The Sofia Municipal Council approved the implementation of the second edition of the financial instrument Accelerator Startup Sofia to facilitate access to finance for innovative, start-up and social entrepreneurs operating Sofia Municipality. As in the pilot edition, Invest Sofia is a partner and co-organizer in the Programme. The application criteria is currently under preparation.
The financing for the second edition of “Accelerator Startup Sofia” amounts to BGN 100,000 provided by the Municipal Guarantee Fund for SMEs (MGFSME). The Programme will provide initial financial resources for starting or developing the activities of innovative start-up and social entrepreneurs. After the accomplishment of the mentoring programme, the companies will be able to benefit from other MGFSME guarantee programmes.
Accelerator Startup Sofia again aims at supporting companies based in Sofia that develop innovative products, services or processes and demonstrate potential for growth, wide application and impact. The companies will be supported to accelerate access to finance through training sessions on how to develop and present well-founded proposals to potential investors. It will also increase their skills to pitch, negotiate and partner with funding organizations.
Within the Programme, the team of Invest Sofia will provide the participating companies mentorship, networking opportunities, shared office space for meetings and training sessions that will be part of Accellerator’s programme, as well as opportunity to present their projects to potential investors. Sofia Municipality’s experience from the “Europe” Programme will be applied during the programme, as well as the expertise of the Sofia Development Association in supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and digital technologies.
About the pilot edition of “Accelerator Startup Sofia”
launched in January 2019. More than 40 innovative startup companies and projects applied and 13 of them received grants of up to BGN 10 000 and access to the mentoring programme in September. The beneficiaries of the programme develop products and services in areas such as 3D printing, consumer experience, marketing and advertising, health care, education and others.
Еxperts from LAUNCHub, BrightCap, EY Bulgaria, Dimitrova, Staykova and Partners, Out2Bound, 356Labs, The DOTS, Vangavis, UNWE and Fund of Funds joined the training sessions. Their participation made it possible to cover topics that the startups themselves identified as areas they needed guidance in: business planning, management styles, sales, design and presentation, digital marketing, fundraising, financing tools, foreign markets entry, working with institutions, contacts with media and partners.
Many of the first edition graduates still implement successful projects, being recognised in international editions, approved for funding and access to subsequent accelerator programs, etc