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500 Global Names Pedro Santos Vieira as Partner for Georgia Through our program in Georgia, he will lead investments into pre-seed and seed stagecompanies in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Baltics

By Christine Tsai

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Three years ago, 500 Global partnered with Georgia's Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA) and Bank of Georgia to bring one of the first startup accelerator programs to the country, with the goal of establishing a regional tech hub–drawing startups from countries in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Baltics.

500 Global was not new to those regions. Since 2016, 500 Emerging Europe has been investing in countries that include Greece (Plum), Latvia (Printify), and Bulgaria (Cloudpipes). We will be investing further through the Georgia Accelerator Program.

Already, three batches with a total of 43 regional startups in diverse sectors have completed the Program, such as Payze (Georgia), Cargon (Georgia), Finmap (Ukraine), and TASS Vision (Uzbekistan), and collectively these 43 companies have gone on to raise millions of dollars in funding.

Pedro Santos Vieira has been instrumental in the Program, having served as a mentor to founders across several other programs we've conducted around the world, and an astute steward of nascent startup ecosystems.

As a newly-appointed Partner, Pedro will oversee this Program, which aims to accelerate upwards of 100 pre-seed to seed stage companies from countries in the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Baltics. The Program will continue to equip founders with fundamental skills in marketing, growth and operations to enable them to scale beyond the seed stage, and together with an investment of US$100,000, provide them with a platform to grow their companies.

"We believe that startups in the region have ingenuity and resilience, and the increase in funding activity is certainly a recognition of their potential. I've had the privilege to work with phenomenal founders, and am excited to continue accelerating and investing in enduring companies. For that, I'd like to extend my gratitude to our incredible partners at GITA and Bank of Georgia," says Pedro.

A native of Portugal and a triathlete (think Ironman), Pedro's entrepreneurial journey began after getting his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He founded and sold a venture-backed digital health company, before establishing a track record as an investor, including as a Managing Partner at a €50m+ early-stage tech fund focused on pre-seed and seed stage Portugal-focused companies. At 500 Global, he has

helped design and operate several of our programs around the world.

Pedro brings his investing and operating expertise at a pivotal time to regions on a growth trajectory. We believe that he will continue to be an excellent investor and mentor to the next generation of world-class startups.

For more information about the Georgia Accelerator Program, please visit our page here.

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