Techstars Startup Weekend Blagoevgrad

    Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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Techstars Startup Weekend Blagoevgrad

Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019

Friday, November 8 - 10, 2019
Event starts at 6:00 pm

American University in Bulgaria
Blagoevgrad, Blagoevgrad 2700

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Do you believe your idea can make a difference in the world? Do you know how to make it come true? Did you maybe check your horoscope today to get some inspiration? Get a tarot reading? Call a wizard hotline? Better yet, look into a crystal ball?

Drop the crystal ball, leave your tarot cards at home, don’t read your horoscope… Come to the StartUP weekend instead and bring your ideas to life. Don’t let others predict your future, make your own.

We’ll be waiting for you in the ABF Sports Hall on November 8-10. Join the team of StartUP@Blagoevgrad for a 54-hour marathon of magic and inspiration. Brew the potion of success: just add an awesome idea, some creative teammates and… voila! Hear what our mentors have to say, impress our judges, and make your business venture come true.

Dare to #Envision.

See what it's all about

Learn More


Friday November 8th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:15 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

7:45 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:00 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

8:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

9:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 9th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm
Mentor sign-ups start
First come, first serve basis.

12:30 pm
Mentor sign-ups end

12:30 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

1:00 pm

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

7:00 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

8:00 pm

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Sunday November 10th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Mentor sign-ups
First come, first serve basis.

9:55 am
Mentor sign-ups end

10:00 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

1:00 pm

1:30 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

1:45 pm
Mock presentations sign-ups.
First come, first serve basis.

2:30 pm
Mock presentations sign-ups end

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Deadline for submitting presentations

5:30 pm
Final Presentations

8:00 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Eleonora Carnasa
Product Developer, Founder of Fabrica 360, Service Designer

Eleonora has 2000+ hours coaching multidisciplinary teams in service design and storytelling in the Netherlands, Germany, Romania and Bulgaria. With extensive hands-on experience in service design with over 20 large scale projects across different industries and cultures. Among her clients are ING Bank, Henkel, Porsche, Hilti, Raiffeisen Bank, many startups and NGOs.​Active community member, Eleonora is mentoring social innovations and social entrepreneurship teams, developing training programs in service design, design thinking, creative leadership, storytelling and business model innovation. Representative of the Service Design Network in Bulgaria and founder of Fabrica 360.

Boyan Bakardjiev
PR and Communications Manager at SPARK and Eldrive, Manager Corporate Communications boyan-bakardjiev-b1378713/and PR at Renafa

Corporate Communications and Public Relations professional with over 15-year experience. Diversified know-how in multiple industries in SEE – car sharing, electric cehicles ang charging infrastructure, IT and telecommunications, financial services, industrial mining and industrial minerals, real estate, renewables and clean energy, luxury fashion and media. Leading the daily communication with regulatory bodies for the past six years. Heading a large team managing series of lawsuits against representatives of the tabloid media. Representing companies in associations and clusters. Experienced in monitoring media, parliament, public regulators and other official bodies’ activities. Experienced in working with clients and partners from various cultural backgrounds.

Teodora Donkin
Attorney at Law

Solutions-focused Startup Attorney with extensive experience in the field of international law and passion for innovation. Broad background in managing international startup issues with high risk circumstances. Particular interests in leadership. 

Batyr Orazov
Finance Manager

- Finance Manager at IBM Sofia (previously Financial Analyst, Gross Spend Reporting Analyst)
-IBM Agile Explorer certification - implementing Agile in business
- Accounting Officer
- Renaissance Construction 
- Health, Safety and Environment Engineer
- North Drilling Company
- AUBG Alumni

Petya Dapkova
VP Sales Administration

Result-driven, passionate and dedicated professional with international experience in building and leading teams, project management, fundraising, marketing & sales consulting within the EMEA, APAC and NA regions.

Great interest for digital transformations at large enterprises. Have explored this world both as Product Owner at an enterprise in the first digitalization initiative. As well as on the other side of the vessel as a vendor providing consulting and IT execution for customer’s digital initiatives.

Passionate about social entrepreneurship, educational and cultural projects, and work with general benefit to society!

