Twenty-Two Entrepreneurs from Twelve Companies Enter the Fifth Edition of Dare to Scale

The fifth edition of the Dare to Scale (D2S) growth program includes 22 entrepreneurs from 12 companies, which have generated a total turnover of over BGN 15 million for the past year. Like the previous year, there is an open slot for a company developing its activity for the benefit of society, and this year, this position is taken by the organization Mentor the Young.

A wide variety is observed in the industries in which the participants operate. About 40% of the companies develop their activity in the software and fintech industry, with representatives of e-commerce, sports, F&B and others. 80% of the participants indicate that entering foreign markets is one of their priorities, and some of them already have a presence outside Bulgaria and are planning a more active expansion. An important indicator of the success of Dare to Scale is the fact that this year, the selection includes an entrepreneur who returns with a third company as a participant in the program.

The Dare to Scale growth program will be officially launched in September and will end in December with a Demo Day. Company founders will have the opportunity to participate in specialized training in key areas for the development of any scaling business: organizational management, marketing and sales, business planning and capital raising. Each company will have access to Endeavor’s local mentoring network, whose mentors will support founders with their entrepreneurial expertise. In addition to them, partners and directors from the consulting company PwC Bulgaria will work individually with all participants for the second year. They will hold regular mentoring meetings, and through their rich experience and expertise, they will help entrepreneurs overcome key challenges and develop opportunities in their businesses. Participants will be able to take part in events during which they can meet and exchange experiences with key figures in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Dare to Scale 2023 is organized by the Bulgarian office of the global entrepreneurial network Endeavor with the main partner Postbank and with the support of Software Group, the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), America for Bulgaria Foundation, and with capital partner SeedBlink.

“We are observing more and more companies with potential for global growth and entrepreneurs with systemic success, an example of which is Ogi Popov, entering D2S with his third company – ViaBank. This year’s Dare to Scale participants are making a very strong case that they come with specific challenges to address and know exactly what they want to get out of the program. It is noteworthy that many of the companies are already active and recognizable in foreign markets. We look forward to following their development, and we are ready, with Dare to Scale, to equip them with the knowledge and skills for exponential growth.”

Momchil Vasilev, Managing Director of Endeavor Bulgaria

“The fifth edition of Dare to Scale started with an impressive selection of companies, which once again fills us with optimism and confirms our confidence that we are creating real value for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our country. With each passing year, we meet more and more motivated companies that impress us with their ambitious growth strategies and the desire to build on what they have achieved. This is exactly where our role is because I believe that as their mentor and partner, we can pass on invaluable expertise to them, with which we practically invest in the environment and increase the development opportunities of all participants in it. I am happy that for another year, together, we will walk this exciting path in which the energy of young companies and the experience of established business leaders are combined in the perfect formula for success.”

Petia Dimitrova, CEO and Chairperson of the Management Board of Postbank:

Brief presentation of the selected companies in Dare to Scale 2023:

Abraxa Group – a port call management platform for ships that helps participants in the process (agents, ship owners, traders) to exchange data in an efficient way.

Augment – specializes in extracting data from video games using artificial intelligence. By providing a scalable platform, game publishers can monetize their data and create game products using AI and developer tools.

Barin Sports – develops the most integrated real-time decision-making tool in professional sports. It focuses on providing the most advanced artificial intelligence-based score tracking system in professional sports.

Coherent Labs – Their HTML5-based Gameface (game UI engine) product helps gaming studios develop modern, cross-platform, high-speed user interfaces for video games.

Cohones Grandes – a leading Bulgarian brewery, known for supporting local brewers and promoting craft beer culture on both domestic and international markets.

DA International Group/ AlphaVPS – a leading company in the IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) sector, specializing in server and cloud infrastructure solutions adapted to the needs of individual users and corporate customers.

Mentor the Young – a 3-month mentoring program for young people up to 25 years of age. They also develop a consulting service that supports employees’ professional development and improves the culture of organizations.

MyCFO – outsourced financial services that help streamline and automate the financial management process for small and medium-sized enterprises, startups and sole traders.

Petmall – fast-growing online and physical pet stores whose mission is to build a better pet culture.

Price International (Callflow, Omnilinx) – a telecommunications company developing software platforms for business communications. Under the Callflow brand, they offer virtual telephone exchanges and software solutions for contact centers. With Omnilinx, they bring together different communication channels, ensuring a smooth user experience and connectivity between businesses and customers.

Re:Gena – a biotechnology company specializing in functional genomics and personalized medicine solutions offered to healthcare professionals, clinics and consumers.

ViaBank – provides the physical retail sector with an infrastructure for receiving payments under its own control, using the technology of open banking and direct bank transfers. In this way, merchants reduce the cost of card payments dramatically.

About Endeavor:
Endeavor is an international non-governmental organization with offices in 40 locations, helping entrepreneurs with big ideas and businesses to grow rapidly internationally. Endeavor entrepreneurs have the potential to change their countries and the world – they can be a key enabler of long-term economic growth, job creation and innovation. Endeavor provides selected entrepreneurs with access to markets, capital and talent in its network of over 4,000 mentors and investors globally. In Bulgaria, Endeavor started its activities in July 2015 with the aim of expanding the organization’s presence in Europe. To date, the Bulgarian office has supported 100+ entrepreneurs from 50+ companies in three programs – Endeavor Global Program, Regional Support Program and Dare to Scale. These entrepreneurs have created over 2,300 jobs and generated revenues of BGN 320 million for the past year.