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Virtual Office or Coop in Tbilisi
January 26, 2013 | Tbilisi, Georgia

I'm considering creating a business, possibly a coop, which would be aimed at providing a virtual office for people who are intending to start a business in Tbilisi, or who need a home for their business but don't want to be tied to a single location. I'm writing about this for two reasons:

  • I am curious whether there is any interest (please contact me if you are interested)
  • I would prefer a coop arrangement, since it enables a lot more possibilities, and coops only work if there is a group of people interested in starting one

The ideal situation would probably be something like a coop, with the following constraints:

  • Focused on technology companies, so that the shared resources were optimized for technology companies
  • Shared resources - an accountant, graphics person, printer, office space, meeting room, reception
  • Stock in the coop or transferable memberships, so that as members graduated to their own office space, they could recover a portion of what they put into shared resources

I think this sort of arrangement would be a win/win/win for the organizations with an interest since:

  • Good for the clients/coop members: Shared resources and being around other tech companies would likely create a cost effective and productive environment
  • Good for georgia: Increasing corporate tax base, investments, external contacts, and external trade
  • Good for the owners: Either as a business or as a coop, if it was structured correctly and successful, the owners should benefit from providing this service
But there would be the issues that are present in Georgia and some that are specific to coops or virtual offices:
  • Supply chain issues: Sourcing things in Georgia is less convenient and generally more expensive than in the US. This can be managed to some extent by sourcing things from the US (see related post)
  • Capital issues: Capital is very expensive in Georgia, and scarce. Being part of a coop may not help with this, and it is issue facing most Georgian companies.
  • Infrastructure issues: Tbilisi has fairly good infrastructure (that is, electricity is stable and available and water is available and potable). There are issues with most buildings downtown like poor insulation and no window screens. This latter seems trivial, but the mosquitoes here are a real problem, so any office space developed as a coop would likely need some remodeling, including window screens.
  • General issues with inter-personal/inter-business friction that comes from having shared resources.

Please feel free to contact me by email if you are interested or have questions, my email is (it's an image to avoid the automatic harvesting of emails for spam, you'll need to type it in manually).

About Me

I'm a American programmer starting a software company in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. This blog contains information about the practicalities of starting a business and living in Georgia, along with occasional technical entries related to software and hardware.

If you have questions about starting a business or living in Georgia, feel free to email me:

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