• Ideas worth spreading or Brand worth selling ?

    First, let’s make few things clear – this is not a hate post nor a judgement one for the last TEDxBG 2013.
    I will try to share some thoughts from the point of view of a guy who bought 2 tickets (50 BGN / 25 EUR each) for TEDxBG without even knowing the agenda, and from the point of view of an event organizer (Start It Smart), where we try to create awesome events and conferences.

    TEDxBG 2013 was more than just great. More than half of the speakers were with interesting stories and ideas that made me think and actually commit some action after the event. In Bulgaria, this is not happening everyday, so we should be happy!

    Picture taken from TEDxBG Facebook

    Picture taken from TEDxBG Facebook


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  • Feedback about Eleven’s Demo Day – KeenSkim

    ***There’s an update – Tudor/KeenSkim is hiring and he asked me to post it here!***
    He is looking for a JavaScript Front End engineer and a Social Media Manager!
    There’s no need to say (But if you think there is – read my article) – KeenSkim’s future is really good looking, so if you’d like to join – drop a mail at tudor [at] keenskim [dot] com
    ***End of Update!***
    This is part 6 of 11 with my feedback about the start-ups from Eleven Accelerator.

    For more information about the blog series and one very important disclaimer, you can read part 1.

    To begin the New Year, i will go with the awesome Tudor Vlad and his product KeenSkim. Again, i have a lot of feedback for him but to be in the nature of his product, i am going to be short and provide summary wherever i can summarize 🙂

    After this, i will post a screenshot of my article summarized by his product.

    KeenSkim

    About the pitch

    Tudor’s pitching is great.
    It seems that going to big conferences like Pioneers Festival, How To Web and Le Web and practicing your pitch really pays off (Tudor did them all :))

    The problem with the information overload is a big one, and the solution was presented in a convincing way. Users don’t have to change their habits. It just happens in their natural flow 🙂
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  • The infographic is on the way. And a Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year to all of you!
    May you have the best of luck and the strongest of tailwind in your endeavors in the new 2013!

    About the infographic – 50 people subscribed for the infographic from my last article, about the startup ecosystem in Bulgaria!
    This means only one thing – there is going to be an infographic and as i write this – the creation process has already started.

    The idea is simple – to turn the big 1300 words article into something less verbose and more beautiful!
    The infographic will serve as a snapshot of what is happening here and lets hope, that after 5 years, when looking back, we will all laugh at the size of the investments back there.
    Stella Jivkova is going to create the infographic (She did the awesome postcard image for the Startup State article)

    And last, some thoughts to begin the new year with:

    Since the beginning of the year is always about resolutions and resolutions are always about getting stuff done, here’s a great TED talk from Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs!) about doing stuff and work in general.
    Do not declare war on work and you will get most of your new-year resolution’s done!

  • State of Bulgarian Startup Ecosystem – Winter 2012

    2012 was a wild year for the Bulgarian Startup Ecosystem.
    While two years ago, we were just an outsourcing destination, for one year, i can proudly say, that the entrepreneurial wheel has been spun (For those of you who wonder – this is the 3rd from of spin)

    Bulgarian Startup Ecosystem 2012

    Bulgarian Startup Ecosystem 2012

    Here is the article with the numbers and information, summarising it all for what happened in Bulgaria for a year.
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  • A must see – Clayton Christensen on disruptive products and successful innovation

    It’s an hour-long video from a Gartner event where Claython Christensen (Author of The Innovator’s Dilemma – if you haven’t read it yet, do so. It’s a great way to start 2013) is talking about the Five keys that improve the probability of successful innovation.

    Clay Christensen

    Credits for the picture – Forbes.com

    To watch the video, follow this link!

    One hour is a long time, especially if you have Twitter and Facebook profile (or just short attention span), but watching the video is an hour well spent.

    Claython talks about the five key things, that can improve your chance of being a successful entrepreneur (Lets say, entrepreneurs are subset of innovators):

    • Disruption or how to kill giants, by being small. (A hint here – don’t jump on the giant’s head, competing with his main product on his main market ;))
    • Compete against Non-Consumption
    • Supply-Chain disruption or the strength (and weakness) of outsourcing. The power of Dell!
    • Target the Job, not the Customer or when people really buy stuff (When there’s a “job” to be done and they “hire” the product to do it for them)
    • Catch the tide of decommodization

    Be sure to comment here on my blog, when you watch the entire video 😉

  • Feedback about Eleven’s Demo Day – Ulympix

    This is part 5 of 11 with my feedback about the start-ups from Eleven Accelerator.

