JOIN BEC TODAY! Join our mission to connect the entrepreneurs and decision-makers within Bulgaria who are committed to nurturing and supporting entrepreneurship with those in America, make your BULGARIAN/AMERICAN connection!
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FOCUS ON WHAT MAKES THE  ENTREPRENEURIAL DIFFERENCE

THE ART OF BECOMING

In April 2017, a group of inspired entrepreneurs will travel to Sofia, Bulgaria to announce the creation of the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center, BEC.
BEC will be a program of the Social Good Fund, a non-profit 501©(3) located in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.
To this group, “entrepreneurship” is a verb, not a noun - not a “state of being” but a continuous “state of becoming”. BEC’s goal is to infuse knowledge - gained through experience derived from working with diverse cultures - into the Bulgarian eco-system so that Bulgaria can grow innovatively into a place of greater significance in the world.

LAUNCH FOR IMPACT

BEC wants to promote entrepreneurship throughout all elements of society, but, especially, the business sector and those wishing to support artistic and cultural expression.
BEC will bring several entrepreneurial role models to Bulgaria in April to speak with groups of students, aspiring entrepreneurs and business people about their experiences – some successes, some failures – in following an entrepreneurial path. BEC hopes to open a dialogue between people introduced to one another through a series of meetings across Bulgaria. In so doing, BEC intends these first encounters to be the beginning of mutually beneficial conversations that will create a permanent “knowledge bridge” between Bulgaria and America.
BEC’s objective is to develop a permanent educational and mentorship connection that can ultimately lead to American investment and funding for Bulgarian inspired projects in both business and the arts, as well as projects that spring from a social consciousness.

EXPERTS IN THE FIELD

Speakers with direct knowledge of the business and investment ecosystem in Silicon Valley. Professionals with "hands on" experience investing and growing value producing ventures.

COVER BRIDGE TOPICS

Each session is designed to illuminate a different feature of making the US/Bulgaria connection and to opening up your access to Bulgaria's knowledge worker economy as a gateway to the world.

ON GOING COLLABORATION

Connections you make at the BEC Launch are connections you keep. The Lecture Series establishes the launch of the Bulgaria Entrepreneurship Center, your on-going connection to the top, globally linked technical minds in the region.
Larry Biehl

Larry Biehl

Founder, Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center

Since creating Interculture, Inc. (IC) and Interculture Foundation (ICF) in 2008, Larry and his wife, Maggie, have traveled throughout the world to discover ways in which these organizations could fulfill their mission. The purpose of both is to create "common space" between disparate cultures in a "culturally competent" way.'

When Larry identifies a place that could benefit from "common space creation", he creates a program: such as, in Bulgaria,  the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEC).

Larry has worked as a Financial Advisor and Investment Manager for wealthy individuals for over 40 years, founding Bailard, Biehl & Kaiser, inc. with two classmates after graduating from the Stanford Business School in 1969. He co-authored two books a college textbook, Personal Money Management, SRI and McMillan, 6 Editions (1972-1990) and self-help book, Personal Profit Series, Dow Jones (1976-1977).

Larry has experience working with many non-profit organizations: Alister MacKenzie Foundation, Heart to Heart Foundation, Esalen Institute’s Project for Economic Growth (Russia), Western Folklife Center, American Prairie Foundation, and the da Vinci Society.

Dafina Toncheva

Dafina Toncheva

Partner, US Venture Partners - Tech Investor

Dafina is clearly a shining example of a successful entrepreneur. Currently she is Partner at US Venture Partners (USVP) in Silicon Valley, where she specializes in technology investing.

Her history is most amazing. At 18 years old, she came to the US from Bulgaria to attend Harvard on a scholarship (after applying to 50 schools and receiving letters of acceptance to 13). She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a BS in Computer Science; then went on to earn her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

After school, but before she became a venture capitalist, Dafina held positions in development and product management at Microsoft, where she focused on authentication systems, digital signatures and business workflow.

Dafina is working with the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) to develop an entrepreneurship curriculum and, among other things, will visit Bulgaria in April 2017 to deliver “Follow Your Passion” talks/workshops to students to encourage them to expand their “realm of the possible”.

Bogomil Balkansky

Bogomil Balkansky

Vice President, Google - Stealth Mode Tech Entrepreneur

VV works at the stealth mode start up, Bebop, in San Francisco. Before this endeavor, Bogomil was a key executive at VMware where he played a pivotal role in steering VMware’s flagship “server virtualization” product line to become the de-facto standard in every datacenter. Over his 8-year stint at VMware, the server virtualization product line grew 10X in revenue and its customer base grew from 5K to 300K customers.

