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Sturgeon Capital Georgia Startup Investment Summit

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On Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 February, Sturgeon Capital organised its Georgia Startup Investment Summit. This unique event brought more than 100 investors, venture capital firms and startups to Tbilisi for two days of panels, discussions and meetings.

The attendees included development institutions, such as the IFC, ADB and FMO, US university endowments, including Washington University and Wisconsin University, and multinational institutions such as SBI Holdings. Representatives of more than 15 international venture capital firms attended, including 1982 Ventures, 212 VC, Conjunction Capital, Flyer One Ventures, Left Lane Capital, VentureSouq, and Vostok Emerging Finance.

On Monday, Levan Kulijanishvili, newly appointed Consul General in San Francisco, gave the opening remarks to welcome the guests. Sturgeon Capital presented its investment strategy, track record and future plans for attendees. "Sturgeon has been active in Georgia since 2006 and we see that it is becoming a technology and innovation hub for the region with global potential," said Sturgeon CEO Kiyan Zandiyeh. In the afternoon, investors met with Sturgeon's portfolio companies from across Central Asia, the Caucasus and South Asia in 1-to-1 meetings.

On Tuesday, His Excellency Ambassador Mark Clayton and Acting Governor of the National Bank of Georgia Natela Turnava gave the welcome speeches. Guests listened to panels about Georgia's position as a FinTech hub for the region and the role that venture capital can play in an investment portfolio. After lunch, the international VCs met with some of the leading local Georgian startups in 1-to-1 meetings. The closing drinks reception was held at the Georgian Museum of Fine Art.

"Promoting Georgia and the region as a destination for venture capital investors is an important part of why we organise these events on an annual basis, and we want to encourage the development of the local ecosystem as part of this," said Sturgeon partner Robin Butler.

The event was organised in partnership with Startup Connect and generously sponsored by the National Bank of Georgia, Georgia's Innovation and Technology Agency, Silk Bank and TBC Bank. The event was supported by the USAID Financial Innovation Program.