Bulgarian Innovation Hub (BIH), the Silicon Valley-based organization, which aims to help Bulgarian founders set foot overseas, has attracted another $725,000 to expand its operations. $400,000 of this amount are a grant from the America for Bulgaria foundation with a clause to double any future financing coming from other sources such as foundations, individuals, and corporate donors. The remaining $325,000 came from the startup ecosystem in Bulgaria.
“The grant will be paid out over the next three years […]. Apart from that, we are also supported by our Bulgarian partners at Eleven, BrightCap Ventures, Endeavor Bulgaria, Siteground, Telelink, etc. Our diaspora is also giving use exceptionally strong support and we are proud we have been able to attract the interest of legendary Silicone Valley investor Franklyn “Pitch” Johnson,” BIH director Pavlina Yanakieva told Capital.
Helping Bulgarian startups set foot in US
BIH was set up in end-2018 by Bogomil Balkansky, former Google vice president, currently partner at the Sequoia Capital fund, Telerik co-founder Vasil Terziev, Pavlina Yanakieva, member of the supervisory board of Zedno v Chas, Pavlina Yanakieva and investment banker Ivan Dimov.
The goal of the BIH acceleration program is to help founders polish and adjust their Go-to-Market strategy, get to know the US legal environment, make valuable connections and meet potential partners, clients, and investors.
So far, it has welcomed three cohorts of a total of 28 startups. The next program is set to start on September 27th, 2021 and is still accepting applications.
“Because of the economic crisis, we are witnessing an exponential growth in the need to access the US market, get access to cultural guidance, mentorship, and investors. Travel restrictions are limiting the founders’ options to meet new clients and partners live, therefore it is very important for them to take advantage of the access and resources that BIH can offer,” Yanakieva said.