INNOWAVE SUMMIT 2023
17-18 NOVEMBER 2023 / PALACE OF CULTURE AND SPORTS - VARNA, BULGARIA
Meet Bulgarian Business Forums
The Bulgarian Business Forums start like informal group in 2011 in Varna. After three active year work that informal group grows to non-profit organization Bulgarian Business Forums that was founded in 2014 and is based in Varna, Bulgaria. Bulgarian Business Forums is with more than 9 years of experience already.
The Bulgarian Business Forums is a nonprofit organization that encourages an innovative and creative business thinking and entrepreneurship. The organization developed a sustainable environment for the exchange of successful business models, experience and good practices between proven entrepreneurs and Startups in Europe, USA, Canada and Bulgaria. At a political level, Bulgarian Business Forums works in collaboration with the biggest municipalities in Bulgaria, the Ministry of Economics, the Presidency of Bulgaria and the European Commission.
Bulgarian Business Forums is an NGO active in the field of entrepreneurship, startup entrepreneurship and digital transformation process. Among its main activities in the recent years are the following
Creating and developing self-sustainable and growing entrepreneurial ecosystems
Establishing cities as Digital innovation hubs, attractive startup locations and investment destinations
Empowering youth in business
Helping startups to become global brands
PERSONS, SUPPORTING THE ACTIVITY OF BBF IN THE YEARS, SPEAKERS, MENTORS
CEO and Chairman of the MB of UniCredit Bulbank
10 april 2017
Levon Hampartzoumian is the CEO and Chairman of the MB of UniCredit Bulbank since 2001. He is also Member of the Management Board of BORIKA (Card Processing JV). He was Chairman of the Board of the Association of Banks in Bulgaria in the periods April 2005 – April 2008 and April 2011 – April 2015. Currently he is a member of the Bulgarian Forum of business leaders and the Management Board of the Institute for Market Economy.
Since 2015 Levon Hampartzoumian is a member of the Public Board of TELUS International, and since 2017 member of the Honorary Trust Board of the Duke of Edinburg’s international Award – Bulgaria. In the period 2008 – 2012 he was a chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sofia University.
prof. Aleksander Chirkov
world-renowned specialist cardiothoracic surgeon
21 february 2017
Проф. Александър Чирков е световно признат специалист кардиохирург. Той е създател на модерната кардиохирургия към „Св. Екатерина“. Изнасял е лекции като гост в множество медицински унивеситети в САЩ, Канада, Германия, Япония. В професионалния си живот показва умения както по хирургия, така и по здравен мениджмънт, в ролята си на директор на „Национален център по сърдечно-съдови заболявания“, „II кардиологичен център към Медицинска академия“ и на УМБАЛ “Света Екатерина”. Той е вносител на проект за реформи в здравопазването при правителството на Симеон Сакскобурготски, чието финансиране е било предвидено да се извърши чрез европейско финансиране, но проектът не е изпълнен. Виждал е политиката „отвътре“ и познава проблемите на държавната администрация, особено в сектор Здравеопазване. Носител е на наградите орден “Стара планина” I степен и Награда на Световната академия “Платон”. Към момента е консултант към „Сити Клиник“ и болница „Лозенец“ в София. Работи усилено по проект за създаване на най-голямата и модерна болница на Балканите във Варна.
MADtech lifer – Marketing Advertising and Technology [UK]
13-15 may 2016
Brand Building – the crux of success
Rod is a MADtech lifer – Marketing Advertising and Technology. He founded the technology marketing group, „Banner Corporation”. It had grown to become the largest Business to Business agency in Europe.
In 2014 Rod made it into the TechCity Insider 100 list and the 2014/15 Fresh Business Thinking Power 100. In 2015 he was chosen as one of The Maserati 100 – A list of UK-based entrepreneurs who are giving back to the next generation. Rod is also an angel investor – specialising in MADtech Specialties: Architecting and building brands. Discovering and telling corporate ‘stories’. Monetising social media, mobile and marketing automation. 25 plus years in creating tangible, marketing-driven success for technology companies located in EMEA.
specialist in Direct Marketing [UK]
13-15 may 2016
The most important questions in business. Do you know the answers?
In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton Bird one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.
He has worked with many of the world’s greatest brands such as American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, P&G, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.
In various capacities – mostly as a writer – Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. Drayton’s standing has long been widely recognised.
