Three students from Free University of Georgia initiated Startup Challenge to promote and encourage innovative startups in Georgia. CBW talked with one of the authors of the challenge Jason Oniani.
Tell us about Freeuni Startup Challenge, how did you come up with the idea of creating this event and how many people are involved in it?
First of all, thank you for interview. I’m really glad to that you are interested in this project.
At Free University we, business administration students, study startup development and management principles. During our lectures we had lots of pitching simulations where we came up with really good startup ideas.
So in 2017, in the middle of autumn semester my friends and I decided to organize a final event, where all the interested business school students could participate and make a pitch in front of the real investors.
With the help of our lecturer we have persuaded eight companies to take part in our challenge.
After that, we decided to make this project available for everyone and chose ten finalists and the event has been done successfully.
This year we are going to make it better and involve more interested parties. Freeuni Startup Challenge is managed by three students, we share and arrange all the tasks.
What is the aim of the event and why Georgian startups have to participate?
Freeuni Startup Challenge is for young entrepreneurs who are keen on startup, are making their first steps in innovations and have an ambition to grow fast. We try to support everyone who really has a strong desire to study and work to be become successful. We also try hard to increase awareness about entrepreneurship and make doing business popular.
At Freeuni Startup Challenge Georgian startups are able to get a valuable knowledge from mentors, build necessary connections and get an opportunity to receive funding from investor companies.
Who are your partners?
This year our partners are Georgian and foreign companies who will work with the startups:
- FSC 2018 partners are:
- Tera Bank
- Colliers International Georgia
- Next Brand
- The project is supported by Kakha Bendukidze university campus and Georgian Innovations and Technology Agency.
Do they plan to fund winner startup?
Most of the companies will provide participants with various prizes, they also have a desire to keep long term working relations.
What kind of startups will have chance to take part in this challenge?
FSC is open for every kind of startups, but we are focused on the teams who have developed a prototype or are on the stage of forming ideas.
We are looking forward for young entrepreneurs and are ready to help them to make a step forward.