The Dare to Scale growth program, developed in the Bulgarian office of Endeavor‘s global network in support of high potential companies, will be extended in the years to come in order to encourage even more local business to grow, this was made clear at the closing event (Demo Day) of the pilot edition of the program on 12 December in Sofia Tech Park. At the event, the founders of the 10 companies, which participated in the program in 2019, presented their projects and ideas to established business leaders in Bulgaria.
The Dare to Scale program is implemented in partnership with Postbank and the support of ScaleFocus and the Bulgarian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA). The growth program is the first project in Bulgaria of this kind and is designed for companies which have already passed the startup phase and are beginning to scale up. The goal is to help entrepreneurs obtain knowledge and skills necessary for scaling up their business before taking this step.
10 Bulgarian companies participated in the pilot edition of Dare to Scale. They were selected among a total of 35 applicants, which met certain criteria the most important being for their business to have global growth potential, regardless of the sector or the location of company (more information about the companies in the program and the program conditions is available here). The participants in the program underwent eight specialized trainings and individual mentoring sessions, ran by established managers and entrepreneurs from Endeavor Bulgaria‘s network, including the founders of Telerik Vassil Terziev and Svetozar Georgiev, the co-founder of BGmenu Vladimir Davchev, Uber webpage manager Aleksandar Popov, etc. Over 20 business leaders worked with and held a total of 75 hours of mentoring sessions for the entrepreneurs of the 10 companies, which participated in the program. The organizers of Dare to Scale reported a high level of satisfaction (over 90%) among the participants in the pilot edition.
The closing Demo Day event was the culmination of the Date to Scale program. The participants had the opportunity to present their businesses for 5 minutes to a 5-member jury of established figures, including:
● Rossen Plevneliev, president of Bulgaria (2012-2017)
● Dimitar Shoumarov, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Postbank
● Viktor Bilyanski, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of ScaleFocus
● Boyko Takov, Executive Director of BSMEPA
● Sabina Gyosheva, co-founder of BY FAR and an Endeavor entrepreneur.
Business leaders, mentors and investors from Endeavor Bulgaria’s network attended the presentation of the 10 companies. The jury assessed each company on the basis of the growth potential of their business, growth strategy and presentation skills. The following companies received the largest number of points:
- Frudada, founder – Zlatelina Bezheva
- Cheese the Queen, founder – Vera Tinkova
- Moré Noir, founders – Sandra and Karla Klinchevs.
The prizes for the winners are extra hours of individual mentoring sessions with business leaders from Endeavor‘s network, media presentation on leading business media, as well as special preferences from Postbank. The first place winner received also an invitation to join Endeavor‘s meeting – an event that gathers the selected entrepreneurs, the mentors and the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian office of the entrepreneurial network.
Comments and evaluations of the participants in the closing Demo Day event of the pilot edition of the Dare to Scale growth program: