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Funding Opportunities


Hungarian OTP Bank Accepts Applications for its International Startup Program

The Hungarian OTP Bank will be accepting applications from companies from all over the world, including Bulgaria, for its OTP Startup Program until the end of November. Start-up and scale-up companies with products and solutions in the financial sector are eligible to apply. The three-month program will start at the beginning of 2019.

The OTP Startup Program accepts applications in the following 6 focus areas: data handling and analytical tools; open banking and security; internal efficiency; user experience and service; product innovations; disruptive bank solutions that do not belong to the above categories.

OTP Bank is the parent company of DSK Bank EAD. Its OTP Startup Program is being held for a second consecutive year and is supported by Hungarian and international corporate partners. The accelerator program is free, requires no capital, and will give selected companies the opportunity to test the integration of their products and services to determine if they are applicable in a market environment. During the program the participating companies will benefit from the experience and mentorship of key bank experts from OTP Bank’s wide partner network. Furthermore, they will be included in specially organized workshops.

More information about the program is available on www.otpstartup.com .

Additional EUR 115 Mln under the Innovfin Program to Support Bulgarian Innovative Companies

United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) entered a new guarantee agreement to provide additional EUR 115 million under the InnovFin program, which facilitates access to funding of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-cap enterprises with up to 499 employees. Following the new agreement, the portfolio of the two banks under the program totals EUR 180 million.

InnovFin targets companies from Bulgaria and Slovakia. UBB will provide loans with guarantees under favorable conditions to innovative enterprises until November 30, 2021   

Under the same program, EIF also signed a new agreement with Raiffeisenbank (Bulgaria) EAD. The funds under the new agreement are in the amount of EUR 43 million, in addition to EUR 35 million, signed in 2016. Up to now, the Bank has funded 140 Bulgarian businesses mainly in the field of production and trade. The funds allocated so far have been mainly for investments and working capital aiming at expanding the business. The approved projects include the construction of a cable optical path, the construction of an incubator with shared work spaces and the introduction of new technologies and equipment in fast-growing enterprises.

More information is available here.


Grants for Advisory Services under EBRD’s Small Business Support Program

Small and medium-sized enterprises may apply for grants for consultancy services in a wide range of areas under the Small Business Support Program of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Grants are provided to companies in all sectors (excluding military, tobacco, gambling and financial service enterprises). Eligible companies should have fewer than 250 employees, a turnover of less than EUR 50 million and an asset value of up to EUR 43 million. Businesses should be Bulgarian-owned. Funding is provided for consultancy services in areas such as strategic development, resource management, marketing, information technology, accounting and finance, environment, etc.

Until now, the projects approved under the program are 19 and another 14 are under consideration. The Small Business Support programme  is scheduled to continue until May 2020 and aims to support at least 70 companies.


Visa and Eleven Ventures to Launch Visa Innovation Program

The program targets startup teams with ideas in the payment industry on the Bulgarian market and is looking for projects that reformat the traditionally offered financial services for end consumers in an improved consumer experience.

The participating companies will have to generate new ideas for the Bulgarian payment industry and will receive support from the finest experts in the Fintech sector in our country, will have access to Visa customers and Eleven’s community as well as to the Visa Developer Platform (VDP).

The program is created to promote the dynamic interaction between Visa customers and the emerging community of start-up companies that create new Fintech solutions in our country. Design sprint seminars and workshops for the creation of prototypes will also be organized.

The program does not seek for ideas for direct funding, but aims to enable teams to generate new solutions and make market validation of the developments in a real environment.

You can learn more about the program here.


European Commission’s EIPP Platform Offers Opportunity to Promote Your Project or Find an Investor

Any company based in a European Union country may include its project free of charge in the European Investment Project Portal (EIPP). The platform gives visibility to a large network of international investors.

Eligible projects should require a minimum of EUR 1 million investment for their development. Investors in one project can be more than one company or individual entrepreneurs. The portal allows each project to see in its account the percentage of funds raised and who is interested in making an investment.