Presenting the Bulgarian case study of funding for innovation in Lisbon
BVCA presented the Bulgarian case study of private equity and venture capital funding supporting innovative businesses, at a European Union event in Lisbon.
Evgeny Angelov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA), was invited to present the Bulgarian case study of creating and developing the venture capital ecosystem supported by the European Investment Fund. This project changed the Bulgarian investment landscape moving away from grants to venture capital investment via the programme “JEREMIE” and created better opportunities for innovation and business for the country and region. The conference was held in Lisbon and it was attended by international journalists from different EU member states to result in articles in national media all around Europe.
Evgeny started off with a short introduction of Bulgaria: a country that has transitioned towards a service-based economy in the recent years and has growing exports of ICT services and leading certified IT professionals per capita worldwide. BVCA Chairman presented an overview of the transitioning of Bulgaria from grants to investments landscape, with a fully functional venture capital investment mechanism today, with fund managers investing in innovative and growing businesses in Bulgaria and abroad. He reminded that through both European and private funding for innovation, more than 10,000 SMEs were financed in Bulgaria for the past years, many of which start-ups, making Bulgaria a regional success story.
As the accent was on success stories from the digital sphere, another representative from Bulgaria invited to showcase his experience from a company perspective, was Branimir Parashkevov, Founder and CEO of Appzio – an innovative platform that helps companies and entrepreneurs bring their software ideas to life. Appzio was launched in 2014 with the help of EU funding, starting off with having one of the big banks in Bulgaria as a client. Today they have business all around Europe, North Amercia and Asia. Appzio’s team highlighted Bulgaria as an excellent place for business with many opportunities for funding as well as plenty of young and motivated people.
The Portuguese and Spanish perspectives were also presented by the Head of the European Investment Bank in Lisbon, Kim Kreilgaard and Rodrigo Rodríguez – CEO and founder of Odilo, a company that specialises in digital content management. Together with the Bulgarian representatives they discussed success stories in the digital and innovation spheres between Lisbon, Madrid and Sofia and the role of EU funding at this event part of the #InvestEU project.