Apply for the Pitching Competition at BkVF Sofia

Hello friends! As the SEE startup community continues to accelerate(no pun intended) throughout 2013, with new programs, events, and successes, the team at Balkan Venture Forum is keeping up the breakneck tempo and even kicks up a notch.



Indeed, on May 21-22nd we are kicking it in Sofia, thanks to the support of LAUNCHub, Eleven, Betahaus, BEIC and a community of great startups and remarkable individuals. These people have made Sofia the hottest startup hub in the Balkans. In case you have missed the cool video by BEIC:

In this setting we are having an amazing gathering of the top SEE startups, mentors, investors, and many more great guests from around the world. The venue is the top floor of National Palace of Culture, an amazing space that we are filling up with fun and opportunities. The program we are building is just mind-expanding and exciting, enveloping the complete spectrum of the startup eco-system, from financing trends to technical lean startup nuggets, to futurist musings to community building. Speakers include Jon Bradford, Fadi Bishara, Oliver Holle, Salim Virani, Carlos Espinal, Andreas Klinger and Maxim Gurvits.

The spotlight as usual is reserved for the startups, and even more so in this edition.  BkVF Sofia is a fantastic opportunity for SEE startups to develop their business and conquer the world. It’s an opportunity to have fun with networking, learning a few things and the best of all to shine on stage and impress the jury and investors with your world conquering product. 36 companies will be selected and allowed to pitch on stage for 8 minutes, followed by 7 minutes of Q&A by the expert jury. The selected companies will have the opportunity to:

  • Pitch to 30+ active investors focused on the SEE region;
  • Receive mentoring at the Venture Academy to increase their investor readiness;
  • Get involved in the international investor network of Europe Unlimited;
  • One of the teams participating in the BkVF Pitching Competition will be awarded by LAUNCHub Seed & Acceleration fund with a “Wild card” for the application process in the summer of 2013 or a better chance of being among the 8-10 teams that qualify for EUR 30,000 worth of funding. Should the selected one apply to LAUNCHub, it will have a guaranteed place among the shortlisted teams who have a personal interview with the fund’s team on their way to participation in the Acceleration Program.
  • One of the finalists of the Pitching Competition will be selected by the jury member representing Eleven Startup Accelerator to pitch its project directly to Eleven’s investment panel following BkVF, receiving a fast-track through Eleven’s selection process.
  • 25% top companies will be allowed to pitch at the European Venture Summit (EVS) in December 2013. Last EVS took place in Berlin in December 2013, with 130+ pitching startups from around Europe and 120 VCs, for unprecedented two day pitching and matchmaking event;
  • Have pre-scheduled 1on1 meetings with select investors and speakers;
  • Free event registration for one entrepreneur and discount of 50% for the rest of the team;

Previous winners include companies like Incrediblue and TekFuze, which have raised financing to develop their business.

You can check out the criteria and apply for the Pitching Competition here and hurry up, because the deadline for applying is May 1st!

See you in Sofia very soon!


Follow me on My professional background is primarily as an IT engineer, entrepreneur and consultant, with experience in starting up and developing Internet and tech businesses, product development, ICT services, startup coaching and matching finance and support with innovation. In 2005 I founded Akota ING, a software services company with focus on software R&D and product development. In 2009 I spun-off Internet Trgovija, a regional e-commerce platform provider that provides online payment processing, aggregation marketplaces and business e-commerce SaaS. In 2011 I founded the Balkan Unlimited Foundation, which is a regional supporter of innovative entrepreneurship in the Balkans. It advances this mission by organizing the biannual Balkan Venture Forum, numerous startup coaching programs, mapping and matching financing with fast growing innovative businesses.

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