Tbilisi-Portland Entrepreneurial Exchange Program 2019


The Global Youth Entrepreneurs Tbilisi-Portland Entrepreneurial Exchange Program will bring Startup Weekend Youth Tbilisi 2018 participants and School XXI Century faculty to Portland, Oregon, USA, to participate in an engaging and exciting entrepreneurial event, interact with students from local schools, and experience cultural and English-language immersion.

Participants will develop businesses, nonprofit organizations, products, and services that make a positive impact on the world while learning entrepreneurial skills from renowned American innovators, government officials, and content experts in the forward-thinking and innovation focused city of Portland, Oregon. Students will form teams and make their concepts come alive through engaging in intense mentor-supported collaboration, innovation, prototyping, connecting, alliance-building, learning and taking action.

Portland, U.S.A.

Global Youth Entrepreneurs HQ


When: May 11–20, 2019

Who: Georgian entrepreneurial high school students and educators


Georgian Association in the United States of America

The Georgian Association in the U.S.A. is generously sponsoring part of the program.

Note: we continue to seek contributions toward financial assistance for students in need of support for travel expenses.


United States Embassy Tbilisi

is receiving the exchange students for dialogue.

Georgian Embassy to the United States of America

is representing the Georgian government in Portland for the exchange.



Over the course of the Exchange, participants will:

  • Participate in creative ideation sessions with peers and mentors

  • Learn to use visual strategy tools (like the Business Model Canvas above)

  • Engage design-thinking and lean-startup methodologies

  • Ask questions, build and iterate upon prototypes, and get professional feedback from successful American entrepreneurs

  • Take part in a due diligence session with seasoned investors

  • Build a sustainable, inclusive organization

  • Talk to community members about their business ideas (customer validation)

  • Forge alliances

  • Find sponsors

  • Build relationships with peers and mentors that will impact their lives well beyond the event.


Day 1: Arrive and settle into homes of local high school host families.

Day 2: Participate in classes and meet American students at Catlin Gabel School in Portland. Participants will have opportunities to share their perspectives with the entire Catlin Gabel student body and be immersed in a West-Coast American culture focused on innovation and forward thinking.

Day 3: Official Tbilisi-Portland Entrepreneurial Exchange programming begins. Students meet with entrepreneurs, government officials, investors, venture capitalists, and local field experts to gather inspiration, then begin ideation process and form teams together with Catlin Gabel students.

Day 4: Portland-area professionals mentor participants and teams create their business proposals, go out onto the streets of Portland for language immersion and customer validation with local residents. Group dinner at the end of the evening will provide an opportunity for connection, conversation, and friendly competition between teams.

Day 5: Visit headquarters of Portland-based companies (i.e. Nike World Headquarters, Columbia Sportswear, Adidas, Autodesk, eBay, and Intel), and local NGO Multnomah Youth Commission.

Day 6: Finalize pitches in preparation for presentations, judging, and professional feedback, then spend the afternoon and evening with host families on personalized adventures.

Day 7: Tour Portland: museums, parks, rich cultural and food opportunities, networking visits to local government agencies (City Hall, Metropolitan Government Offices), rendezvous with local high school students from diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.

Day 8: Visit the uniquely beautiful Oregon Coast and continue development of programs, consider real-world applications in Georgia.

Day 9: Visit Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, and quaint town of Hood River

Day 10: Engage in a collaborative capstone activity culminating our time in Portland together, and ensuring that all background material and resources are at the fingertips of participants for easy access to inspiration and support when back in Georgia. All participants travel home or connect to next destination (New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Vancouver B.C., etc.) if individual plans for them to stay have been made.

What is Catlin Gabel School?

Catlin Gabel is widely regarded as the top school in the U.S. State of Oregon, and is located in Portland, the state’s largest city with a metropolitan area population of 2.5 million. Catlin Gabel is a “progressive independent day school where teachers build transforming relationships with each student, honoring each child's innate capacities, encouraging exploration, welcoming questions, and always presenting new intellectual and creative challenges to our young scientists, storytellers, artists, and athletes. Catlin Gabel supports inspired learning leading to responsible action through dedicated teaching, caring relationships, a challenging curriculum, and community service. We value each person's effort, imagination, and positive contributions to the community. We celebrate being inclusive and the partnership between family and school.”