Оne of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.
founder of Fikosota Holding [BG]
13-15 may 2016
In the beginning of the 90’s together with his brother have started business in the field of heating products. They founded the brand Tesy, which is the 6th largest producer in Europe and takes the 1st place of manufacturing oil-filled radiator. The company has grown and they’ve decided to found another organization in the field of Fast-moving consumer goods. The companies are part of the Ficosota Holding, which includes some of the most popular brands on the Bulgarian market: Tesy, Savex, Semana, Echo, Puffies, Emeka, Milde, Bruschette-Maretti, Terter.
owner of „Sharlopov Hotels” PLC
7 april 2014
The investment in Bulgaria – the mission is possible
Mr. Stefan Sharlopov is owner of „Sharlopov Hotels” PLC. Involved in private business and investment since 1991. He is the creator of the famous brands „Royal Cake” and „Royal Potatoes”, the industrial group „Royal Foods Holding” with production facilities in Bulgaria and Russia. He also created „Devin”, and succeeded to establish the brand as one of the strongest on the market of mineral waters, after that sold it to an Austrian investor. In 1999 he founded „Sharlopov Hotels” PLC, which includes: Pirin Park Hotel – 5*, Grand Hotel Murgavets – 4*, SPA Hotel Devin – 4*, Grand Hotel Yantra – 4*, the Eco houses in Bozhenci village and Hotel Palmenwald Schwarzwaldhof – 4S* in Freudenstadt, province Baden-Wuertenberg, Germany. He is a chairman of the Bulgarian Union of Balneology and SPA Tourism (BUPSPA), member in the board of КРИБ, vice chairman at the Union of the Bulgarian tourist industry and chairman of Public association „Mather Bulgaria”
chief advisor of Nova Broadcasting Group
25 november 2014
The difficulties in the path to the success
Silva Zurleva is a chief advisor at Nova TV and member of the Management Board of Nova Broadcasting Group. She began her career as translator of fiction and reviewer of newly issued books of Balkan authors. Работи като редактор последователно в БНТ и София прес, става кореспондент на гръцки вестници и списания. През 1992г. започва консултантска дейност свързана с чужди инвестиции и приватизационни сделки. Работи по проектите на Делта, Никас, Гудис, Кока-Кола, Плевенски цимент и др. Нейно е рекламното послание “Делта – връх на сладоледа. Първо в София, а после и в други градове”. От 10 may 1999г. е управител на медийната група “Антена България”, от march 2001г. – председател на Съвета на директорите на Нова телевизия, а от 2009 година е главен консултант на телевизията и член на Управителния съвет на Нова Броудкастинг Груп.
Active angel investor, Executive Director at Growlab [CA]
28-29 april 2015
Jonathan currently invests out of both Stanley Park Ventures and Oak Mason Investments. Jonathan is a founder and on the Board of Advisors of HIGHLINE.VC a VC backed Co-Venture Platform with programming in four cities (Vancouver, Toronto, San Francisco, New York) and powered by some of Canada’s best entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem partners. HIGHLINE is a merger of GrowLab and Extreme Startups. Jonathan was the Executive Director of GrowLab before merging with Extreme Startups. Jonathan Bixby was the CEO and a co-founder of Strangeloop Networks, creator of the first network appliance and cloud service for accelerating dynamic web applications. The Strangeloop Site Optimizer dramatically increases the performance of revenue generating websites, allowing for faster page loads, higher conversion and revenue. Under Jonathan’s leadership, Strangeloop raised over $21M in financing, including a Series A round of $11.5 million, one of the largest rounds of private Series A financing for a technology start-up in Canadian history. Strangeloop was selected the Best Employer in British Columbia for a record five straight years (2008 to 2013).
Selection & Alumni Manager at Startupbootcamp Smart City & Living [NL]
28-29 april 2015
Serial Entrepreneur, started 12 companies in FMCG, Home Electronics, Healthcare, E-Commerce, HR and Finance. Because of this, he has an in depth knowledge on many fields which can help entrepreneurs to maintain a 360 degree view on their business. He is a motivator, business coach, critical optimist. With his skills and experience, he is currently in charge of selecting Startups for the Accelerator programs in Amsterdam and helping the alumni from Startupbootcamp Amsterdam with the execution of their business. He is also co-founder of Startupbootcamp Africa with programs in Johannesburg & Cape Town.With his entrepreneurial experience, Mark advises managers and entrepreneurs to let their company grow faster and helps them establish a solid infrastructure. After founding and having bootstrapped 12 companies and failed 4 times, he is definitely an experienced entrepreneur with an international focus. After interviewing hundreds of startups as Selection & Alumni Manager at Startupbootcamp, he went on to co-found Startupbootcamp Africa.
