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[Survey] What Do Bulgarian Startups Need To Make It Through The Coronavirus Situation?

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Startups and entrepreneurs are losing clients on a local level, founders think that delaying the deadlines for tax payments and financial boost of between €25 and €100K will help them make it through the next months. These are some first findings of a new surrey the Bulgarian Startup Association (BESCO) published this week.

“The purpose of the survey is to collect data for an economic report and policy recommendation we want to present to state authorities, national and foreign organizations.  Our aim is to lobby for and protect the needs of the Bulgarian innovative ecosystem,” explains Ivan Vassilev, board member at BESCO. 

A collective effort of the ecosystem

The association hopes to collect 200 responses from high tech and innovative entrepreneurs in the next weeks, so they can quickly examine the results and propose economic and support measures on time. Concrete and relevant measures need to be based on data, say the initiators, and ask founders to share their needs, promising they will remain anonymous and the collected data will be used only for the purposes of the report. 

The survey consists of 15 questions related to the industry of the company, the financial performance in the past year, the performance in the past month, projection of losses, the areas of vulnerability and the immediate support needs of the business. 

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Some first recommendations: The Open Letter of the Startup and VC community

Last week, four organizations, including the startup association already sent out an open letter to the Bulgarian government asking for immediate measures to support the development of the local innovative ecosystem. Temporary suspension of requirements for capital fundraising from third parties at the fund and deal level, that would allow VC firms with public capital to invest the capital they already have more easily, is one of the suggestions in the letter. Inclusion of Bulgarian startups in the list of potential beneficiaries of business support programs, funded by the Bulgarian Development Bank and its private equity fund, and delaying liabilities to the state, are another two immediate measure recommendations. 

“The expertise of innovative startup companies can play a key role in the post-crisis recovery process. The world we live in will be transformed, and every industry will make every effort to digitize their businesses, processes, products, and services. With their solutions, Bulgarian technology companies will help traditional industries regain their competitive position, create new significant enterprises, competing for the needs of today’s era, and we must not allow these companies to be lost today,” is one of the main conclusions in the letter.

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