The Fifth Edition of Endeavor Bulgaria’s Growth Program, Dare to Scale 2023, is the Most Extensive to Date

Six companies were honored at the closing Demo Day event, part of Endeavor Bulgaria’s growth program – Dare to Scale, which took place on December 12, 2023.

The company Barin Sports received the jury’s award, presented by Mrs. Milena Stoycheva, Minister of Innovation and Growth. The jury evaluated the participants based on three criteria: the potential for global growth of the company, how clearly the company’s strategic goals are defined, and the entrepreneur’s presentation skills. The jury included established business leaders from various fields: Asen Yagodin (Postbank), Kalin Radev (Software Group), Boyko Takov (SME Agency), Miroslav Stoyanov (EBRD), Sabina Gjosheva (BY FAR). The event was hosted by Konstantin Vulkov, Program Director of Darik Radio.

Five companies were awarded in four categories for their overall performance in the program:
  • MyCFO with the Dynamics and Progress Award – Awarded for being the most active company during the program, initiating discussions, actively participating in all events and sessions, and extracting maximum value from meetings with members of the Endeavor Bulgaria network.
  • Price International with the Targeted Steps Award – Awarded to the company that purposefully went through the program, opened up to new contacts in the Endeavor Bulgaria network and beyond, and quickly and clearly took into account feedback from its mentors.
  • Barin Sports and Augment with the Collaborative Spirit Award – Awarded to two companies that proactively and successfully leverage the opportunities from the scaling program by forming partnerships between them.
  • ViaBank with the Endeavor Values in Action Award – Awarded to the company that embodies Endeavor’s values of sharing experiences, donating time and resources, and supporting the community.

Dare to Scale is a four-month growth program of the international entrepreneurial network Endeavor, targeting entrepreneurs and businesses that have already passed the early stages of development and are at the beginning of a more significant expansion of their activities. It took place for the fifth consecutive year, running from September to December. In this year’s cohort, 23 entrepreneurs from 12 companies were selected. The current edition featured the most opportunities for participants to date, including 9 workshops, 4 networking events, and the right to up to 10 individual mentorship sessions with consultants from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and business leaders from the Endeavor network.

The training sessions were tailored to address the most common challenges such as organizational management, marketing, sales, business planning, and fundraising. Over fifty of Bulgaria’s top business leaders were involved in the fifth edition, generously contributing their time during the program. Among them were Svetozar Georgiev and Kalin Radev, who participated as lecturers for the fifth consecutive year, as well as Bozhidar Neychev as a leader from PwC, assisting in facilitating mentorship meetings between entrepreneurs and the company.

The application process for the sixth edition of Dare to Scale is expected to open in the spring of 2024.

The program is realized with the primary partnership of Postbank and is supported by Software Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Executive Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME Agency) and America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Once again, partners and directors from PwC Bulgaria worked individually with all companies in the program to support them through their experience and expertise in overcoming challenges and developing opportunities in their businesses.

The program also included a capital partner, Seedblink, contributing to additional opportunities for access to financing and mentorship for the participants.

The Demo Day event partners were Bessa Valley Winery, seewines, and Cohones Brewery, who were also participants in the cohort.

Momchil Vasilev, Executive Director of Endeavor Bulgaria:
„Endeavor is an organization whose mission is driven by the belief that entrepreneurs with significant development potential are at the core of transforming economies in emerging markets. To encourage these entrepreneurs in the stage of expanding their businesses, Endeavor created the Dare to Scale program five years ago, and we can already clearly see the results from it. Companies entering and going through the program are increasingly aware of seeking resources, bold in their aspirations to enter foreign markets, and at the same time, increasingly ready to support the ecosystem through their own knowledge. We increasingly see collaboration among companies in Dare to Scale, further confirming the thesis that sharing leads to greater development of the ecosystem. We are pleased that in this year’s cohort, we had the pleasure to work with interesting and innovative companies with great growth potential. Thanks also to the consultants from PwC and the mentors from the Endeavor network who help them continue to build on their knowledge and reach new heights.“

Asen Yagodin, CEO and Member of the Management Board of Postbank:
„For another year, we had the privilege to be in sync with the enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs unfolding their potential thanks to Dare to Scale. The success of this program is based on the unique combination between the ambition of the young companies and the experience of big business. Dare to Scale for us at Postbank is a good opportunity not only to invest in the growth of program participants but also in the development of the ecosystem as a whole. This, in turn, creates the potential to catalyze positive processes in the Bulgarian economy. Our participation in Dare to Scale is directly related to our commitment to be a driving force for these positive changes and to discover more like-minded individuals with whom to work for the future of our country.“