Program Manager at Angelsbootcamp [DE]
28-29 april 2015
Mike works with a full range of clients from Berlin Start-Ups in Silicon Allee to international firms seeking to do business in either Berlin or San Francisco. Mike has also a background in investment, having been a director at Third Coast Capital, a venture lending organization that committed more than $125 million in venture debt investments. Mike was one of the first employees when Third Coast was established in 1996 with an initial investment by Cargill, Inc., the largest privately-held company in the United States at that time
CEO of M3 Communication Group
27 may 2013
The social medias and the successful business – mission completely possible
Maksim Behar founder and executive director of M3 Communication Group, a leading company in the field of public communications and relations with the media in Bulgaria, member of the Executive board of the biggest PR community in the world ICCO and member of the Managing boards of the “Bulgarian association of PR agenices”, the “Bulgarian forum of business leaders” and the “Bulgarian investment forum” (between 1997 and 2000). Maxim Behar was given the award “Executive director of the year” in the category “Marketing and PR” of Steve Awards 2012 and “Manager of the year” in 2012 after an online voting on BTV as part of the competition for top managers of the year, organised by the “Manager”magazine. In 2012 Maxim Behar was given the prize “Business communicator of the decade” – an award of the Indian assocaition for business communications ABCI.
producer and directror
29 march 2013
The difficulties in the path of the successful entrepreneur
Magardich Halvadzhiyan is a producer and director, founder and owner of the producer’s houses “Global films” and “Global vision”. He was the Chairman of the Association of TV producers from 2009 until mid 2012. He has directed more than 100 commerical spots for some of the biggest Bulgarian and foreign companies. His name lies behind the most popular TV programs and series: “Seven hours time difference”, “Bulgaria seeks talent”, “Masters of the TV screen”, “Sea of love”, “Sweet revenge”, “Like two drops of water” and others. Until recently he has shot more than 500 musical video clips of performers in all genres.
founder of The Digital Loop [PL]
13-15 may 2016
Fly High: How to Create, Innovate and Lead at the Highest Level
Ivan Hernandez is a founder of The Digital Loop. Strategist in the field of Digital Marketing and Customer experience, consultant of business developing with international experience in strategic consulting, advertising, marketing and media sector.
Regional Mandate Manager at European Investment Fund [BG]
13-15 may 2016
Hristo Stoyanov manages the business development activities in Bulgaria of the European Investment Fund. He joined the EIF office in Sofia as mandate manager in 2011 responsible for the operations of a Bulgarian holding fund providing EU Structural Funds through SME-focused financial instruments including guarantees, start-up accelerators and venture capital. He is member of the Board of Directors of JEREMIE Bulgaria – company, acting as an umbrella fund with diversified portfolio of private equity funds and risk-sharing commitments to local credit institutions. Prior to joining the EIF, Hristo managed M&A advisory projects at Forem Consulting in Sofia. He holds a MBA degree from University of Notre Dame in the USA.
CEO of „Interservice Uzunovi” SA
30 may 2012
How to make a dynamic and sustainable business over the years
Krassimir Ouzunov is an executive director of “Interserviz Ouzunovi” AD. He registered one of the first private companies in Varna as early as the beginning of 1990. Through his company “MALL Varna” EAD he established and sold successfully Mall Varna for E 120 000 000 and the deal was declared the biggest investment in retail outlet for 2007. He was among the top third in the “Top 100 of the most successful Bulgarian businessmen” of the “Pari” newspaper. In the ranking “Top 100 millionaries in Bulgaria” of the same newspaper he came eighth.
Krassimir Ouzunov established and owns one of the first completely Bulgarian photovoltaic parks in the village of Ravna gora, its power being 5 MWp, as well as a number of famous and well-establsihed brands like “Furniture houses Ralitsa” and “Company for managerial projects”. For almost 20 years he has been the official and exceptional representative of SHARP in Bulgaria. He is into development, investment, projects, operations with financial assets and instruments
coowner and manager of Planex Holding
30 may 2012
Reactions of the entrepreneur in extreme conditions
Eng. Plamen Andreev is owner and manager of “Planex” Holding. He graduated from the Higher military-and-cosntruction school, majoring in “Industrial and civil engineering”. In 1990 he established the company ET “Planex – Plamen Andreev” which he developed in the years into “Planex” Holding. Since its start the company has built more than 600 sites – hotels, homes and vacation complexes, retailing and office buildings and others. At the moment “Planex” Holding controls the activity of twelve subsidiaries in the sphere of construction and investment. Plamen Andreev was included in the ranking “Top 100 millionaires in Bulgaria” in 2010, made by the “Pari” newspaper. With its revenues and costs in 2007 the company is 25th among the holding companies in Bulgaria (the Top 100 ranking of the “Capital” newspaper). At the moment “Planex” Holding is among the leading companies in the construciton-and-entrepreneurial branch in the country.
