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Bulgarian Startup Barin Sports, Backed by Ex-Real Madrid Star, Wins Dare to Scale 2023 Award

Bulgarian sportstech startup Barin Sports won the jury prize of the fifth edition of the growth program of Endeavor Bulgaria - Dare to Scale 2023.
Image credit: Endeavor Bulgaria
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Only have 1 minute? Here are 3 key takeaways from the piece:

 • Bulgarian sportstech startup Barin Sports won the jury prize of the fifth edition of the growth program of Endeavor Bulgaria – Dare to Scale 2023. 

 • Founded in 2015, Barin Sports’ advanced GPS tracking system provides accurate real-time data on athletes’ performance, allowing for comprehensive analysis and personalized training programs with a focus on avoiding non-contact injuries. 

 • The fifth edition of Dare to Scale saw five companies honored in four categories, with more than 50 Bulgarian business leaders taking part in the program as mentors and speakers

Last year, Barin Sports got a €2M investment from Capital Investments Fund (CIFund), a growth investment arm of the Bulgarian Development Bank (BDB). In June 2023, the startup also welcomed former Ballon d’or winner and ex-Real Madrid star Michael Owen as an investor. 

“Their dedication to pushing the boundaries of sports technology aligns perfectly with my own passion for innovation and perfection. I firmly believe that their cutting-edge GPS tracking system has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach sports performance, training, and injury prevention,” Owen said back in June. 

The jury evaluated the presentation of the participants according to three criteria – what is the company’s potential for global growth, how clearly are the company’s strategic goals defined, and how strong are the entrepreneur’s presentation skills. 

The jury award was presented by the Bulgarian Minister of Innovation and Growth, Milena Stoycheva, while the jury included established business leaders from various fields, such as Asen Yagodin (Post Bank), Kalin Radev (Software Group), Boyko Takov (IANMSP), Miroslav Stoyanov (EBRD), Sabina Gyosheva (BY FAR). 

In total, five companies were honored in four categories for their overall performance in the program: MyCFO with “Momentum Award”, Price International with “Conscious Steps Award”, Barin Sports and Augment with “Collaborative Spirit Award”, and ViaBank with “Most Endeavorized Award”.

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Dare to Scale is a four-month growth program of the international entrepreneurial network Endeavor, aimed at entrepreneurs and businesses that have already passed the early stage of their development and are at the beginning of a larger expansion of their activities. 

“To encourage these entrepreneurs who are in the growth stage of their business, Endeavor created the Dare to Scale program 5 years ago and we are already clearly seeing the results. Companies entering and passing through the program are increasingly aware in their search for resources, bold in their aspirations to enter foreign markets, but at the same time increasingly ready to support the ecosystem themselves through their own knowledge,” Momchil Vasilev, executive director of Endeavor Bulgaria, said in a statement. 

The program was held for the fifth year in a row and lasted from September to December, and 23 entrepreneurs from 12 companies were selected in this year’s cohort. The fifth edition saw the participation of more than fifty of the biggest business leaders in Bulgaria, such as Svetozar Georgiev and Kalin Radev, who joined the program for the fifth year in a row as speakers, as well as Bozhidar Neychev as a leader from the PwC, supporting mentoring meetings between entrepreneurs and the company. 

The Recursive was also a part of one of the previous editions of the program, getting the chance to explore growth opportunities, connect with mentors from across the Endeavor network, and gain clarity on its organizational priorities. 

The program is implemented with the main partner Post Bank and is supported by Software Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Executive Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (BSMEPA), and the America for Bulgaria Foundation.

Admissions for the sixth edition of the Dare to Scale program are expected to be open during the spring of 2024.


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Bojan is The Recursive’s Western Balkans Editor, covering tech, innovation, and business for more than a decade. He’s currently exploring blockchain, Industry 4.0, AI, and is always open to covering diverse and exciting topics in the Western Balkans countries. His work has been featured in global media outlets such as Foreign Policy, WSJ, ZDNet, and Balkan Insight.