The 2022 National Best Youth Start-Up Competition is Over
The closing event of the National Competition to distinguish the Best Youth Startup for 2022 was held in the Grand Auditorium of Sofia University Sv. Kliment Ohridski on 07 June 2022. The initiative was organized by the Fund of Funds and the Sofia University School of Economics, under the auspices of the Ministry of Innovation and Growth and in partnership with the UBB, Vitosha Venture Partners, Innovation Capital, Morningside Hill, New Vision 3, Silverline Partners, Endeavour Bulgaria, the BCCI Investment Council, BVCA and Sofia Tech Park. The main aim of the competition was to promote youth entrepreneurship and innovative ideas among young people.
The closing event of the competition was opened by Minister Daniel Lorer, who congratulated the participants. His message was that through entrepreneurship, the economy, and more importantly, the future of Bulgaria, can change if we just believe it is possible and has confidence in our own capability to make change happen.
Martin Gikov, Executive Director of the Fund of Funds, said that the aim of that type of initiatives is to strive to find the intersection between supply and demand for entrepreneurial talent, the most sought-after resource. Gikov thanked all partners for their active participation, inspiration to change the investment environment together, and wished all future entrepreneurs success.
The participants, jury and guests were addressed by Assoc. Atanas Georgiev, Dean of the School of Economics, and Boyko Blagoev, Head of the Information and Communication Department of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria.
The event proceeded with presentations of the startups which were evaluated by a jury chaired by Assoc. Prof. Nikolay Netov, Sofia University, Lazar Petrov, Fund of Funds, Dr. Kiril Velichkov, UBB, Max Gurvits, Vitosha Venture Partners, Angel Angelov, Innovation Capital, Pavel Velkov, Morningside Hill, Yordan Zarev, New Vision 3, Diana Aladzhova, Silverline Partners, Momchil Vassilev, Endeavor Bulgaria, Marian Marinov, Sofia Tech Park, Vladimir Tomov, BCCI, Kalin Marinov, OPIC.
All the finalists presented ideas with good development potential. In strong competition, the team which ranked in the top three projects won the highest number of awards:
1) Vodoraslo: indoor air purification using algae (Denis Ivanov);
2) Unboxd: an application for retailing second-hand clothing (Nicole Peeva and Veleslav Slaev);
3) Young Inventor: an educational platform supporting pupils to become future innovators (Kostadin Nedev and Momchil Kurtev).
Distinctions and special awards went to Bean Bags for the Planet (BBP): manufacture of beanbags from purified cigarette filters (Kristiyana Opreva and Ivan Karadzhov) and Labsi: an application for storing lab tests (Karolina Varbanova and Ivan Ivanov).
All finalists received prizes from the competition partners. The prize pool included equity investment opportunities, mentoring sessions, internships, jobs, tax advice consultations, academy participation slots, diplomas, books, cash and incentive awards.
Congratulations to all the finalists and best of luck in implementing their projects!