The pitching contest, where some of the quite successful and interesting startups of the local ecosystem – Dronamics, Printivo and OfficeRnD, started their journey, is back. For the 8th year in a row, betapitch Sofia will gather early-stage startups who will try to convince the audience and the jury they deserve to go to the global finals in Berlin, and win a trip to Silicon Valley.
Applications for this year’s edition of the community pitching event are now open and the deadline is November 12. A group of ecosystem ambassadors will then select ten ventures to present live on November 22. Each team will have exactly four minutes to pitch their idea, and then one more to answer jury’s tricky questions. One will be selected and will go to the finals in Berlin, where betahaus runs the contest, at the beginning of December to compete against national winners from seven other countries.
What’s in for startups
Besides the fun that participants have during the event, of course, there are also prizes and networking opportunities. Isn’t everyone after them?
The big winners in Sofia receive a spot to pitch at the finals in Berlin in front of an international audience and investors. The one team that manages to convince the local jury to send them to Berlin will be given the opportunity to pitch their company to the Silicon Valley.
Betahaus’s betapitch gives promising startups a temporary home base in Berlin to develop their ideas and build their products in a vivid and supportive coworking environment. Startups get to win the workspace in their local hub, as well as compete for the global prizes: 6 months of free betahaus membership, access to their extensive coworking community, €5k, a trip to Silicon Valley or another startup metropole.
Last years’ pitchers and winner
Out of the 60 applicants last year, ten made it to the final pitching. Sustainability, but also blockchain and tokenization were the hot topics last year. Four of the contestants presented blockchain-based solutions and the other six had a business model aiming to positively impact different environmental, social or business issues. There were two female founders among the pitchers and they both perceived an impactful business. A carefully selected jury grilled the early-stage founders with to the point questions about their business models and go to market strategies. Jag Singh, Specialized Managing Director of Techstars Berlin, Rumyana Trencheva, Head of Global Partner Organization at SAP for CEE, Niko Vijayaratnam, Head of Product for FT Core, and Rossi Mitova, the cofounder and CEO at farmhopping, had the final say.
The company that won the contest and went to present at the global final in Berlin was called CozZo. The startup’s core product is a mobile fridge and pantry manager, coupled with a grocery shopping list. CozZo’s mission is to prevent food spoilage by tracking the expiry dates of products.
The founded by Ivo Dimitrov company targets primarily the U.K. market and already has 10K downloads, one thousand of which turned into active users. In 2018 the startup closed its first angel investment round and received €105K funding for further development of its products.