The Balkan Venture Forum – A Test Case For Community Cooperation & Collaboration

Balkan Venture Forum Sofia BEIC Community Meeting

Balkan Venture Forum Sofia BEIC Community Meeting

Seeing a community come together is an uplifting sight. Bringing over two-dozen organisations from six countries together for a common cause is a challenging but extremely rewarding task.

For me, the Balkan Venture Forum Sofia on the 21st and 22nd of May isn’t about the organisation and execution of a great conference – it’s a test case for the local community. I firmly believe in the idea that open communication and collaboration is the only way a fledgling community can build sustainability and strength.

There’re some great things going on in the Balkans and it’s my hope that the Balkan Venture Forum Sofia will be able to showcase some of this to a wider audience, bringing people from around the world to our bright city.

But the funky thing is that the Forum doesn’t exist in isolation. In fact, May and June will see a string of world-class entrepreneurship and innovation events hosted in Sofia. Hosted by the Balkan Venture Forum, the progressive accelerator fund LAUNCHub will be organising a mini-Seedcamp within the BkVF venue.

On the following day (May 23rd) the entrepreneurship club Start It Smart will be organising a Leancamp bringing together entrepreneurs, developers and business leaders for a day of focused learning and knowledge transfer.

One of the true success stories in the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Bulgaria have been the co-working space Betahaus. I’m very much looking forward to their Betapitch event on the 30th of May.

Then on the 3rd of June we will have Digitalk 2013 organised by Economedia with the help of the venture capital fund Neveq. Digitalk will be an impressive showcase event with top-notch speakers from Silicon Valley and Europe.

So, quite a lot going on in our little corner of the world. The Balkan Venture Forum is a community effort – that was the aim from the beginning – that’s why I’m involved. Looking at this remarkable list of events I wonder whether we can use 2013 as a test for doing something event larger next year.

Over the coming days and weeks I’ll share some more thoughts and details on the upcoming forum as well as the other events. I’m looking forward to seeing the community together on the 21st and 22nd as well as the great host of guests we have coming from far and wide.

Boyan S. Benev

Chairman, Bulgarian Entrepreneurship & Innovation Cluster (BEIC)

Local Organiser, Balkan Venture Forum Sofia

About

Follow me on http://twitter.com/alektasev 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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