For the first time, the European mini-acceleration program Startup Live is coming to Sofia to explore and support the local startup ecosystem. For two days young companies, but also people interested in joining new ventures, will be able to get in touch and work on particular projects and be mentored by local serial entrepreneurs. Startup Live will take place on 3rd-4th of November in Puzl CowOrKing, the local organizer of the event.
The acceleration program has already been successful in 40 cities including Vienna, Athens, Berlin, Prague, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Tel Aviv and Belgrade. “The history of Startup Live ranks back to 2009 and it was not only the origin of the Austrian startup ecosystem but of many more in Europe”, Paulina Kania, Global Program Manager, told Trending Topics. Some of the best-known Austrian success stories such as Runtastic, mySugr and Shpock, could be traced back to the mini-accelerator.
Not only founders
The program starts very early on Saturday with quick rounds of informal introduction after which entrepreneurs willing to present their ideas will pitch them in front of the crowd. This is also an interesting opportunity for the audience and the ones that might be interested in joining a team. People with business background, design expertise, or IT and programming skills are always needed in a complementary team-setting, organizers explain. “We also focus on bringing together local experts in various fields like finance, legal and marketing to support in those areas”, Kania said.
The program will continue with mentoring the newly-formed teams on different matters who will develop their concepts in order to pitch them to the jury on Sunday.The ones that manage to convince the jury will also get prizes including tickets for Viennese Pioneers Festival, one month free of charge spot in Puzl CowOrKing, scholarship at Founder Institute Sofia and Workshop on Crowdinvesting Businessplan & Financing by CONDA.
Exploring Eastern Europe and Sofia
Startup Live has already been organized in Eastern Europe and this is the first time in Sofia. We decided to ask the organizers what are their reasons for coming to Sofia . Here is what Paulina Kania told us:
Trending Topics: Why is Startup Live coming to Bulgaria? What are your expectations?
Paulina Kania: Bulgaria has a thriving ecosystem, which we believe can be strengthened with an international program like Startup Live. Our main aim is to support the Bulgarian ecosystem and connect it with other startup hubs in Europe. Over the last 10 years, we gathered a lot of know-how and a vast network which we want to share with founders in local ecosystems.
How many events in Eastern Europe have you organized and what is the reason for your interest in the region?
Startup Live has been active in shaping the local scene in Eastern European countries.. Eastern Europe has not only trumped the forecast for general economic growth,but it’s also on the rise for international startup stakeholders and foreign investors. As Startup Live is the first stepping-stone for promising entrepreneurs and startups, positioning ourselves in a thriving region like Eastern Europe is key.
After Sofia, Startup Live will also be held in other SEE cities – Skopje, Ljubljana and Belgrade, to further explore the regional potential. Updates will be published online.