#WER19 SOFIA: A QUICK RECAP OF THE EVENT
After the outstanding success in Madrid, Lisbon and Brussels, Women in Entrepreneurship Roadshow finally landed in Sofia. The capital city of Bulgaria hosted the fourth of 10 events across Europe. The goal of #WER19 is to connect 30 women entrepreneurs with VCs and top players in the European and the US ecosystem. The goal of the project is facilitating access to finance and knowledge for women entrepreneurs as well as providing them with top advice from experienced mentors in a two-day event that aims at empowering women and broadening their connections in the local ecosystem.
The #WER19 Jury had a very hard time in selecting, among the 60+ applicants, the top women entrepreneurs that will participate in the event.
The 30 selected female founders have received $10.000 of AWS promotional credits valid for 2 years, $5.000 of AWS Business Support and $1.600 of AWS Training offered by Amazon, a main partner in the project.
On Thursday night, we had the pleasure of hosting our networking reception in the spaces of Move.bg, a co-working space and platform for value creators in Bulgaria, where the chairperson Sasha Bezuhanova, philantropist, Digital woman of Europe for 2013 and one of the Top 100 Challengers in New Europe 100 in 2015, warmly welcomed the #WER19 team as well as the participants.
On the next day, the female founders gathered at the Ceremony Hall of the University of National and World Economy, and were able to connect and get inspired by the top investors in Bulgaria, with a VC Panel starring Rossen Ivanov, the Co-founder of BlackPeak Capital, Maria Marinova, the Director of the Bulgarian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, Milen Ivanov, the CEO of CEO Angels Club, Zlatolina Mukova, Managing Partner at NEVEQ and Nikola Yanev, Marketing Manager at Eleven Ventures.
The discussion, moderated by Nicholas Zylberglajt, president of EYIF, touched different controversial points, from gender-bias to due diligence, providing precious insights for entrepreneurs on how to successfully pitch and overall gaining awareness on the difficulties in accessing finance for female founders. After the VC Panel, the assistants had a coffee break powered by one of the participants, Vanilla Kitchen, a pastry shop that offers high quality desserts made only by natural ingredients and only uses biodegradable packages.
After a quick panel in which Matt Hagengruber, Counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Sofia, provided the founders with some interesting insights on the GES and YTILI programs and on the transatlantic collaboration between Europe and the United States, the founders gathered for a quick walking lunch powered by Blagichka, one of the participants and the first zero-waste restaurant in Bulgaria.
But that’s not all, #WER19 has managed to gather top mentors to support the entrepreneurs into growing their projects on different subjects, from Finance to Marketing, from Operations to Public Relations. The female founders shared knowledge and participate in a speed-mentoring session with 14 top mentors such as Zarena Kancheva and Daniela Ivanona from Rakuten Viber.
Women in Entrepreneurship Roadshow is going to support the growth of 300 female founders and Sofia is only the fourth stop of a journey that will touch 10 different European countries. Don’t forget to check our website and apply for the upcoming events! Our next stop will be in Bucharest, the 27th and 28th of June 2019.