The "Best Youth Startup in Bulgaria 2024" Kicked Off with an Opening Event at Sofia Tech Park


In the presence of Minister Milena Stoicheva was given the official launch of the competition "Best Youth Startup in Bulgaria 2024" of the Fund of Funds and Sofia University. Kliment Ohridski". Students from Sofia and the country, representatives of the partner organizations and the initiators of the competition gathered at the John Atanasov Innovation Forum in Sofia Tech Park to mark the official start of dynamic two-month trainings, mentoring sessions, trainings and participation in various events to help young talents in the country realize their entrepreneurial dream. 

"Congratulations to all participants in the competition. It takes personal courage, commitment and initiative. We all need a new approach - of pooling resources around specific values and goals. We also need a certain mindset - of entrepreneurs, because it is the entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem that will secure our future," Minister Milena Stoicheva said in her address. 

On behalf of the Fund of Funds, our Executive Director Pavel Lisev welcomed the students, "The Fund's mission is closely support the entrepreneurial ecosystem and help startups think about global expansion. The large number of participants and partners in this year's competition is a testament that the entrepreneurial environment in our country really exists. We have prepared an intensive program. Make the most of it. It is an opportunity to find out what awaits you in the journey to have your own business."

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Atanas Georgiev, Dean of the Faculty of Economics at Sofia University, also congratulated the participants. The fact that we have over 40 organizations supporting our competition this year shows that the initiative is achieving sustainability and has the potential to make new things happen together year after year. I hope you gain a lot of new knowledge and skills, test the possibilities in front of you and pass on the main lesson of our faculty - there is no moment when you have learned everything, you should always be in search of the best version of yourself."

The third edition of the competition includes 157 ideas developed by more than 250 young people who applied as teams or as individuals. There were three times as many entries compared to last year's competition - proof of the ambitious scale of the initiative. The "Best Youth Start-up of Bulgaria 2024" includes students from Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Blagoevgrad, Vidin, Lovech and other smaller cities, as well as international students and upper-year students from 29 high schools. The young people are from 15 Bulgarian and 7 foreign universities. Traditionally, some of the competing projects fall into the IT sector, but there are also those in areas such as health, agriculture, ecology, sports, education, etc. In the field of social entrepreneurship, 15 student ideas will be developed. 

There is also a record number of partner organisations in the competition, which include private equity funds, financial institutions, professional associations, foundations, accelerators, science clusters, global networks, etc. Their experts are mentors in the competition's accelerator programme, which is already underway. Almost the entire local ecosystem is committed to the cause of supporting future innovators in their quest to become part of the entrepreneurial environment in Bulgaria. There will be intensive training with 40 webinars, in-person meetings with investors and mentors, personal development workshops, opportunities to participate in external partner events, pitching sessions, and much more. The competition will conclude on May 31 with the presentation of the top 10 startups to a panel of judges, investors and competition partners.