Countries coming to Georgia for Touch

Touch is getting truly international, with the focus on the surrounding regions but open to the whole world. We are about technologically emerging markets - and we can find sister markets everywhere in the world, starting with Central Europe, or Central Asia, or South-Eastern Asia, and through Africa and Latin America. Hopefully, next years we will bring representatives from each part of the planet to Tbilisi to find the best business models applicable to our particular economic situation and infrastructure - and innovate on a global scale.

In 2019, Touch team set up to build 2 bridges during the event and further, aimed at creating more opportunities for all the ecosystem players involved in the community.

1/ Georgia itself and its surrounding countries like Armenia, Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Central Asia are rich with creative, tech and engineering talents. Some of them are already put on the global tech map (Armenia), others are pouring lots of funding not only into the programs for the local startups but also establishing extra benefits for global fintech companies entering the market (Kazakhstan), or building tech parks to incentivize young minds experimenting with new materials, models and approaches (Georgia, Turkey etc.).

All the region is thirsty for innovation and good entrepreneurial education, therefore either local government, or business, or global organizations like USAID, GIS help to open startup incubators or schools, inviting international accelerators and VC investors. Here one can roughly find something like developed infrastructure handy for building the prototype for any kind of business, testing it and scaling easily. Lack of global vision and staying out of the global trends often becomes one of the main reasons for failure for new ventures. Armenia, some Central Asian states, Turkey, Lebanon and Iran trying to fill the vision/knowledge gap by inviting experts from developed ecosystems, be it Silicon Valley funds and founders, franchises of international initiatives for startups (Techstars, Seedstars, Startup Grind, Product Tank etc.), - and doing mutual programs on the ground.

On the other side – people that are not doing their own startup but building amazing IT or design products for their agency customers or as an outsourcing company. When they start their customer development somewhere around EU market, they sometimes face trust issues as, for example, big German company looking to outsource part of its development, they can be surprised with the price offered by the agency from our area. They would rather pay more (and suffer) from a bad quality outcome but from the local or other European IT company. Our agencies should always have a representative in the market they want to enter, reference is all here.

In fact, the entrepreneurial force and talent source in the countries above are highly underestimated by the global players. At Touch, we want to showcase the potential of our creative and digital talents through the Design Laboratory (exhibition with trial services from the local companies like advertising, creative, design and web agencies).

2/ How big companies grow their capital? Well, there are tons of books and articles about this. Success stories, case studies, MOOCs and coaches - everyone promise to go from 1 to millions in a short period of time. 

We believe, in the digital (or so-called Industry 4.0) era, business owners should permanently be aware of the latest technology and science achievements, learn about new approaches in customer development, marketing, communication, business optimisation and other developments in business. Networking with peers is the main source of new knowledge and inspiration now. When internet is overloaded with information, only peer business owners can filter and get together z puzzle of everything needed for survival nowadays. 

That’s why Touch brings speakers from top companies, global startups, with unique approaches, innovative vision and brand-new experience of managing the business in the cyber epoch. And the Summit visitors can listen to the industry insights, learn about new practices and moreover, ask the questions during the Q/A sessions with the presenters. 

Special Guest ticket holders will also attend an invite-only Speakers dinner for a closer communication, and might also join the After-Summit trip with Touch organizers, partners and speakers  - and spend 3 days in the mountains having deeper networking with our community, enjoying meditation with the mountains view and hiking to new peaks.

Georgia is said to be quite a small market for digital (or any other products). But this country got to the 6th place in the global ratings of ease of doing business and is visa-free to over 100 nationalities. So why not doing a global business targeted on both Europe and Asia or Europe and the Middle East - from Georgia? 

P.S. Recently, the new local airlines have sprung up in the country and they can start linking the mentioned regions very soon making international collaboration here even more smoothly.