Only have 1 minute? Here are 3 key takeaways:
• Icanpreneur closed a successful pre-seed round of €830K, totaling funding of over €1M following a €200K angel round a year ago.
• The current round is led by Sofia Angels Ventures (SAV) and is joined by MFG Invest along with existing and new business angels.
• The Bulgarian startup is on a mission to significantly improve the odds of success of technology startup founders and product managers, by providing a guided journey, know-how, and best practices through intuitive and collaborative software.
Founded in 2021, Icanpreneur’s initial version of its Accelerator-as-a-Software empowers tech entrepreneurs and product teams worldwide to start from an initial idea and reach product/market fit with higher odds of success.
“What is the root of Icanpreneur’s success? Undoubtedly the most important thing for a company is product-market fit. Product-market fit is not just a point in time, reached in just a few months, but a never-ending process requiring continuous discovery and innovation. At the same time, “software is eating the world” and if product-market fit is so important, then why isn’t there any software to help companies get there? That’s how we created Icanpreneur – the most important software a company will ever have”, Vesko Kolev, Founder and CEO of Icanpreneur, said in a statement.
Their latest funding round is also supported by entrepreneurs such as including Svetozar Georgiev (Co-Founder of Telerik, Telerik Academy & Campus X), Pressian Karakostov (Founder of PubGalaxy, PhoneArena, Co-chair of the board at Endeavor Bulgaria), Kristian Demirev (Founder and Managing Director SK-PSD Group), Hristo Kosev (Co-Founder of Telerik, Telerik Academy & Healee), Zoran Arsovski (Founder of VertoDigital), Georgi Atanasov (Chief Technology Officer at Sentur), Emil Tabakov (ex-Senior Product Manager at Coursera).
Vesko Kolev, the company’s CEO and founder, is also one of the many tech founders, angel investors, and ecosystem builders who sprung from the software company Telerik after it was acquired by the American company Progress in 2014.
“At the end of the day entrepreneurship is all about figuring out ways to create and deliver something of value to others – value that is so compelling that enough people, be it as consumers or professionals, are willing to pay for. In principle economic downturns are a form of vacuum that needs to be filled and while such might be considered as a threat, they are actually the opposite for entrepreneurs. For them they are pockets of business opportunities. One of the analogies that I believe describes best such situations is a huge wave in the sea – you can either be under it or you can be the surfer that rides it. Teaching people entrepreneurship is like teaching them to ride big waves and Icanpreneur provides both the guidance and the“surfboard”,” Kolev tells The Recursive.
According to Icanpreneur, the mix of investors with their unique domain expertise, product experience, reputation, and relationships make this pre-seed round “among one of the strongest to date in the region.”
For Sofia Angels Ventures, what Icanpreneur does is offer entrepreneurs a “more systematic and scientific approach” when creating their products.
“The startup world is evolving beyond its initial romantic phase. Founders are starting to realize that discovering and solving significant problems is more than art and energy created by the initial inspiration. They started applying a more systematic and scientific approach when creating products, focusing on customer satisfaction and efficient technological solutions. That’s exactly where Icanpreneur offers essential tools to accelerate their progress significantly. We believe the timing is perfect and the company’s team is right for the mission,” Milen Ivanov, Managing Partner at Sofia Angels Ventures, said in a statement.
“What product fits the market? This is a problem we’ve often faced since MFG started. Despite having a large team, with years of experience, we keep encountering the same challenge with every new product and market. We believe entrepreneurs deserve software that helps them find their way without diluting their efforts. That’s why we’ve invested in Icanpreneur,” said Stanimir Vassilev, Co-Founder of MFG Invest and Management Financial Group.
The company now plans to invest the fresh funding in accelerating the development of Icanpreneur as a product and as a go-to-market in the next couple of years, and to also further expand its team, while incorporating, as they say, “emerging entrepreneurship trends, particularly around AI in the CEE, EU, and US markets”.
“Even though the current wave of AI models started last year, we are just starting to see how these technologies are put to good use and the biggest potential in front of AI right now is in integrating it vertically to make a positive impact in business, healthcare, climate change, and other significant problems in front of the humankind. However, whether you are solving a problem through old or new means, that doesn’t necessarily change the problem’s importance, urgency or pervasiveness. This is where Icanpreneur is perfectly positioned to create a dent by boosting the odds of market success of tech startups by enabling them to work on problems with a significant market demand.” Kolev concludes.