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Bulgarian Тeenovators tackle social exclusion, education, and climate change

Image credit: Teenovator Weekend of Ideas 2022
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The fourth edition of the Bulgarian entrepreneurship Teenovator Weekend of Ideas initiative for 10th and 11th graders concluded a couple of days ago in a hybrid pitch event. The Weekend of Ideas is part of the year-round Teenovator program that aims to promote entrepreneurship, business thinking, and startup culture among young people. 

Nearly 400 high school students from 30 Bulgarian cities presented the startup ideas that they have been working on for a day and a half with the help of 60 mentors from the Bulgarian startup ecosystem. A total of 80 business ideas for solutions on social, climate, cultural, and educational issues were pitched in front of a jury panel. 

“I sincerely hope that programs like Teenovator can spread the entrepreneurial spirit in our country because the young people are the hope for the smart businesses that will be born in our country,” the Minister of Innovation and Growth, Daniel Lorer, said at the official opening of the event. 

The inventions high school students want to create

Three years after the first Teenovator program when only 4 schools participated, the initiative has now reached more than 1000 students and 100 mentors in total. The goal of the event is to enable high school students to apply and improve the skills which they develop in their local startup clubs. These include teamwork and presentation skills, business model development, and problem-solving abilities.

The 76 business ideas were awarded in 9 categories and below you can find out the recognized teams and their solutions. Now, after the Weekend of Ideas event, the students will continue to develop their ideas into working businesses to present them at the Final Competition in May in front of a jury that is made up entirely of investors.

  • Most sustainable business model: Fin X – a financial analytics software. 
  • The greenest business idea: Roadside wind turbines – wind turbines that are located on highways to generate electricity from the wind created by the moving vehicles.
  • The craziest idea: Yeast Poetry –  the idea is to knead bread and sell it together with the literary works of young local authors.  
  • Most innovative idea: SeduBG – a video tutorial platform with illustrations that are created by students to help other students.
  • Best social innovation: Impact – a 3-part application that combines elements of gaming, social network, and a volunteer section, that aims to help its users build more empathy.
  • Best Culture and Arts Project: (UN) USABLE – A second-hand clothing recycling brand that addresses the problem of “fast fashion”.
  • Best presentation: GetGud – a video platform that aims to help people become better at video games.
  • Best team: Rosetta – a marketplace for local products.
  • Best IT Project: ClothesFit – An application that facilitates online clothing shopping by taking a person’s measurements and fitting them into a virtual image.
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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.