One Month Left to Apply for the "Best Youth Startup 2024" Competition

More than 50 projects have been submitted so far, both by individual participants and teams


There is one month left until the deadline for students and young people from all over the country aged up to 29 with innovative business projects to submit a description of their idea for a successful business and gain entry to the "Best Youth Startup 2024" competition of the Fund of Funds and St. Mary's University. Kliment Ohridski. There have been over 50 applications so far, with the number already surpassing that of last year's competition weeks before the final application deadline. 

Individuals and teams from over 10 cities in Bulgaria have described their ideas in the registration form. Again, the projects are not only of young people from Bulgarian universities but also of those who studied in the USA, the Netherlands, and the UK. Most of the applications sent so far are for products or services at the idea level, but also projects that have already started, with a working website, processes in place, and first customers have applied. The innovation ideas are in a variety of sectors: biotechnology, agriculture, renewable energy, and green solutions, marketing, journalism, arts, sport and leisure, health care and medical technology, chemistry, finance, human resources, and more. As a main motivation for participation, applicants share the desire to get feedback on the prospects of their idea and to validate it. For young people applying with projects already in place, the most attractive is the opportunity to network, gain experience from experts, and the possibility of attracting funding. For some of those wishing to get involved, this is not their first participation in a competition and some have already managed to attract the attention of investors. 

The application window for "Best Youth Startup 2024" is open until 15 March. Participants will go through a 10-week mentoring program. The competition will end on 31 May with a presentation of the ten best concepts to the competition partners in the Sofia University Auditorium. 

This year, a record number of over 40 organizations in the entrepreneurial ecosystem are supporting the format. Their experts will be mentors in the dozens of webinars, workshops, mentoring sessions, trainings, gaming meetups and competitions organized according to the individual needs of the participants. They will also be involved in activities such as providing participants with access to events, one-on-one consultations, nominations with prizes of their choice, etc.

The organisers of the competition - the Fund of Funds and the Faculty of Economics of the University of St. Kliment Ohridski - have the ambition to make the competition even bigger than the previous two editions. The competition is under the patronage of the Minister of Innovation and Growth. Entries can be submitted via the Best Youth Startup 2024 website and updates on the stages of the competition are available on the Fund of Funds Facebook event page here

Partners in this year's edition are: Innovation Capital, Vitosha Venture Partners, Morningside Hill Capital Management, New Vision 3, Silverline Capital, Sofia Angels Ventures, Bulgarian Angels Club, SeedBlink, Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BeamUp), SIS Credit, United Bulgarian Bank, South East European Innovators Program (SEEIP), Sofia Tech Park, the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) - Investment Council, BCCI Innovation Council, Founder Institute Eastern Europe, Endeavour Bulgaria, Junior Achievement Bulgaria, Beyond pre-Accelerator, The Edge, Bulgarian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA), Association of Young Scientists, Association of Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE), Professional Association of Robotics and Automation (PARAI), Bulgarian E-commerce Association (BEA), Bulgarian Fintech Association, Cleantech Bulgaria Foundation, Women in Entrepreneurship in Bulgaria Foundation, BCause Foundation, Microelectronics and Industrial Electronic Systems Cluster, ICT Cluster, AI Clister Bulgaria, Health and Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria, Cluster Mechatronics and Automation, Teenovator, Center of Training Companies (MES), Enterprise Europe Network Bulgaria, Tuk-Tam.