Online Agrifood STARTUP Pitch Battle for the participants in Empowering Women in Agrifood (EWA) programme in Bulgaria 2021
On the 4th of November, Regional Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovations - Varna (RAPIV) organised STARTUP Pitch Battle - competition for the startup teams, participating in Empowering Women in Agrifood (EWA) Programme in Bulgaria 2021. The event gave opportunity to some of the most talented women-entrepreneurs to present their business projects for the agrifood sector and to receive financial support for the development of their ideas.
10 EWA participants presented their business ideas, each having five minutes to pitch in the way they would present it to an investor, followed by five minutes of the Q&A session, during which the jury and the audience could ask questions regarding the business idea and its business model.
Highlights from the pitches
1. Ana Racheva, Family farm „Sunny Garden“
Anna Racheva presented her idea for the family farm “Sunny garden” and environmentally friendly production of seedlings and vegetables, through the application of biological plant protection products. Her customers includes already more than 200 households.
2. Valeri Konicheva, honey factory "Geo’s Honey"
Valeri Konicheva gathered valuable experience throughout her participation in EWA programme and has finalised own production line and factory for the processing of honey based products. She presented also her new brand “Geo’s honey”.
3. Eli Manolova
Eli Manolova has developed an idea for sundried tomatoes. The innovative element is the recipe itself as well as the way the product is promoted - organic product, with origin from Bulgaria, which guarantees the unique taste.
4. Lyuba Nikolova: Viki trade 2008 Ltd
During the participation in EWA programme, Lyuba Nikolova has done a thorough research of the market and decided to increase the added value by creating a new product - food supplement, that would help the immune system and the respiratory tract.
5. Ilona Angelova, project Farm for soil, start-up Terra life
Ilona shared information about the mission of her start up - to restore soils and strengthen their sustainable management. Since entering the EWA programme, she won external funding and started negotiations with Sofia Municipality to conduct experiments on the territory of their biowaste treatment plant. With the help of her mentor Maria Stanimirova, they identified that their main advantage is the technology, not the production and this led to a change in the business model.
6. Madlen Zasheva, Consultative and training practical center for soil and composting
Madlen Zasheva has advanced greatly with her idea for the Consultative and training practical center for soil and composting with own compost gardens for demonstration and our own laboratory. In the course of the EWA programme, she developed wooden and ceramic composters with local manufacturers to replace plastic composting buckets. With the support of the programme, she is also preparing the publication of a children's colouring book "The Worm Book", which is to be published before International Soil Day.”
7. Mila Mincheva – ETNO, “sunny pate”
Mila Mincheva, using the “farm to fork” approach, has created a value-added product, closing the production cycle and shortening the supply chain to the end customer. With the help of her mentor Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gergana Slavova, she created a completely new product "sunny pate" - sunny because the main raw material used is peeled sunflower seeds own production.
8. Neda Kirilova, online platform "Lichen fermer"
During the EWA programme, Neda Kirilova focused on building her own brand, communication channels and creating the platform lichenfermer.bg with the aim to connect farmers directly with consumers of their products.
9. Silviya Ivanova, Darovete na Balkana
The knowledge and skills gained in the programme helped Silviya Ivanova to promote her products and reach new customers. She has also expanded product range with blackcurrant products, suitable for people with health problems.
10. Silviya Kostadinova, Bademite Ltd
Silviya Kostadinova shared, that she gained new expertise in sales and marketing that was major barrier to the realisation of her products - bio certified almonds. The start-up has created an online store, Facebook page, significantly improved their website and successfully made first steps in sales.
After the pitching session, the first part of the event was finished.
During the jury meeting from 2.00 to 4.00 pm, an Information event was held for introducing EWA Bulgaria 2021 programme of EIT Food and other initiatives for supporting women entrepreneurs and startups in agrifood, implemented by EIT Hub Bulgaria, Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Centre, Women Entrepreneurship Centre (WOMEN IN BUSINESS project).
Place and format of the event
The event took place online in Google Meet platform and was life streamed via RAPIV’s YouTube channel.
Number of participants/viewers
The event attracted more than 50 participants in Google meet platform. The whole Pitching event was streamed online and had 53 viewers on YouTube during the event and more than 180 viewers on YouTube after the event.
Ina Todorova – representative of EIT Food Hub Bulgaria, company Cleantech Bulgaria Ltd.
Yani Yanev – Vice president of Varna Free University “Chernorisets Hrabar”
Tatyana Gicheva – Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, Dobrich Branch, Enterprise Europe Network, Sector Group “Women Entrepreneurship”
The culmination of the event was the official ceremony for announcing the results by the jury and the award ceremony.
First place and 10 000 Euro prize was awarded to Ilona Angelova and her project for Farm for soil – Terralife.
The startup offers natural alternative for restoring the soils and fostering their sustainable management. Terralife is a new type of biofertilizer, produced from urban food waste by using innovative technology. The aim is to ensure natural protection for the plants and to increase soil fertility in the longrun.
Second place and 5 000 Euro prize winner is Neda Kirilova with her project Lichen Fermer (lichenfermer.bg) - online platform with the aim to create sustainable connection between the consumers and agrifood producers.
The startup also offers marketing and advertising services to local small and middle-sized farmers, focused on promoting good practices of eco and organic production, agricultural tourism, etc.
The prize of RAPIV went to Valeri Konicheva, who ranked third with her idea for factory for processing of honey and starting own brand honey based products - Geo’s Honey.
Thanks to the Pitching event participants gained new knowledge regarding the different elements of the startup support ecosystem and on the available initiatives for support of women entrepreneurs and startups in agrifood on regional, national and EU level.
They received thorough and systematic information regarding main trends in agrifood sector, EU main strategic documents regarding agrifood, their main objectives, relevant action plans and changes in legislation as well as possibilities of
The large public increased their knowledge about initiatives provided by EIT Food to support entrepreneurship, innovations in the agrifood sector and the funding instruments like Horizon Europe, etc.
All pitches of the participants in the Agrifood Startup Pitch Battle can be watched on RAPIV YouTube channel.