Innovation Accelerator Bulgaria has a mandate to invest in pre-seed (EUR 25 000 – 50 000) and seed (EUR 50 000 – 1 000 000) stage companies with significant presence in Bulgaria. We are not a bank, we don’t offer grants! We make investments in companies for minority equity of which we would be looking to exit in 3-7 years and realize a substantial return. Although we are not planning to run your company, we would like to monitor its development and prevent you from making some critical mistakes. Of course, you will be able to rely on our expertise and most importantly on our business and investment network.
Since the start of our application campaign, we have been approached by a number of companies, startups, entrepreneurs, stakeholders and project owners with business ideas that need funding. Although we are easily reachable and you will either know us or will be able to introduce yourself to us at an event, we don’t have the capacity to set up a personal meeting with everyone that is interested to apply. Therefore, we created a more structured application process. We would invite you to fill out an online application form here.
Only the most promising companies will be invited to the next step of the selection process.
What are some of the key factors that we will analyze for pre-seed companies (25 000 – 50 000 euro)?
- Need to have some presence in Bulgaria (entity, team members, revenues, R&D activity)
- There is a formed team, which is dedicated to the execution of the project
- Can be at idea stage, but ideally an MVP has been developed already
- Some idea-stage projects might be considered, however, the team must consist of well-rounded and successful entrepreneurs with complementary expertise, outstanding reputation and relevant industry experience
- The project tackles a clear problem with a valid solution within a well-defined market segment
- Problem/solution fit has been achieved
- Companies that reached product/market fit will be tolerated
- Product validation could be justified in the following ways: customer interviews, reference to comparable products, actual subscribers/users/sales
- International scalability is preferable
What else would be necessary to qualify for a seed round of investment from us (50 000 – 1 000 000 euro)?
- Your company has already launched its product/service and is looking for capital to expand its operations
- The business has either a substantial user base or is making stable monthly recurring revenues (a minimum of EUR 10 000/mo)
- Your business has been recognized as a market leader or with a very good chance to become one or is operating within a specific innovative market niche
- Your company has received a previous round of external funding
What else can be taken into consideration?
- Reference from a stakeholder in the ecosystem
- Your project is in the priority sectors of the fund (Education, Transport & Logistics, Healthcare, Telco and Digital Projects, FMCG)
- If you have received European or government grant (de minimis)
What can you expect from us?
- Funding options:
- Pre-seed – EUR 25 000 – 50 000
- Seed – EUR 50 000 – 1 000 000
- Acceleration program (3 months; pre-seed investments)
- Utilize the mentorship network during the acceleration (pre-seed investments)
- Get full use of the capacity of the fund managers to accelerate the development process, optimize the sales cycle, attract key hires, etc.
- Follow-on funding and fundraising for bigger tickets is also available at the right time
The selection process:
- You can expect this process to last 2-3 months (from application to money in the bank)
- First, we review and estimate the viability of the project
- A limited number of teams are invited to individual meetings or pitching sessions
- Upon investment interest, short-listed companies will receive indicative term sheet
- We initiate a financial, legal and commercial due diligence and valuation process
- After satisfactory due diligence we will offer an investment agreement
Good luck and we look forward to reviewing your applications!
Innovation Accelerator Team