Home / The University / Faculties / Faculty of Economics and Business Administration / News / Technological projects in the fields of finance, medicine and recycling were presented at the final of the national competition "Best Youth Startup"




The final of the national competition, "Best Youth Startup for 2023" was held on June 7 in the Auditorium Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". This is the second edition of the competition, organized by the Fund of Funds and Sofia University, with the participation of over 20 partners from the investment and startup ecosystem.

The final event was opened by Biser Petkov - Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of the Fund of Funds, Assoc. Prof. Atanas Georgiev - Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration (FEBA) of Sofia University, and Denis Ivanov - founder of Vodoraslo and winner of the competition’s first edition for the best youth startup in 2022.


“The competition, which for the second year in a row we are holding together with FEBA, very quickly grew into a national one because good ideas are born in every corner of our country. We understand how important it is to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit from an early age, so we are looking for different ways to develop it in young people. It is the basis of the creation and growth of small and medium-sized companies, and they build the backbone of the economy”, shared Biser Petkov.

Svetoslava Georgieva, executive director of the Fund of Funds in 2017-2020, Chairman of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund and member of the Investment Committee of InvestEU, spoke with the young entrepreneurs. She presented the possibilities for financing from the EIC and the InvestEU program and advised the students to be an active part of the entrepreneurial environment in Bulgaria, since in the last ten years our country has positioned itself as a startup hub in the region.

About 50 individual participants and teams with projects at different stages - from the idea phase to an active product/service with a solid customer base - participated in the competition this year. They all went through a 6-week training program. 10 teams qualified for the final of the competition from fields such as fintech, agritech, closed-loop food production from raw material to distribution, medical technology, applications of artificial intelligence in architecture, health care, fatherhood, forms of developing subcultures and communities and others.

The competition winners were announced by the Minister of Innovation and Growth, Milena Stoycheva. On her first day in this position, she attended the student presentations in the Auditorium of Sofia University and was awarded the best ideas. The Minister congratulated the finalists with the words: "We need optimism - as individuals, as a society and as a country. I believe that your courage and precisely this spirit of experimentation, entrepreneurship, and new solutions, are the future way of working and approach".

All finalists presented ideas with high potential for development.

The first three places were:

  • PossePay: fintech platform for restaurant and bar payments;
  • Anti-tremor glove: a sensory glove that helps control hand movements;
  • Vavakada 3D: with a project to recycle plastic bottles and caps and then use them as raw material to produce filament for 3D printers.

Other prizes in the competition:

Access to the program of one of the largest pre-accelerators in the world Founder Institute for Vavakada 3D;

One-on-one meeting with investment opportunity from Vitosha Venture Partners for Anti-tremor glove, PossePay and AGRON for their soil revitalization and enrichment serum;

Invitation to present to NV3 experts for Anti-tremor glove and PossePay;

Morningside Hill Fund Mentor Meeting for Anti-tremor glove;

One-on-one mentoring meeting with investment opportunity from Innovation Capital for Vavakada 3D, PossePay and AGRON;

Mentoring hours with the the Bulgarian private equity and Venture capital association (BVCA) for PossePay;

Award "Startup with the best export potential" for PossePay from the Investment Council of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry;

Interest-free credit up to BGN 10,000 from SIS Credit for Vavakada 3D, PossePay and Kalimazing chocolates with rose products;

Individual mentoring meetings with the Silverline Capital fund for Vavakada 3D and My Captain Dad - an application to help fathers who want to actively participate in raising their children. Among them, Vavakada 3D also received the award "Best Social Startup";

The Bulgarian Stock Exchange presented an award of BGN 3,000 to Kalimazing chocolates and a board game to A.L.I.E Architecture, which received the "Best Gaming Team" award and created a web application using AI for virtual interior design;

Beyond Pre-accelerator awarded two projects in the field of health technologies - Anti-tremor glove and Symptomathic - AI (based system for diagnosis and health-preventive advice) with free participation in their accelerator, as well as A.L.I.E Architecture;

Internship program from the Fund of Funds for Vavakada 3D, the mobile application for active sportsmen LogIt+ App and for Kawaii-q Maid Cafe - a themed Japanese anime cafe with a unique atmosphere;

Assoc. Prof. Atanas Georgiev presented the special awards for "Best Green Startup" to Green Smart Charge, who are developing a mobile charging station for electric cars, as well as the awards for the students who took care of the creation of the Gathertown gamification platform , with which the participants in the competition went through the stages of training in an interactive and fun way;

ABLE provided online business consulting to PossePay, My Captain Dad and LogIT+;

UBB was the main sponsor of the event and in addition presented each participant in the team of finalists with a book - an autobiography of Ronald Reagan;

CEO Angels Club presented each finalist team with the book "Angel" - a board book for every successful startup;

The Association of Young Scientists provided a mentoring meeting to Vavakada 3D.

More about the contest:

The "Best Youth Startup" competition is being held for the second year in a row. This time it included a 6-week training program adapted to the age and stage of development of the projects admitted to participation.

The competition supported the acceleration of ideas from many and varied fields - fintech, protein foods, e-commerce, recycling, virtual reality in tourism, applications of artificial intelligence, advertising, electromobility, education, music and arts, health technology, parenting, agritech and urban agriculture, career development, mobility in urban and non-urban environments, civil society, cosmetics, architecture, etc. A strong impression was made in the applications by the excellent description of the projects, the attached presentations and links to functioning websites for products and services, and the comprehensive and precise arguments of the applicants for their reasons for participating in the competition.

The authors of the projects this year were students or graduates of 17 universities from several cities - Sofia, Varna, Burgas, Plovdiv, Ruse, Silistra, and Blagoevgrad, as well as those abroad - the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Russia, etc. Part of the second edition of the competition were projects by students from 7 Bulgarian high schools. Among the submissions were concept-level projects, but more than half were for a finished prototype, early adopters, or a growing customer base.

Among the partners of "Best Youth Startup in Bulgaria 2023" are the the Bulgarian private equity and venture capital association (BVCA), the fund managers for equity and quasi-equity investments of the Fund of Funds: Innovation Carital, Vitosha Venture Partners, NV3, Morningside Hill Capital Management, Silverline Capital, the Bulgarian division of the global entrepreneurial network Endeavor, the Bulgarian Robotics and Automation Association - PARA, the largest Bulgarian angel network CEO Angels Club, the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE), the platform for investment in start-up companies SeedBlink, one of the largest pre-accelerators in the world Founder Institute, the Investment Council of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), the Ministry of Innovation and Growth (MIR), the Association of Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs (ABLE), Teenovator, Junior Achievement Bulgaria, the Executive Agency for the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (IANMSP), United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), SIS Credit, the Association of Young Scientists, FEBA and others. Media partner of the event was Lider.bg