Youth Innovation Summit Full of Inspirational Success Stories

The Technological Park (Tech Park) by Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) was opened just two month ago in Tbilisi. The facility, which aims to support and help implement innovative ideas, actively works and constantly encourages young people not to doubt their ideas and aim to make them a reality. Prior to the establishment of the Tech Park, GITA itself supported innovative projects, some of which were presented at the first Youth Innovation Summit on March 11.

One of the representatives of the new generation of inventors was Peter Tomadze, Game Developer and Founder of Freaky Screen. “My business journey started very simply. When I was 13 I had very bad marks at school and my parents forbade me from watching cartoons. So, I decided to make my own and watch it as much as I wanted. I sent the result to an international festival and won it,” said Tomadze.

Peter Tomadze then created the International Festival of Animated Films ‘Tofuzi’ in Batumi. He has since won a tender from Nickelodeon Company and is soon heading off to The Netherlands to conclude a partnership with a local company. Tomadze noted that with the massive help and support of GITA it was even made possible for him to run another business – online games platform Freaky Screen.

David Khosroshvili, another young businessperson- founder of and co-founder of, highlighted that there are always many challenges to face in launching a start-up, and one of them is money. However, in this case you just need to follow what he calls the ‘OPM’ rule or Other Peoples’ Money.

“Nowadays, top persons have more money but less energy; when they were young they had to work a lot to reach leading positions. Today, we have energy and ideas but not money. To reach our own goals we have to cooperate with them and use OPM,” said Khosroshvili.

Tech Park was created especially for those who had no possibilities to realize their ideas. It is open to everyone and supports the implementation of projects, not only with technology and equipment assessment, but also by providing training, consultation with the facility’s foreign partners, conducting learning courses and helping in the search for investors.

Chairman of GITA, Irakli Kashibadze, recalls the time when he himself was a young innovator and how difficult it was to set up something new. “Now, Tech Park is offering a great opportunity which didn’t exist in my time. When I was creating my online newspaper ‘Navigator,’ I was faced with many problems, which today Tech Park is ready to take on,” said Kashibadze. “If Tech Park had existed in my time, I think I would have gone much further forward.”

In addition to the new generation of inventors, foreign experts and partner-organization like USAID’s G4G and AIESEC also attended the Youth Innovation Summit. Particular attention was paid to the example of Israel. Omer Pommerntz, an Israeli innovation consultant, highlighted that Israel and Georgia are both small countries and face similar problems. However, Georgia also has positive sides like great possibilities, a competitive environment and the experience of other countries to draw on.

“Israel attaches great importance to innovation with about 4 per cent of GDP is put towards it,” said Pommerntz, comparing it with the 0.1 per cent of Georgia. “Another important issue is education. All universities in Israel are public – you should educate the nation from elementary school to University. Here, I mean innovation education as well,” he added.

The Youth Innovation Summit also demonstrated the capabilities of young people’s own creative ideas and opportunities for them in development and promotion. In Tbilisi, this especially involves Tech Park itself, and other platforms like GeoLab, FabLab and more.

The Summit was designed to encourage young people with innovative business ideas to develop start-up companies. Attendees were given a unique opportunity to communicate with already successful start-up representatives, authorities and foreign experts. The organizers of the event announced their intention to make the Summit an annual event.


Eka Karsaulidze

14 March 2016 17:46