is gone, and we’re dreaming bigger and thinking longer term now. However, overly bold visions can come at the entrepreneur’s expense… Read More

10 Things You Must Do From Day One So Your Startup Thrives according to entrepreneur.com

From the 10 Things You Must Do From Day One So Your Startup Thrives, #2 is to Learn from and connect with other.

“Visit your competition, introduce yourself and develop a good relationship with them. Refer customers to them when it makes sense and don’t be afraid to ask them for help or advice. Even though you and your competitors are offering similar products or services, you each have your own specialization. Instead of fearing that competition, give them credit for what they excel at. Believe it or not, that will be reciprocated.”

As it’s written in Entrepreneur’s article, “there’s definitely no shortage of amazing advice out there”. Our advice for you would be to start getting known with Georgian Startup ecosystem by attending Startup Grind events regularly.  Learning from experienced speakers and keeping up to date with other startups might contribute a significant part in your future success.

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See Full Article: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/309818

Silicon Valley Veteran Entrepreneur and Global Advisor with 20 Years in Tech

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Scot Rafer will be speaking at Startup Grind Tbilisi on 5th of July, 2018. Georgian Startups and other interested people will have the unique opportunity to get known with an experienced entrepreneur who can share stories about life in startups and how he has founded companies, raised money and developed to be an international advisor.

After 20 years running software startups, Scott Rafer is focusing on being the sidekick to a few great founders in marketing automation, marketplace seller services, and e-commerce delivery. There is a business plan at the intersection of those three burning in his brain, but he’s got that under control for now.

Startup-wise, Rafer was most recently SVP Corporate Development at Nanigans. Until its 2013 acquisition by Nanigans, Rafer ran Lumatic, MyBlogLog, a social network of bloggers, which Yahoo! acquired in 2007. The list goes downhill from there for a decade.

Before most of the startup work, Scott headed-up the Internet products group at Kodak Hollywood, worked in investment banking at Needham & Company.

Scott Rafer is also Co-Founder and a Member of the Board of Directors at Mashery (acquired by Intel), ShopPad, Boomset, Boostable, Delivr and Zemanta.

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“The Unicorn Whisperer” – Zach Coelius on 4 Exits and Investing in a Unicorn

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 over two 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.

Startup Grind Tbilisi will host him on Monday, 25th of June at 6:00 PM at Terminal (Address:Terminal, 34 Abashidze Street, Tbilisi, 0179).

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April 25th @ Fabrika, Tamar Menteshashvili Startup Grind Speaker

Tamar Menteshashvili is a PhD candidate at Shanghai Jiao Tong University with main focus on Blockchain technology and Fintech industry.

She started researching Distributed Technologies in 2014 and since has been an active member of the Blockchain and Crypto industry. She obtained the University of Edinburgh LLM degree in Banking Law and Finance and Free University of Tbilisi bachelor degree in Law. She has been advising number of governmental institutions, including the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan and the National Agency of Public Registry in Georgia, on implementation of Blockchain technology in public services (mainly business and property registration, notary services).

After moving to Asia Tamar founded Blockchain Hub in Shanghai, which is bringing together students, scholars and practitioners in Blockchain and innovation sectors. She is author of publications in academia and media, including Forbes, Ibtimes and Yahoo Finance. In 2018 she was named among 200 Thought Leaders in Crypto and Blockchain Industry.

In 2017 along with her 2 Chinese partners, Tamar founded project EXPREAD ( http://expread.io ), which is an infrastructural solution for operating exchanges on a global scale with common order book and liquidity pool. The project is already supporting the exchanges in their operations and has received VC seed round funding for further development of the product.

Tamar is also very passionate about the education sector. With her colleagues from Georgia, Pakistan and Senegal, she founded organisation Global Education Union with an aim to support young generations in developing countries in receiving education.

She is a member of Global Shapers Community under the World Economic Forum and Asia Operations Manager at lawless.tech.

She visits Georgia to participate in Spotcoin’s ( https://spotcoin.com ) Black Sea Blockchain Summit. https://www.bsbsummit.com/

https://www.georgianjournal.ge/society/33603-24-year-old-georgian-researcher-to-lead-blockchain-technology-research-center-in-china.html