founder of MoveBG
26 february 2014
Sasha Bezuhanova – about the leadership in the business
Sasha Bezuhanova is the founder of civil online platform for public discussions and debates MoveBG. Before creation of this platform she was managing director of Hewlett Packard Bulgaria and she were able to establish the company as a leader in the IT market in the country. Her development in professional aspect went through director Public Administration in Hewlett Packard Bulgaria for “Emerging Markets” and “Central and Eastern Europe”. She is founder, board member and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) to the European Union. Founder and Chairman of the Bulgarian center for women in technology (BCWT). In November 2013 she receives the award Digital Woman of Europe 2013 from Commissioner Neelie Kroes. Sasha Bezuhanova is working hard to create an environment for development of leadership and entrepreneurial skills among young people.
29 march 2012
Тhe best job in the world
Hristo Popov is a very successful and renown entrepreneur. He majored in “Internationa economic relations” in UNWE and MBA in Cambridge. Later he specialised in management in Harvard, Singapore, Great Britain and Hungary. After that Hristo Popov started work in the department of strategic planning in “Shell” in London, and then worked on company’s projects in Bulgaria, Hungary and Great Britain. His current position is Director of “Shell” in Taiwan. He also worked as a manager in the “Mixexpress” distribution company and headed a project for restucturing the brewer giant SABMiller in Europe. Hristo Popov was also the Execuitve officer of “Interbrew” for Bulgaria. At the moment he is working on a new major project for virtual hypermarkets.
owner of “Varchev Finance” Ltd
29 march 2012
Entrepreneur without borders
Bisser Varchev is owner and Manager of “Varchev Finance” EOOD. A graduate of the university of Economics-Varna who majored in “Economics and management of trade”, later he was an intern in the Merrill Lynch bank. He established a chain of exchange offices which grew into the finance group “Varchev finance”.
lord Evgeni Minchev
bulgarian PR and producer
5 april 2016
lord Evgeni Minchev
Lord Evgeni Minchev is a bulgarian PR and producer. He owns the publishing group “We, the women”, the competition “Business lady of the year”, organizes the annual Russian ball in Bulgaria and the prizes “National pride”. Few people know that he invests in luxury real estates and resells them. Lord Evgeni Minchev is the highest paid celebrity in the TV reality show “VIP Brother” for the last two years. Because of his charitable work he had been honored with numerous international titles and awards. Among the causes he supports are “The Royal British Legion”, Foundation for Support of Russian Children CBT – under the patronage of Prince Michael of Kent, Fund “Romanovi”, “The Heritage Foundation” and others.
Lord Evgeni Minchev is author of 8 books, the latest of which is based on biographical memories about the biggest Bulgarian celebrity Emil Dimitrov.
26 november 2015
Ani Vladimirova for the Success behind the Success
Lyuben Dilov Jr
producer and scriptwriter
25 march 2014
Business – the art of managing limited resources. Especially – yourself
Lyuben Dilov Jr is the creator, producer and head writer of the most successful and original TV formats in Bulgaria – “Ку-ку” (in English: Cuckoo), “Каналето” [Kanaletto], “Хъшове” (in English: outcasts), “Шоуто на Слави” (in English: “Slavi’s Show”). Head writer of the series “Седем часа разлика“ (in English: “Seven Hour Difference”) and “Секс,лъжи и телевизия“ (in English: “Sex, Lies and TV”) Publisher and editor of the newspaper “Новинар“ (in English: News presenter). Author of 10 books, including “За стърчането” (in English: for the bulge) co-authored with Slavi Trifonov which still holds the record of highest drawing realized on the Bulgarian market for the past 20 years. Editor of over 15 debut books, including the most read Bulgarian novel in 2008 and 2009 “18% сиво” (in English: “18% gray”). Currently he is an editor of “l’Europeo” and presents his own weekly show called “Пуснете водата“ (in English: flush the toilet) with a large pig-doll impersonating the dormant hog in him.
angel investor, CEO PC Consultancy Group [UK]
13-15 may 2016
entrepreneur and owner of Bart Ltd
25 april 2012
The path of the adventure called Entrepreneurship
Diana Dicheva is an entrepreneur and owner of Bart Ltd. She majored in “Finance” from UNWE and has gathered experience in the field of entrepreneurship for 22 years now. Diana Dicheva established and affirms on the market the “Bart” and “Dandy” brands.
