Unlocking Success: The AmCham Equation for Academic-Business Synergy

In the dynamic landscape of modern education and business, mentorship and hackathons stand as invaluable pillars of growth and innovation for both students and enterprises alike. For students, mentorship offers unparalleled guidance, nurturing their skills and fostering a mindset of continuous learning, engaging in hackathons presents a unique opportunity for students to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios, honing their problem-solving abilities and entrepreneurial spirit. Similarly, for businesses, supporting mentorship and participating as partners in such hackathons and educational programs cultivates a pipeline of fresh talent with bright ideas.

Reflecting the need for such formats, AmCham Bulgaria brings together academia and business by providing a platform for them to meet each other at the first-ever AmCham Hackathon 2024.

Without the expertise and the dedicated time of the mentors of the partner companies, AmCham Hackathon 2024 wouldn’t be possible.

The mentors from IBM Bulgaria, Kamenitsa AD, HR Consulting Partners, Adecco Bulgaria, JobTiger, Moto-Pfohe, and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners AmCham Bulgaria member companies, which for years have been among the most active in the Human Capital and Education Committee taking a leading role, have generously contributed their time, knowledge, and guidance throughout this year’s event. Their unwavering support and dedication have been instrumental in shaping innovative projects and nurturing the next generation of leaders in our community.

All mentors can be found here.

More from the Hackathon Mentors

“Adecco Bulgaria and The Adecco Group’s key mission is to connect talent with business and create the conditions for better conditions in the global labor market. At Adecco, we believe in the power of innovation and the unlimited potential of students to shape the future. We are convinced that students are the future leaders and we must also be close to the academic community and work closely together.” Monika Krasteva, Senior Key Account & Business Development Manager, Adecco Bulgaria

“The Contribution to our local communities it’s a focus and main pillar in the sustainability action plan ‘ This is forward’ , part of long-term business strategy of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners. Participating in this Hackathon has been an idea for quite a while, but we never had the chance to transform it into reality. We believe that by engaging with the students we will demonstrate them how the business works and how this case will help them get to next level and be ready for the working environment after their graduation.” – Rosen Gyurov, Sr manager Planning and performance management, CoE, BI, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

“With the Hackathon we provide students with the opportunity to experience what it is to run their own business and to make strategic decisions about it through company analysis, SWOT, global market research, digitalization of services, identification of new markets, and new market entry strategic plan. A wonderful opportunity to prepare yourself also for running parts of the business in a corporate environment, too, as the approach and the methodology students will follow in proposing solutions for the case study of HR Consulting Partners | U Matter Corporate Wellness, is also something they would need to do in corporate environment when the company expands its market presence and service lines.” – Yoana Yordanova, Managing Partner, HR Consulting Partners | U Matter Corporate Wellness

“The AmCham hackathon is a great opportunity to accomplish the necessary collaboration between businesses and universities, aiming to develop the next gen of talents in the country, equipping them with the skills needed to succeed with in their career journey. IBM Bulgaria Academic program is a key initiative for the company, where our academic ambassadors and IBM mentors have the primary task of inspiring, sharing experience, and providing insights as of the latest technologies to students. The IBM team is proud to be part of this journey and pleased to be working with students from the Technical University of Sofia and FEBA, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” on business cases, where together we will be generating new ideas, building teams, and implementing business strategies related to hot technologies such as AI.” – Nadezhda Yordanova, Technical Solution Architect/Scrum Master, IBM TLS Client Innovation Center Sofia

“For JobTiger, as the largest organizer of career events in the country, and as part of our mission, it has always been important to shorten the distance between the educational and business worlds. With our involvement in the hackathon, we aim to draw on students’ ideas and different and innovative thinking, but also to give them a real insight into organizations so that they are aware of what awaits them when they graduate and are prepared in the best possible way.” – Nataliya Tsvetanova, Recruitment Manager, JobTiger

“I would like to thank AmCham Bulgaria, TU-Sofia, and FEBA, Sofia University, who allowed us to implement this idea. Everyone involved in this format is constantly striving to be even more innovative and develop new projects. By working on the Moto-Pfohe case study, focusing on hybrid and electric vehicles, students will have the opportunity to experience some of the most progressive technologies. As we think about the solution, both the young people and we as mentors will be able to generate new ideas in a fun and relaxed atmosphere of shared suggestions.” – Vasil Petrov, Supply Chain Director, Kamenitza AD.

“I would like to thank AmCham Bulgaria, TU-Sofia and FEBA, Sofia University, who gave us the opportunity to implement this idea. Everyone involved in this format is constantly striving to be even more innovative and develop new projects. By working on the Moto-Pfohe case study, focusing on hybrid and electric vehicles, students will have the opportunity to experience some of the most progressive technologies. As we think about the solution, both the young people and we as mentors will be able to generate new ideas in a fun and relaxed atmosphere of shared suggestions.” – Ivelina Panamska, Group HR Manager, Moto-Pfohe


About AmCham Hackathon 2024

The initiative has several objectives:

  • Contribution of the business association through the expertise of its members to the convergence between the knowledge acquired in the universities with the practicalities and needs of the business;
  • Involvement of students in solving specific business cases;
  • Showcasing best practices of established companies operating in Bulgaria;
  • Retention of students in the country and the opportunity for subsequent engagement with the programs of the universities, as well as the opportunity to find professional development in the participating companies.
The target group of the Hackathon are students from the 3rd and 4th year and master programs at the TU-Sofia and FEBA, Sofia University.

For TU-Sofia the focus is on students studying Engineering, Software Engineering, Telecommunications, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Computer Science, Data Processing, Automotive Electronics, Green Energy, and RES. FEBA targets students in the undergraduate programs in Economics and Finance, Accounting, Finance and Digital Applications, Business Management/Business Administration, and graduate programs in Economics and Finance, Digital Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship, Artificial Intelligence for Business and Finance, Gamification, the AMBA-accredited MBA program and other graduate programs.