Describe Georgia’s startup scene in 3 adjectives
Startup scene is developing very fast, many startups are popping up and we’re waiting to have a couple of successful cases on a global scale.
Who are you and what is your current role in your organization?
I am Nodo Ivanidze, founder of WiFisher and also other startups so I’m kind of a serial entrepreneur.
What is the mission of your organization?
Our mission is to narrow the bridge between offline and online world. So we’re helping offline businesses to know who their customers are, and help them grow their customer base.
What were you doing before taking part of your organization?
Before WiFisher I was doing Potters Digital Agency and Eventer.ge. I close up Potters and sold Eventer.ge and started WiFisher 4 years ago. So basically, I’ve been in the startup ecosystem for 18 years old and before that I was studying in high school.
What other projects are you on at the moment?
Right now I’m doing hundred percent WiFisher, it takes lots of my time. As a hobby I’m selling tea and coffee at electronic music festivals, just for fun. And also helping some startups and mentoring them.
What are your plans for the next year?
My plans for next year is to grow sales & profit in WiFisher and in 2020 distribute those profits to our investors.
About Georgia 🇬🇪
What is happening with the startups in Georgia right now?
Startup ecosystem in Georgia is developing very fast. We have lots of startups opening up with many, many ideas, basically in the tech sector, and they got finances from the Georgian Innovation Agency (GITA) for 4000 cases.
Right now we need startups to get traction and to have a little bit more successful cases on the global level…
…so that we will be on the map of startup ecosystems and a lot of investors around the globe will be interested in investing in Georgia. I think in a couple of years we’re gonna have the success cases from Georgian startups and the ecosystem will develop faster and many, many young people will be into startups.
What are the advantages of founding a startup in Georgia?
There are a couple of advantages of starting a startup in Georgia. First, is very easy to register a company you need just 1 day.
Second, the cost of having an office and hiring employees here is second cost off heavy office and hire employees here is very low in comparison to European or American countries. And also, if you have startups, it’s very easy to extend your business internationally…
You don’t need to have a presence in Silicon Valley to sell your products in Europe, USA, or any part of the world.
So basically: nice nature, friendly people, cheap stuff and also it became easier and easier to get funds outside of Georgia for your startup.
What are the challenges that startups in Georgia are facing right now?
Right now, the main challenges startups face is that they lack traction. They have the ideas, some of them have the funding, but they find it hard to go to the market right away and sell the products. I’m always telling the startups is that when you have the product or service right away go to the market, meet your clients, get feedback, and from this feedback you will get the traction.
Let’s make some unicorns🦄
What would you say to the new generations of entrepreneurs?
First of all, when you have the idea get a partner. Having a partner is always more effective than doing solo. Don’t fear anything, never give up, find the funding and right away try to validate your idea with your fellow friends, colleagues or any relatives.
Don’t fall in the trap of loving your idea so much that you won’t see the reality, that’s what most people I’m talking to have for a problem. They love the idea so much that when someone has a recommendation they don’t listen or they don’t take it.
Go ahead if you have the idea and I’m sure you will be successful.
What’s your message for the VC’s and private investors about Georgia?
Georgia became a very safe country and stable country for investing. It’s like hidden opportunities are lying down in Georgia. You can actually find really good cases of startups who have potential to grow internationally and to become unicorns. I would recommend VC’s and international investors to found out more about Georgia, even live in Georgia, meet Georgian startups because they might have some hidden good deals they cannot find anymore in oversaturated markets like Silicon Valley or the European Union.
How can anyone contribute with the development of the startup ecosystem?
I think we, as the first generation of startuppers, who started startups in Georgia 8 years ago, should give very intense mentorship (even it can be in an independent format) to early-stage startups to give them all our knowledge, all our connections with investors, with clients, so I think we should help more to young generations of startuppers what we learned from all these years of doing startups.
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
We’re usual guys in Georgia who are doing startups, right? We’re not some Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk which is unreachable.
If you have the idea, it doesn’t need to be a trillion-billion-dollar idea. Do your own business, your own company, mind your own business.
Look at us, we’re just some usual guys. You’ll get the videos here about Startup Stories, so basically we have the same backgrounds, we grew up in the same country and we’re doing our own businesses.
Try to do your ideas and it will generate you financial security, freedom and also happiness.