Endeavor’s Dare to Scale program to become a sustainable platform

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:

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:

“We are looking forward. These young people have the willingness and the ambition to do something and should be supported,” said Rossen Plevneliev, president of Bulgaria (2012-2017)

 

Dimitar Shoumarov, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Postbank :

“We assess highly the results from the first growth program in Bulgaria, Dare to Scale 2019 of Endeavor Bulgaria, which we have actively supported as a main partner. I expect it to continue to develop and establish itself as a model of success, as a model of growth for the promising scale-up companies in Bulgaria. Congratulations to all finalists in the first edition of the program. I believe the participation in the Dare to Scale program will have high added value for their business and the realization of their plans.

We at Postbank, encourage entrepreneurship in a sustainable way and make targeted investments in the ecosystem because we believe this is the way for all market players to grow and be competitive. We are glad that in partnership with Endeavor Bulgaria and thanks to the know-how of Endeavor global entrepreneurial network we can help the Bulgarian business become even more competitive and profitable.”

 

Viktor Bilyanski, co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of ScaleFocus: “We are really glad we have the opportunity to support Endeavor and Bulgaria’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We hope other successful companies will also share their knowledge and achievements so that Bulgaria becomes a great place for doing business and growth opportunities for young people.”

Boyko Takov, Executive Director of BSMEPA: “I am grateful for including BSMEPA in the program. There is still room for improvement. We are glad that all participants are young and ambitious people with good ideas we can support.”

Sabina Gyosheva, co-founder of BY FAR and an Endeavor entrepreneur “: “I am happy with today’s results of the participants! The most important quality for success nowadays is to never give up and not to be afraid to think globally. The only real obstacle facing every single participant is having to overcome themselves. Launching the Dare to Scale program, this, indeed, was Endeavor’s goal – development not only of interpersonal skills, but also unleashing one’s entrepreneurial, resilient spirit. I wish participants to look to the horizon and keep believing in themselves!”

Irina Encheva, Manager Entrepreneur Selection and Growth at Endeavor Bulgaria: “The participants did an impressive job today, presenting their businesses and ambitions to Endeavor’s community. A key element of the project is the fact that each one of them has significantly expanded their network of business contacts thanks to Dare to Scale and now we can see the effect it has on their development as leaders. This is really important when creating mutually supporting micro-communities and is possible thanks to the commitment of all mentors, partners and members of the Board of Directors of Endeavor, who willingly shared their experience with and dedicated their time to the participants. This makes us really confident in the added value of the program and inspires an ambition to continue it and build upon it next year.”


 

About Endeavor

Endeavor selects and supports entrepreneurs with big ideas and businesses with potential to grow fast on a global scale. The organization has offices on over 35 markets and the Bulgarian office is just the third one in Europe. The entrepreneurs, part of Endeavor, are those who could be a key factor of long-term economic growth, job opening and the creation of innovations. They have the potential to change their countries and the world. Endeavor provides the selected entrepreneurs with access to the markets, capital and talent of its network of over 4,000 world-class mentors and investors. The entrepreneurs, part of Endeavor’s network, have opened over 3 million jobs and generated over USD 20 billion revenues in 2018 alone. Endeavor focuses on companies, which are already successful in their business but need more expertise, contacts, capital and resources to make the next step in their expansion.

www.endeavor.org

 

About Endeavor Bulgaria

Endeavor Bulgaria was launched in July 2015 with the goal to expand the presence of the organization in Europe. Bulgaria is just the third European country where Endeavor opened an office after Greece and Spain. The organization is backed by a board of directors consisting of 13 successful entrepreneurs and business leaders who believe in Endeavor’s mission to strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing Bulgarian entrepreneurs with access to Endeavor’s global network of markets, capital and programs, staff and training. So far, 26 entrepreneurs from 16 companies have successfully passed the selection process and have joined the network. Out of them, the office currently is actively supporting 13 entrepreneurs from nine companies, which opened over 500 jobs and generated revenues of over BGN 75 million in 2018.

www.endeavor.bg