The FINANCIAL -- With GEL 200,000 Bank of Georgia has launched a startup business investment project - VEGA Startup Lab. Applicants with creative business ideas who are selected for the project will be provided with relevant education and appropriate amount of capital for their startup business. There is no limit to the total potential volume of investments for each project. Supporting local business is the main intention of the Bank in establishing the new project.
With the assistance of VEGA, setting up a startup business will consist of three phases. The authors of the business ideas are to undergo intensive three-month educational courses that are especially tailored to the needs of the start-up business managers. After the educational phase the participants will start work on improving their business plan and making it commercially viable. At the end of the preparatory period, participants will present their business plan before a commission. The selected project will then receive an initial amount of capital from VEGA.
The owners of the successful projects will continue to work at VEGA’s office. They will be supported in the further development of their projects, in receiving additional finance from local and foreign investors. All three phases will last for around 15 months.
“We decided to support startup businesses as in Georgia there is virtually no capital available to them. Any that is available, is limited. Consequently, many projects or ideas have simply not been funded. At the same time, many young entrepreneurs do not know how to produce an acceptable presentation of their ideas so as to attract investment. We are therefore eager to help startup businesses in Georgia. This will significantly contribute to the country’s economic growth and future development,” said Irakli Gilauri, CEO at Bank of Georgia.
VEGA will stay with each project until it reaches success. Afterwards, the company will leave the business to proceed on its own, and move on to a new one.
“VEGA is the name of the brightest star in the constellation Lyra. The name of our project speaks of the ambitions we have for it. It may seem a little loud, but we want to create business ‘stars’ which after completing their trainings, if not all of them at least one or two, might proceed to international level,” said Vasil Revishvili, Managing Partner of VEGA Startup Lab.
“We do not have any prioritized sector in regard to finance. Applicants are totally free in terms of their business ideas. There are no limitations on potential investment. If an idea is creative and worth it, then we are ready to issue even half a million,” said Revishvili.
In Revishvili’s words, it is a commonly-held belief that startup funding is difficult. “Bank of Georgia decided to break this assumption and show everyone that successful funding of startup business in Georgia is possible,” he said.
“The management team of Bank of Georgia will be actively involved in the educational as well as business preparation stages. They will share their experience and knowledge with startups. VEGA will provide an invitation for foreign investors so as to attract foreign investments,” said Gilauri.
VEGA is open to anyone who wants to start their own business and who believes in themselves. “Participants should be prepared to devote the majority of their time to the study and development of their business plan at VEGA,” said Revishvili.
The total number of participants in the VEGA project will be 50.