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The third edition of the national competition "Best Youth Startup in Bulgaria" is now accepting applications. The competition is organized by the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of SU "St. Kliment Ohridski" jointly with the Fund of Funds. It is carried out under the patronage of the Minister of Innovation and Growth and the Rector of SU. Applications from all over the country are accepted through the competition website until March 15, 2024.

Students and young people from all over the country under the age of 29, as well as 11th and 12th-grade students with innovative business ideas, can participate in the competition. Projects from all fields at different stages of implementation - conceptual phase, early or advanced stage - are eligible.

This year, the organizers are providing a longer period for application and training. In the new edition of the competition, new partners have been attracted, including over 30 financing institutions, funds, sector associations, organizations from scientific and academic circles, etc.

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Stages of the competition:

  • Application - from 15.01. until 15.03.2024
  • Training, mentoring, and networking – 15.03.-30.05.2024
  • Pitching Day – 31/05/2024

The purpose of the "Best Youth Startup in Bulgaria 2024" competition is to provide an opportunity for individual participants and/or teams to develop their innovative ideas, demonstrate entrepreneurial skills, and gain valuable experience in the startup ecosystem within a 10-week mentoring program before the final presentation.

The competition will end on May 31 with the presentation of the ten best concepts to the competition partners in the Sofia University Auditorium. Participants admitted to the competition will go through dozens of webinars, workshops, mentoring sessions, training, gaming meetings and competitions, organized according to individual needs - stage of the project, age, sector in which the idea falls. During the process, the participants will have the opportunity to create business contacts among the entrepreneurial, academic and scientific circles, as well as to attract like-minded people to the realization of the ideas.

The initiative takes place for the third consecutive year and attracts projects of young people from all over the country. The competition is a springboard for successfully implementing plans for your own business in all sectors of the economy and aims to increase the entrepreneurial culture of young people in Bulgaria, including generating and developing ideas, business planning, marketing, presenting to investors, etc. In its first edition in 2022, the competition attracted 36 projects, and last year there were over 50 participants.

Among them were students and graduates of 17 Bulgarian and 7 foreign universities. Upper-year students from 7 Bulgarian high schools were also admitted to the competition. The competition has supported the acceleration of ideas from various fields - fintech, e-commerce, recycling, virtual reality, applications of artificial intelligence, electromobility, education, agro-technologies and urban agriculture, career development, civil society, architecture, creative activities, etc. The strongest projects received direct investment or managed to attract financing at a later stage.

Among the successful companies that were discovered through "Best Youth Startup in Bulgaria" and received a boost in their development are Vodoraslo, Vavakada 3D, Foodobox, Agron, Young Inventor, Anti-tremor glove, PosseyPay and others. Among them, some are already presenting the innovative potential of Bulgaria at international exhibitions such as Web Summit and Slush, including participation in COP-28.

Got a great idea for a new product or service? Do you dream of being an entrepreneur with your own successful business? Already working on your startup and looking for growth opportunities?

Take the next step!

Seek support for your idea and make the future you want happen!

More information can be found on the competition website.