Prior to VMware, Bogomil worked in product management at Siebel Systems – the pioneer of CRM software - and at CrossWeave – an innovative application integration start up. He started his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company.

Bogomil holds a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Cornell University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Bogomil will be joining the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center’s April 2017 trip to Bulgaria to give talks/workshops to aspiring startup teams describing what it takes to attract funding from Silicon Valley investors.

Vassil Terziev

Vassil Terziev

CEO, Telerik - High Growth Entrepreneur

Vassil is a Co-founder and CEO of Telerik where he played a key role in the successful growth of the company from a start-up in 2002 to a leading global provider of software solutions for businesses with 9 offices across 7 countries and over 130,000 clients, including Fortune 500 companies.

The first of its kind, “free” comprehensive training program, for software developers in Bulgaria, Telerik Academy was launched in 2009. It started first training adults, but soon expanded to include children and teens (grades 1-12), training almost 10,000 students on-site and getting 4.4 million views online.

After Progress Software acquired Telerik in 2014 for more than $260M, Vassil became the Chief Innovation Officer.

As of January 3, 2017, Telerik Academy regained its independence and all four initial founders left Progress to forge a new teaching academy, expand its scope and extend its outreach.
Vassil has joined BEC’s trip to Bulgaria, April 2017 to tell aspiring entrepreneurs lessons learned from one of Bulgaria’s most successful business' stories.

Michael Marvin

Michael Marvin

Venture & Seed Capital Fund Deployment

Mike Marvin has been actively involved in starting and/or growing more than 100 technology companies - and investing in many of them - over the last 30+ years.

He was a founder and first CEO of a startup that went public 7 years later and was ultimately sold to a Fortune 500 company. Also, Mike was an adviser to a $1.4 Billion
Equity Fund, where he screened the companies to be funded and served on their boards.

He also founded and helped manage a seed capital fund that invested $10,000 - $100,000 in startup companies concentrated within a 60-mile radius of great universities (Rensselear Polytechnical Institute).

Throughout his career, Mike has been a CEO, Chairman of the Board, Board Member, Advisor, and/or an Investor with numerous technology companies located in New York, Florida, Virginia, Connecticut, and Canada.

Mike will join BEC’s April 2017 trip to Bulgaria to talk with business leaders and entrepreneurs about how to build effective seed capital funds to connect with US funding resources.

Dr. Jamie Williams

Dr. Jamie Williams

NFL & Super Bowl Veteran, Holllywood Actor, Entrepreneur

After becoming an All-American Football and Basketball player at Nebraska University, Dr. Williams played professional football and earned a NFL XXIV Super Bowl ring with the San Francisco 49ers.

Following football, Dr. Williams embarked on a career that included work in the film industry as a writer, director, screenwriter and actor. Jamie is most known for his role as a writer, technical director and actor in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday.

 Along the way, he achieved both a Master Degree in Mass Communication and a Doctorate Degree in Education and Leadership.

Jamie’s startup, Ymotion, creates everything from commercials, graphic design, music videos, web development, illustration/animation and social media presence.  All of its “creatives” have degrees in Fine Art, and its clients mostly represent Fortune 500 hundred companies.

Joining BEC’s April 2017 trip to Bulgaria, Jamie’s talks will target young people who believe that their future can be something other than a predictable path, and that teamwork is the most important platform from which to launch entrepreneurial success.

Norman Winarsky

Norman Winarsky

Entrepreneurial Mentor & Technology Pioneer

Norman Winarsky works with entrepreneurs, startups, research institutes, and major companies to create breakthrough ventures or products, and advises them on the framework and practice for successful innovation. Norman is past President of SRI Ventures at SRI International, a world-leading research institute founded by Stanford University in 1946. He has been a founder and leader of SRI’s venture strategy and process, which has resulted in more than sixty ventures worth over $20 billion.

Norman helped create and build companies ranging from artificial intelligence, natural language, and computer vision, to medical devices, robotics, and nanotechnology. He was a co-founder and board member of Siri, which was spun out from SRI in January 2008 and acquired by Apple in April 2010. Siri has become a worldwide phenomenon, establishing the breakthrough market category of virtual personal assistant.