expert online medias, online marketing and PR [BG]
13-15 may 2016
Justine Toms is one of the leading experts and entrepreneurs in the field of online medias and online marketing. Founded and manages the web agency ABC Design and Communication from 1998 and online media group “Az media” from 2001, including the web sites Az-jenata.bg, Az-deteto.bg, Ludi Mladi and others. From June 2011 the media group is part of the portfolio of Investor.bg. Justin Toms is founder and organizator of the competition for best bulgarian site and best internet impact “BG Site” from 1999 till now. Author of 10 books with topics online media and marketing, web influence. Specialist in the field of interactive advertising, internet media planning, email marketing and Web 2.0. Long-standing trainer and lecturer of seminars and corporate trainings with topics such as medias, PR, marketing and internet advertising in Bulgaria and abroad.
Partner Manager at LAUNCHub [BG]
13-15 may 2016
From 2012 Todor Breshkov manages the cee’d investments fund LAUNCHub, of which he is also a co-founder and actively works with portfolio companies from the selection process to the acquisition of shares and subsequent consultation and development of individual businesses. He also participates in subsequent attraction of investors for companies and their preparation for implementation of the next round of funding. From 2003 to 2010 he has been a member of the Supervisory Board of the third largest bank in Bulgaria (First Investment Bank). From 2003 to 2009 Todor is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange-Sofia and CEO of one of the largest brokerage houses in Bulgaria – First Financial Brokerage House. Todor is the founder and Chairman of the Board of the largest Bulgarian Real Estate Fund from 2005 until today.
co-founder at Eleven Accelerator Venture Fund [BG]
13-15 may 2016
Dilyan Dimitrov is co-founder of Eleven Accelerator Venture Fund. He works with the companies from the portfolio from the process of selection to the acquire of share and following consulting and developing of business.
leadership coach for CEOs and owners
26 february 2013
Which is the new computer in the business today? How the new market reality puts everyone in circumstances of entrepreneurship?
Petar Goryalov is a world-recognised coach in leadership for executives and owners, certified by the Academy of Coaching & NLP in San Francisco, USA; who has been awarded one of the highest international awards in coaching – the ICF President’s Award. Goryalov was also given the prize “The Best of the Best” trade managers in the world by HP. He coordinated the merger of Compaq and Hewlett Packard in Bugaria. He was responsible also for the commercial quotas in Bulgaria of Intel, HP and Compaq. In 1998 Petar Goryalov established for the first time in Bulgaria the OEM channel of Microsoft.
owner of restaurant chain Ola Taste of Med
23 february 2012
Alexander Nedelchev is one of the most successful Bulgarian entrepreneurs who managed to turn every idea of his into a sustainable business. A member of the team that created and put into practice the “Picadilly” project from 1996 to 2008. He is the owner of the Ola Taste of Med chain and well as the cofounder and currently Chairman of the Managing board of Varna MFC…
CEO of Port Varna PLC
30 november 2011
Danail Papazov is an executive director of “Port Varna” PLC – One of the most successful Bulgarian managers, at present he is the Minister of transportation, information technologies and comminications.
Mission and Objectives
Our mission is to support the exchange of successful business models and models for public-private partnership, to support exchange of information on the latest trends and innovations in different sectors of the economy among business leaders, scientists, policy-makers, etc. and target audiences on both European and global level; to encourages creative and innovative business thinking and entrepreneurship.
Our objectives are to develop sustainable national and international platforms/forums for exchange of information about the latest trends in good practices and networking between entrepreneurs / startups with the active participation of the rest of the stake-holders: the mature business, representatives of the academic circles, local and national authorities, representatives of institutions of the European Union, etc. During the 9 years of its existence BBF has developed a community of more than 10 000 people from Bulgaria with business profile Sustainable and Startup business. Through the years we had supported and promoted more than 70 startups.
They supported us
COLLABORATE WITH US!
During the 9 years of its existence our NGO has organized more than 20 business forums (including the Innowave Summit international annual conference) and has developed a community of more than 10 000 people from Bulgaria with business profile Sustainable & Startup business. We have proved our potential to work on both small and large-scale projects requiring partnerships and long-term cooperation with different stakeholders. We are familiar with the necessities, achievements and perspectives before the startup ecosystem. We work hard to create a better environment for Bulgarian start-up ecosystem and to build the image of Bulgaria as an attractive start-up location with a united and strong start-up eco system.