The culmination of the three day startup bootcamp for start-ups held in Burgas was on the 5th of July and it took place on the beach at Bar Botanic. Out of the 15 companies that took part in the bootcamp, 8 made it to the final pitching event where a jury of 15 members including the partners from Innovation Capital, representatives of other funds and experts in different fields assessed the companies. The innovative part in the format was the fact that the whole event took place on the sea side, under the stars. “There should be more events like that, this is a perfect opportunity for networking taking place outside of the office”, said one of the jury members.
The 15 companies that took part in the XL Bootcamp had three days packed with 1-on-1 sessions with different mentors, workshops on marketing, funding, presentation skills and received legal advises from the legal expert at Innovation Capital. The mentors assessed the progress and the potential of the start-ups and 8 teams made it to the final event. The founders had 5 minutes to deliver their pitch and a questions and answers session followed where the jury members dived deep into what could make these projects great businesses.
The winner – SensIT – is a company that is developing a network of smart sensors that provide a map of parking slots allowing drivers to cut on the time spent in looking for a place to park their cars. The system is being tested at the moment and can be used by privately operated car parks as well as with public zones for parking, ran by different municipalities. The company will use the investment of EUR 50,000 for mass production of the sensors and their implementation with customers.
The partners from Innovation Capital, alongside the other jury members, were impressed with the projects and decided not only to fund the winner, but give additional awards of EUR 25 000 another to other three promising projects which will join the XL Radar acceleration program. Severina’s Secret is a project that is developing innovative formulas for cosmetics for the intimate zone and is ready to launch its’ first product. The investment will be used for marketing and developing the whole line of products. Archabits - esnaf toys is a family owned company that is producing handcrafted wooden magnetic toys for kids and adults. The toys resemble a puzzle and allow for creativity and creation of new animals. The investment will be used for increasing the production and entering new markets. The third project that was awarder EUR 25 000 – Pishtovy (Пищовъ) - is an online educational platform for exam preparation for students and will use the investment for adding additional content including educational materials and tests for different age groups.
The next bootcamp will take place in Sofia between the 13th and 17th of July and will include the most promising teams from the investor days organized in Sofia and Plovdiv. The most promising projects will pitch to a jury and will compete for an investment from Innovation Capital and access to the XLRadar accelerator program.
Innovation Capital is a venture capital firm managing EUR 15.6 mln with a mandate to invest in equity and quasi-equity instruments in 200+ startup companies. It was selected by the Fund of Funds to operate a financial resource of EUR 14 mln throught the Operational Programme Innovations and Competitiveness and also attracted EUR 1.6 mln from private investors.
Innovation Capital AD is the entity managing the fund Innovation Accelerator Bulgaria Fund KDA, which is co-financed by European Regional Development Fund.
The entire responsibility of the validity of the content in this document is held by Innovation Capital AD and by no means it can be inferred that it reflects an official statement or opinion by the European Union, the Fund of Funds (Fund Manager of Financial Instruments in Bulgaria EAD) or Innovation Accelerator Bulgaria Fund KDA.