How To Make The Most Of Sofia - Eleven Demo Day


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The unique strengths of the Sofia startup community, and my advice on how to make the most of it.

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  • observations and advice - make use
  • seen a lot of ecosystems,
  • leancamp - helped build communities, and reached out to get help from a lot of world-class names
  • caviar, cobblestones,
    nobody believes me
  • terminal 1
  • capital gateways like santiago, capetown, bangkok
  • practice
  • true, but here are 3 reasons that tipped the balance for sofia
  • super nodes, not hubs.
    local strengths
    the winners are connected, not just to other winners.
  • who’se been to another startup city in the last 6 months?
  • I love Bulgaria. But what does this have to do with startups?
  • commission
    watching us
    eleven has more non-bg teams this cohort
    p2p, execution, make it happen
    got me a flat
  • fifedoms - only help if they gain
    connected but not connecting
    don’t promote locals, promote their int’l connections instead
  • who’se been to another startup city in the last 6 months?
  • ucl
    startups grow faster than ecosystems
    diconnect: course correction/responsive
    the ones who will will make $1b companies reach on 2 levels
    Investors, look for the ones who are reaching.
    vision, but also behaviour
  • How To Make The Most Of Sofia - Eleven Demo Day

    1. 1. helpful people on my journey Dimitar Stanimiroff, a friend at StackExchange in London, says “try a Lean event in Bulgaria.” Ivo Vasilev and Lino Velev of Start IT Smart collaborate with me for the LeanSpark conference. Jon Bradford introduces me to Sofia’s Eleven accelerator, where I return for a quick workshop. ! Stanislav Sirakov from LauncHub invites me back to teach there. Now, I’m regularly in Bulgaria to teach at Eleven and Launchub. Boyan Benev and Stephan Gantchev invite me back to speak at Balkan Venture Forum. Chris Georgiev organises the Course Correction meetup at Betahaus. ! Mihaelena Damianova, then at Eleven, encourages me to seriously consider living in Sofia, and helps me find an apartment.
    2. 2. sofians who’ll help you You probably already know Start IT Smart, Eleven and LauncHub. ! They’re constantly on the lookout for ways to help and build the community, so letting them know your challenges is useful. There are particular people who can find you help and turn your request into a fast meetup to help you now. ! These are the people I’ve seen do this so far, so hit ‘em up! Put them to work for you! :) Alex at Betahaus @betahaussofia Chris at StartUP @chrisgeorgiev Vessy at Eleven @vtasheva Stan at LauncHub @stansirakov
    3. 3. advantage sofia
    4. 4. @foundercentric
    5. 5. @foundercentric @saintsal
    6. 6. “Why do you live here?”
    7. 7. lifestyle
    8. 8. travel convenience
    9. 9. bulgarian culture
    10. 10. roma
    11. 11. “Seriously, why do you live here?” - Bulgarian Border Police
    12. 12. you met a girl, right?
    13. 13. responsive community
    14. 14. you GOTTA ASK.
    15. 15. bulgarian optimism
    16. 16. Centric Startup community is not about hubs. It’s P2Pby cote
    17. 17. dejan - content 360
    18. 18. you GOTTA ASK, the right way.
    19. 19. sofia’s doing things right
    20. 20. stumps
    22. 22. our community is like family
    23. 23. still GOTTA ASK.
    25. 25. reach
    26. 26. just ASK!
    27. 27. please recommend this ! ! Ask me anything ! Our mailing list Image credits:, Flickr: cote,, soho42, eesti