Sopo Chkoidze: Helping Georgia Build a Dynamic Tech Sector with USAID Support

Speeches Shim

Friday, June 25, 2021
Sopo Chkoidze

USAID supports Georgia to build a dynamic, internationally competitive technology sector that creates quality job opportunities for the country’s young professionals. Our work in tech includes efforts to empower women to participate, and thrive, in the tech industry. 

Sopo Chkoidze is the co-founder of one of Georgia’s most dynamic tech companies and a participant in USAID’s Georgian Women in Technology initiative. She recently shared with us her motivation for pursuing a career in tech, her vision for her company, and her advice for other women who want to break into the sector.

Sopo Chkoidze is the chief operating officer and co-founder of Pulsar AI, a Georgian startup that develops artificial intelligence solutions for the automotive sector. She is also a participant in USAID’s Georgian Women in Technology initiative, an activity that empowers women in Georgia’s emerging tech industry through training, mentorship, and opportunities to build relationships with major tech investors.

Sopo and the team at Pulsar recently made major waves in Georgia’s tech industry. In one of the largest startup acquisitions in Georgia’s history, the company was purchased by SpinCar, a U.S.-based digital automotive merchandising company. Sopo and the team at Pulsar AI will continue to work in Georgia while developing new AI solutions for use by SpinCar. 

USAID support for Sopo and Pulsar AI demonstrates how we are helping Georgia reach its potential as a knowledge and innovation hub.  

“Let’s Join Forces and See Where We Can Go”

“I was always interested in discovering new startups in the tech space. I was always browsing the web, trying to learn about the new technologies and applications that were on trend,” recalls Sopo.

“When I finished my freshman year of University, there was a competition, a startup weekend. That is where I met Zaal, our CTO [Zaal Gachechiladze is chief technology officer and co-founder of Pulsar AI]. He was also involved in the tech space, as one of the co-founders of Pinpoint, the Google Maps for Georgia.”

Sopo started working on various tech accelerator projects, meeting other professionals in Georgia’s emerging tech sector. In 2019, she joined Zaal and Dachi Choladze to found Pulsar: “We said, let’s join forces and see where we can go.” 

Pulsar AI attracted a $1.2 million investment from a Silicon Valley investor in 2019. It also became one of the first companies to receive support from Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency.

Since then, Pulsar’s business has boomed - culminating in the acquisition by SpinCar - and Sopo is setting an example for other women to pursue careers in the tech industry.

“You are the Best Advocate for Yourself”

Her company’s own commitment to gender equality motivated Sopo to participate in USAID’s Georgian Women in Technology initiative. “At Pulsar, cultural and gender diversity is our utmost priority and we encourage more and more women to hold managerial positions internally. I do agree that we have a long way to go but I believe Georgia is on the right track.”

For her, the most valuable thing has been the opportunity to build a network of forward-looking women making a difference in tech:

“Being able to meet other people who were actually striving to develop and build their product and build their brand was invaluable to me because I got to understand that it’s not just me. There are more people around this ecosystem and there are more people who are trying to build up their careers in this sector. Meeting them and sharing visions and ideas has been truly memorable.”

Sopo also shared some advice for other women who want to break into the tech sector:

“Be a part of a company that supports diversity and inclusion, don't be afraid to seize opportunities and ask questions along the way. It is not an easy road but you are the best advocate for yourself.” 

 

Last updated: June 25, 2021

Share This Page