Payze: We Took Off After Winning 500Georgia
Just a couple of years ago, when Georgia was not yet visible on the world startup map, the world-class accelerator 500Georgia appeared in our country.
With the support of the Bank of Georgia and the Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency (GITA), two streams have already been held and we have received significant tangible results: more than 32 million GEL of investment, more than 627,000 registered users of the winning startups... in total, within the framework of 500Georgia, startups have earned more than 10 million GEL, the total number of their subscribers exceeds 4400. In total, startups acquired 89 partners and employed 354 people. 2 winners of each stream received a trip to California, Silicon Valley, and active meetings with investors.
Initially, our motivation was that we were working on an interesting idea, we had experience and capabilities, but we realized that this was not enough. We needed access to a resource that was not even available in Georgia. We knew the history of 500 Global and when we saw the pace of development of the first stream, especially the demo day, that was the main motivation. It was on this day that we firmly decided to apply to 500Georgia.
M: How was the Payze experience at 500Georgia?
The involvement of mentors was very important – Notte Kraus in design, Dan Wang in design, Tim Moore in implementing various technological tools, Briana Salinas (mentor of 500 Global) – our mentor who gave us specific directions. Later, Pedro Vieira, Operations Director of 500 Global's Startup Program in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa), prepared us for pitching, which was an unforgettable experience.
The vision remained the same, although we were faced with many challenges. They gave us more confidence. Achieving the goals was made for us in a shorter period of time - what we previously considered a 1-year plan, now we consider a task that can be achieved in 1-2 months.
M: What advice would you give to startups thinking about participating in 500Georgia?
I would advise startups to definitely take part in 500Georgia, do their best, remember that they will have to work on the growth of the startup, don't be attached to the idea, be open to changes and always count on us, other startups.