Tbilisi City Hall-EU Project to Support 152 Startup Business Plans

Tbilisi City Hall will soon launch a new program to support local business startups, offering a free work space to entrepreneurs at the Nadzaladevi Mediathek library and coworking space, financing for the development of business plans, and assistance attracting investors and organizing advertising and sales. The services will be awarded to 152 startups for a period of four years.

Viktor Tsilosani, Deputy Head of Tbilisi City Hall’s Economic Development Department, told BM.ge last week that the project will cost approximately 1 million EUR and will be partially financed by the European Union.

The project is expected to start in late September. A registration website will soon be launched for applicants to enter the competition. “Everybody is welcome to register,” said Tsilosani. He explained that, “To register, startups will be asked to describe their business idea in 200 words. After they register, applicants will be able to work in Nadzaladevi Mediathek free of charge for two months, where we will provide the services of marketers, accountants, lawyers and HR professionals who will help applicants polish their business ideas. “The main thing is that Tbilisi City Hall will not select the winners,” Tsilosani continued, “rather, a specific company will select the 152 startups.” City Hall plans to announce a competition for companies interested in evaluating the startups, selecting the winning projects, working with them to write a complete business plan, and helping them attract investors.

Mediathek is a coworking space developed by City Hall with locations in Vake, Varketili, and Nadzaladevi. The Nadzaladevi branch, in Veterans’ Park, was chosen for this project due to its size and capacity to accommodate up to 60 entrepreneurs working at once. All Mediathek branches are modern structures equipped with cutting age technology that offer the public cultural, cognitive and educational events.

Currently, 20,000 books are available at the three branches in multiple languages, with plans to continue to grow the collection. “It will bring more life not only to the park, but also to the entire district,” said then-mayor David Narmania at the opening ceremony for the Nadzaladevi branch in May of last year.

Access to Mediathek branches is normally available for a monthly membership fee. Each Mediathek branch has a reading hall, computer area, and multimedia rooms for movies, conferences and meetings. Members are able to use electronic resources and working spaces within the venue. There are also special educational and cognitive programs held for children and young adults.

The Economic Development Service is a structural unit of Tbilisi City Hall which works to create a favorable environment for Tbilisi's economic growth through the development and implementation of relevant policies.

By Samantha Guthrie

20 August 2018 16:03