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BVCA on Tour Vienna: gathers the Bulgarian diaspora around the world

The Bulgarian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) started its new initiative called BVCA on Tour with first stop – Vienna. The event was held on 31 May in the Diplomatic Academy and had the pleasure to welcome President Rosen Plevneliev as an honorary guest.

The pilot meeting of a sequence of events has a first stop, the capital of Austria, where the Bulgarian entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem met to celebrate the success stories of their homeland.

The aim of BVCA on Tour is to inform about the possibilities the Bulgarian ecosystem is offering and to support financing companies with Bulgarian presence in all stages of their development.

BVCA on Tour – Vienna gathered approximately 100 guests and participants from Austria and Bulgaria. Among them were the Bulgarian Embassy in Austria and the Trade Attache, members of BVCA, investors from Bulgaria and Austria, successful startups, entrepreneurs and friends of the initiative.

The theme of the event was named “Opportunities for entrepreneurship in Bulgaria”. BVCA on Tour was held a day before the popular festival – Pioneers, which gathers the most promising tech start-ups and investors from all around the world.

President Plevneliev opened the event with an inspiring keynote speech about the development of Bulgaria in the last five years – a blossoming investment destination and an entrepreneurship centre on the Balkans. Evgeny Angelov, Chairman of BVCA, continued the discussion with details about the investment ecosystem in the country. He spoke about the different levels of risk finance, the success stories so far, partnerships between investors and other actors in the ecosystem as well as the challenges in the Bulgarian startup scene. 

The programme continued with a panel discussion themed: “Starting a business: stories from Bulgaria and Austria”. The participants in the discussion were popular startups with Bulgarian presence. The panelists shared their stories about starting a business in Bulgaria or abroad, through their different perspectives.

Tsani Sabev from MClimate spoke about his experience in both Bulgaria and Austria, and the positives of mentoring. He also stressed on the importance of negative feedback while in early stages of an idea. Tatyana Mitkova from ClaimCompass – a company that helps compensating airline passengers – shared her VC funding experience. Tim Koroteev from TransMetrics spoke about expanding a team with more international players. Svilen Rangelov from Dronamics described how to start a derivative business in Bulgaria and what are the steps his company went through in building that business. Guergana Broelz from FeelSafe shared her experience as a foreigner starting a business in Austria and drew a parallel with the expat societies. The product of CupFee made a strong impression – they were represented by Simeon Gavrilov who told the story of the cups made out of waffles and the challenges the company faced when producing them.

The second panel was held with BVCA members and other investment funds who shared what kind of projects they are looking for to invest. Among the participants were LAUNCHub Ventures, NEVEQ Capital Partners, Endeavor Bulgaria, as well as 3TS Capital and Sasha Bezuhanova, founder of  Move.bg, in her role of an angel-investor. The participants stressed on the strong interactions between investors and entrepreneurs, the role of mentors and their influence on the process of starting a company.

Svetoslav Stefanov from 3TS Capital expresses his content with the launch of this initiative and stressed on the positives from similar events. Lyuben Belov from LAUNCHub Ventures shared his views and experience from being an Ambassador of the Bulgarian ecosystem around the world.

BVCA on Tour aims to bring together the bright Bulgarian entrepreneurs, startup and investment communities based in capitals around the world. The next stop for BVCA on Tour is London.

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