He is currently a lecturer at Stanford University, and co-author of “If You Really Want to Change the World; A Guide to Creating, Building, and Sustaining Breakthrough Ventures”, published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Saafir Rabb

Saafir Rabb

CEO, Interculture, Inc. - Community Development, Social Enterprise

A former consultant to President Obama’s transition team for public diplomacy, Saafir leads Interculture, Inc., a firm that provides clients with culturally competent business solutions. His work lies at the intersection of community development and social enterprise, and he has produced results in fields ranging from business development and job creation to drug treatment and affordable housing. In the U.S. and internationally, he has assisted numerous organizations and enterprises with developing strategic approaches, improved relationships, financing options and general good judgement to carry forward their agendas. With a keen ability to identify and incorporate critical concerns from multiple perspectives, Saafir’s approach results in increased efficiency, profitability and positive social impact for Interculture clients. Saafir is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and is a board member of Educate Girls Globally.

Lilly Drumeva

Lilly Drumeva

Country Music Performer, Journalist - Cultural Evangelist

Lilly Drumeva is a Bulgarian singer, songwriter and music producer. She formed Bulgaria's most successful country and bluegrass band "Lilly of the West" in 1996, still active today. The group has performed in many European countries and the US, winning prestigious awards. Lilly has released ten albums (her latest, “Strong Machine”) and has organized numerous music events, concerts and festivals.

She is also a renowned music journalist and radio presenter. Lilly is a Fulbright scholar and has studied music in Nashville, TN. She is the author of the book "In The Mood With Lilly - 50 Music Themes", a music encyclopedia in Bulgarian language.

In 2015 Lilly organized a 12 concert tour throughout Bulgaria for "Cowboys and Indians - In Song and Verse" - an American show featuring music, poetry and story-telling. She publicized and promoted the show with great success. This is how she first met Larry Biehl, Director the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center (BEC), and producer of the show.
Lilly now represents BEC in Sofia.

Rumen Iliev

Rumen Iliev

Investment Officer, LAUNCHub Ventures - Early Stage Ecosystem

Rumen has a keen passion for entrepreneurship, startups, venture capital, investments and he’s focused on building connecting with relevant people in the startup/entrepreneurial ecosystem that can help early stage companies achieve their goals.

Rumen Iliev manages the application process, the pre-selection and the portfolio relations for Bulgarian seed stage Venture Capital fund, LAUNCHub Ventures, that recently closed its second fund with €18 million to invest in startups in Bulgaria and Southeast of Europe.
The Sofia-based firm will invest anywhere between €300,000 and €700,000 per company, and in some cases up to €2 million, operating as new investment or in support of an existing portfolio startup. It previously ran a €9 million fund for pre-seed deals.

LAUNCHub’s portfolio currently features companies in an assorted set of fields, such as combat sports streaming service Fite and Doctrian, a platform that aims to connect pharmacies with pharma companies.

His latest investment is in Fintech startup HiCharlie, based in San Francisco but founded by two Bulgarians.
Rumen is focused on building connections with the relevant people in the startup/entrepreneurial ecosystem that can help early stage companies achieve their goals. This interest has motivated him to assist the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) organize visits from American educators, mentors and funders to Bulgaria, and Bulgarian startup entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley.


POWERFUL, EXPERIENCED VOICES
Every country is unique as a function of its history, culture, religion, language and more. As such, every country has the opportunity to play a distinct and significant role on the international stage. To do so, a country must tell its story in clear and simple terms to attract interest, investment and collaboration from all types of partners.

SCHEDULE

23 April

 

17:00 – Presentation of BEC at the House of Culture, Plovdiv

18:30 – Reception sponsored by BEC

24 April

 

17:00 – Presentation of BEC at Mark City Center, Sofia

18:30 – Reception sponsored by BEC

25 April

 

Presence of BEC at WEBIT, Sofia Tech Park

18:00 – Interview and live streaming, program “Novatorite”, at Move IT, Sofia

19:30 – Reception, sponsored by LauncHub

26 April

 

09:00 – Presentation of BEC at Sofia University, hall “The Egg”

17:00 – Presentation of BEC at AUBG Andrey Delchev Hall, Blagoevgrad

18:30 – Reception sponsored by BEC

27 April

 

17:00 – Presentation of BEC at Varna Free University

18:30 – Reception sponsored by BEC

28 April

 

12:00 – Presentation of BEC at Hotel Alegro, Veliko Tarnovo

13:00 – Reception sponsored by BEC

29 April

 

19:30 – Presentation of BEC at the Artificial Intelligence Conference (AI) at club “Yalta”, Sofia

CONTACT US

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