This year’s edition will focus on building a sustainable business model and identifying the growth opportunities in difficult market conditions
The Bulgarian office of the global network Endeavor will implement the Dare to Scale growth programme for a second consecutive year, as due to the great interest this year, 12 companies have been selected. The programme, whose main partner is Postbank and which is supported by Software Group and the SME Promotion Executive Agency, is designed for entrepreneurs and businesses that have already passed the early stages of their development and are at the beginning of expanding their activities.
The selection of the entrepreneurs of the 12 companies has been done by mentors from Endeavor and experienced managers and experts of Postbank, Software Group and the SME Promotion Executive Agency. All who have applied had to meet pre-set criteria – to have a product or a service that has already been established on the market, to have made a turnover of at least BGN 200,000 for 2019, to have no more than 150 employees and most importantly, their business to have the potential for global growth. In the second stage of the selection, Endeavor and its partners interviewed the founders, and part of the questions involved their growth strategies, business model and leadership potential. Representatives of various institutions are among the finalists and most of them are from the IT and software sector (8), followed by the manufacturing sector (2), and the remaining two finalists are from the sectors of commerce and food industry. Eight companies are located in Sofia, and the rest are in Razgrad, Plovdiv, Varna, and this year’s edition of the programme accepted one company from the Republic of North Macedonia (Skopje).
The programme will take place in Sofia and will continue for four months – from September to December 2020. The companies’ founders will have the opportunity to participate in specialized trainings in four major areas: Organization Management, Marketing, Sales, Business Planning and Capital Raising. Every company will be assigned a mentor from Endeavor’s network who will hold regular meetings with the founders and will support them by providing expertise. The Endeavor team will organize side events at which the companies will have the opportunity to meet the main players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Similar to last year, the programme will end in December with a Demo Day at which the participants will present their businesses to a jury of established business leaders.
Momchil Vasilev, Executive Director of Endeavor Bulgaria:
“In a time difficult for all, Endeavor’s mission is to help the entrepreneurs to meet and overcome the challenges they face and it is more in line with the current times than ever! We believe that the knowledge and experience that we provide through the Dare to Scale programme will help them go on and speed up their successful development and thus give their important contribution to the development of the economy and society. We are very happy that we have entrepreneurs from several Bulgarian towns and neighboring Macedonia this year, which will help the entrepreneurial system grow not only nationally but also regionally.”
Petia Dimitrova, Chief Executive Officer of Postbank:
“Our expectations were confirmed – very interesting, impressive and promising companies applied for the programme this year again. It is important for us that we not only discovered good ideas but also inspired people who do not hesitate to move forward and are motivated to achieve more. We are ready to take the role of their mentor and trusted financial partner and support them with our experience and expertise. With our programme we invest not only in the success of the selected companies but also in the sustainable development of the entire ecosystem in which we are all connected. We believe that this year’s message of Dare to Scale is even more powerful because we saw how important it is to have a working business environment in times of challenges.”
Boyko Takov, Executive Director of the SME Promotion Agency:
“Selecting the companies that will participate in this year’s edition of the programme was not easy, particularly given the current economic situation. I am happy that the approved companies from the ICT, Food and manufacturing sectors will receive our support, namely because it is so important to give our best now in order to support the Bulgarian business, which needs to adapt to the new reality of the international markets. I am confident that the participants’ change will be tangible given the huge expert potential available with Dare to Scale. I wish success to all of you.”
The companies selected to participate in Dare to Scale 2020 with a brief presentation:
Ardes.bg – one of the largest vendors in Bulgaria that offer computer and office equipment with the respective maintenance service.
APIHawk – software company that develops fast, efficient and ease-to-access software solutions with a focus on cloud charging of fees and automation of services.
Abilitics – software company redirecting its business model to the services segment with its new product – chatbot named Skilly.
Checkout X – software company that offers convenient, contactless payment process ready to be used on mobile devices.
Develiot – the company, which started as an independent company in 2019, is focused on the management of water systems and air quality.
Inox – a company with over 20-year experience in metalworking offers engineering services in designing, production, installation and maintenance of non-standard machines.
Infinite Solutions – IT company from the Republic of North Macedonia, partner of Microsoft, focused on IT systems integration, software design and development, and hardware installation and maintenance.
Iuvo – high-tech market platform that allows users to invest funds in loans already issued by originators (non-banking financial institutions).
Out2Bound – a company established in 2016 that assists technological companies to find their clients abroad to realize their sales and grow.
RPA Consulting – a company specialized in the development of optimization solutions and robotic automation of business processes (RPA).
SEOmax – digital agency that specializes in building comprehensive digital strategies and advertising project management for the country and abroad.
Trastena – a company that produces raspberry wine and cultivates 95 decares with raspberries.
Endeavor is an international non-governmental organization that has offices in over 40 markets, which helps entrepreneurs that have big ideas and a business to grow quickly internationally. Endeavor’s focus is on companies which are already successful in what they do but need additional expertise, contacts and resources to take the next step in their development. Once selected in Endeavor’s network, they have access to markets, capital and talent in a network of over 4,000 mentors and investors on a global level. Endeavor’s entrepreneurs have created over three million jobs and have generated revenue of over USD 20 billion in 2019 alone.
Endeavor Bulgaria launched its activities in July 2015 in order to expand the organization’s presence in Europe. The organization is supported by Board of Directors consisting of 13 proven entrepreneurs and business leaders who believe in Edeavor’s mission to strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing the Bulgarian entrepreneurs with access to international markets, know-how and capital through the organization’s global network. Thus far, 26 entrepreneurs from 16 companies, who have created over 500 jobs, and have generated revenue of over BGN 75 million for the past year. www.endeavor.bg