Sparklabs Founder on Georgia, the "California of the Caucasus"

Startup Georgia is a part of the State’s Partnership Fund, implemented with the support of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency. At the end of August the winners of a competition for funding were announced. Experts from the US’ Silicon Valley chose 20 winners from the 150 applications. One member of the jury, Nat Jacobson, co-founder and partner of Sparklabs Global Ventures and a former Facebook Executive, wrote on his blog of his experience while in Georgia.

“Georgia has been described as the California of the Caucasus and it is not difficult to see why. The country has an 8000-year-old tradition of wine-making, and is a culinary party zone surrounded by amazing lush green mountains,” Jacobson wrote. He went on to openly share with his readers that at first he had no high expectations, but was pleasantly surprised with what he discovered in Georgia. From the Georgian traditional supra, to “natural mountain water that you can sip off a cliff,” and the Tech Park, “an amazingly designed modern building, sort of Finnish design meets Georgia, located in a lush forest.” He even noted the fact that “most Government buildings are glass structures in order to radiate transparency.”

The Sparklabs founder seemed genuinely impressed with the country’s developments, client-oriented and fast public services, and the government itself that, in his opinion, is “in many ways…a model for how a government should operate: supporting entrepreneurs, fast, efficient and most importantly, focused on serving its people.”

Jacobson said he was happy to see the enthusiasm and energy of Georgian entrepreneurs, and was positively surprised with both the creativity and pitches.

“The reward of getting out of your own comfort zone and connecting with other entrepreneurs around the world is something I can never get enough of,” he said. The award ceremony of the project felt very emotional, he noted, with every participant- be they winner or loser- happy for each other, something that is difficult to find in Silicon Valley.

“I found a very warm, hospitable and passionate people serious about making a difference, improving Georgia and putting Georgia on the map. The passion, talent and its entrepreneural government give it all the necessary components to make a dent in the world.”

Nino Gugunishvili

05 September 2016 18:59