    For more information about the blog series and one very important disclaimer, you can read part 1.

    At first i thought of doing a comparison between Ulympix and Deed (LAUNCHub Investee) because they are both platforms for challenges (Both with ideas to monetize from brands).
    But then i thought it would be better to first write about Ulympix, then write about Deed and let you guys, via a challenge, compare them for yourselves.

    Ulympix

    About the pitch

    The best pitch from DemoDay so far.
    If this guy was selling WS Teleshop stuff to me i’m pretty sure i was going to buy them 🙂
    Daniel really managed to convince everyone that the idea is solid and they are the right team to execute. They have a strategy, some early adopters for validation and are ready to go!

    After watching the pitch 5 times i finally stopped paying attention to Daniel’s presentation skills and found some key points that are really missing. After that and also playing around with the platform i can say that if i had to put my money-giving hat, i would have had some second thoughts.
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  • Feedback about Eleven’s Demo Day – Meister Plus

    This is part 4 of 11 with my feedback about the start-ups from Eleven Accelerator.

    For more information about the blog series and one very important disclaimer, you can read part 1.

    The start-up today is MeisterPlus. Just like Eventyard, i’ve known the team for a long time (They also started from 3Challenge). I am excited to write about them, because their case is really specific:
    Local business with proven business model and a lot of things that can actually go wrong!

    Meister Plus

    About the pitch

    So, my general feeling about Bozho’s pitch is – boring.
    I guess all of the guys were tired from working with mentors, working on their product and actually preparing for the DemoDay, but i’ve seen far better MeisterPlus pitches. (For example, the 3Challenge pitch, which is in Bulgarian)

    Since this is a proven business model, maybe it’s a better idea to spend less time explaining the problem and more time, giving details that VCs are going to be interested in (The purpose of DemoDay is to find follow-up investment).
    If i put myself in the money-giving shoes, here are the things that i missed to hear from the pitch:
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  • Feedback about Eleven’s Demo Day – Eventyard

    This is part 3 of 11 with my feedback about the startups from Eleven Accelerator.

    For more information about the blog series and one very important disclaimer, you can read part 1.

    The startup on focus is Eventyard. I know the team for a long time (They started from 3Challenge) but i have never given them a deeper feedback about the idea. This one will serve as a starter

    Eventyard

    About the Pitch

    I have watched Kiko pitching, i have watched Alex pitching and i have watched Kiko + Oleg + Alex pitching.
    So far, this was the best Eventyard pitch i have seen.
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  • Highlights from Deyan Vitanov’s StartUP talk

    Deyan Vitanov (serial entrepreneur, founder of Philanthropedia, living in the valley) did an one-hour talk about his experience and shared some thoughts on entrepreneurship, startups and raising money.
    The ecosystem in Bulgaria needs more people like him in order to have the right direction and to acquire the needed experience faster.

    Here are the things that i found interesting and worth sharing (You can check the video – it’s in bulgarian with bad quality.)

    Thoughs on investors

    Investors never say no.
    This one is simple – they don’t want to close the door, if you become the next big thing but still – they are not conviced it’s the right time of invest yet.
    They will say – “Come back to us with these metrics” or “Your monetization plan will not work out” or “Find a X person for your company.”
    Entrepreneurs in Bulgaria should be aware of that 🙂

    There is no such thing as “Your company is too expensive”.
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  • Feedback about Eleven’s Demo Day – Farmhopping

    This is part 2 of 11 with my feedback about the startups from Eleven Accelerator.

    For more information about the blog series and one very important disclaimer, you can read part 1.

    This time, the startup on focus is Farmhopping.
    First of all – the idea is awesome. One of my personal favourites.
    The global trend is to have less and less access to good food so a marketplace, where i can order a bunch of tomatoes from a small farm, far away from the city is great.

    Farmhopping

    About the pitch

    Rossi was overpitching a lot. I was in the front row and the pitch felt really uncomfortable (Which is not necessarily a bad thing)
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