Professional expertise:
• Building and Leading Teams;
• Business Processes Optimization;
• Digital Transformation;
• Business Project Management;

Gergana Stoichkova
Chief Operation Officer

-came back to Sofia few years ago after spending 6 years in Germany and Italy
-I get excited around anything related to fintech, blockchain, startups, VC investments, entrepreneurship, practical education and technology innovations
Director - Bulgarian Fintech Association
Chief Operations Officer - Depository Network
180 Degrees Consulting Sofia - Co-founder, Vice President, Advisory Board Member

Steven Tsvetkov
Technical Trainer & Web Developer

Experienced Web Developer and Technical Trainer with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. Skilled in C# and JavaScript, I have trained over 1500 people over the course of three years in different technologies, such as ASP.NET Core, EF Core, Angular, Nest.js, TypeORM and others.

My last few years in a few numbers:
- 6 web assets successfully deployed
- 53 courses successfully delivered
- Over 1500 people trained in the art of .NET and JS Development

Event Judges

Vladimir Borachev
Executive Coach

Vladimir is an experienced and inspirational leader, coach and lecturer. Vladimir actively supports managers at different levels on their leadership journey of self-discovery, employee development, employee motivation and peak performance.Vladimir has accumulated a solid professional experience in people motivation and development by leading 12 successful teams with three market leaders – Xerox, Avon Cosmetics and AUBG. From 1995 till 2005 Vladimir worked with Xerox Corporation in Central Eastern Europe region. In 2005, he joined Avon Cosmetics in Central Eastern Europe as Sales Director for Bulgaria, and later for Macedonia and Albania. At the end of 2007, Vladimir took over the general management for the three countries and from the middle of 2009 became Director for Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro.Vladimir holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from AUBG and an MBA degree from IESE Business School, Spain. He is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a faculty member of the American University in Bulgaria (2010 – 2017). Starting from 2018, Vladimir facilitates his own leadership development program for senior managers. 

Dobromir Ivanov
CEO of BESCO - The Bulgarian Startup Association

Dobromir Ivanov is the founder of BESCO: The Bulgarian startup association which is the bridge between the startups and the government. They unite today 370 companies from more than 40 different industries, including Aircraft, Artificial Intelligence, BioTech, Life Science, E-Learning, Education, BlockChain, IT and others. Their vision is to make Bulgaria the European startup incubator and to transform the economic model of our country based on innovations and R&D. He has been the Business Development Manager of Junior Achievement Bulgaria, Advisor to the Ministry of Economy, Chairman and Vice President of the Bulgarian Red Cross.

Emil Shekerdzhiiski
Founder of Networking Premium Coworking, CTO at

Emil Shekerdzhiiski is a startup veteran who has moved his life to Bulgaria to create Networking Premium Coworking and Coliving. Emil is a teacher, educating the Israeli way of work. A way, that he believes made Israel and Israeli startups a success story. He is an Advisor at BESCO, CTO at and co-founder of several startups.

Daniela Ilieva
Executive Director at Law and Internet Foundation

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniela Ilieva is a Member of the Management Board and the Executive Director of Law and Internet Foundation. As a management specialist, consultant and internationally recognized trainer, she joined the Law and Internet Foundation in 2015. Her profile includes extensive experience in business process management, business communications, intercultural communication and presentation skills.

Adrian Angelov
Head of Solution Architecture at Fadata

Experienced Solutions Architect with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Business Process, Oracle Database, Databases, Siebel, and Data Warehousing. Strong engineering professional with a Bachelor's degree focused in Accounting and Finance from University of Economics - Varna.

Coaches and Mentors

Galin Zhelyazkov
158ltd, Varna

Galin is a longtime organizer and facilitator based in Varna. Galin has organized and facilitated several Techstars Startup Weekend events and has been advising the organizing team in Varna in recent years!

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Techstars Startup Weekend Blagoevgrad team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.




Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Blagoevgrad is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Fatma
  • Nadia
  • Ilia


Galin Zhelyazkov

True Serial Technical Entrepreneur with passion for developing new start ups, building their structure and internal operational processes and employing a professional management in the stages of growth and maturity of the business.

Event Blog

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