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Victoria Hristova: We Will Launch at least Eight Funds to Support the Business

26.03.2024

For the first time, with the participation of our CEO Victoria Hristova, we had the opportunity to participate in the largest financial forum in Sofia, organized by Kapital Events. 

In a panel at the Financial Summit, Victoria shared her vision on investment opportunities to support the business and entrepreneurial environment in Bulgaria and where Bulgaria's ecosystem is relative to countries in the region. Along with her, representatives from other organizations participated in the conversation: the Ministry of Innovation and Growth, the European Investment Fund, Bianor Services, Integral Venture Partners and Black Peak Capital.

"Over 360 companies have been supported in the past programming period and we have an even more ambitious plan for the new one - to invest the entire €350 million allocated by the Ministry of Innovation and Growth in the next two years. We will launch at least eight funds to support businesses," said Victoria Hristova, stressing that over 50% of the funds are targeted at companies in the country from cities outside the South West region. This is the role of the Fund of Funds as an institutional investor - to be where the market is not so developed and with its financial instruments to build an ecosystem across the country as it has already happened in Sofia.

"My advice to entrepreneurs looking for investment is not to take a partial approach, but to select the right financial structure at the start of their venture, to have a clear vision to the final realization of the product and a plan of how exactly they will attract funding," added Victoria Hristova.

Some of the key takeaways from the panel:

- The biggest challenge in the region is scale because we have a large number of countries with different regulatory frameworks and cultures. When a product can't scale and needs to go beyond the confines of the market, it requires expertise, a strong network of contacts and capital. It is of strategic importance that all these components are in place.
- The Bulgarian ecosystem is viable and well-developed, but faces the same challenges as those in Romania, Turkey, and other countries. Europe is struggling to create global champions, so local ecosystems need to try to impose global businesses through venture capital.
- Instruments such as the 'Technology Transfer Fund' will be key to creating a bridge for the commercialization of promising developments from academia.