Next on The Recursive podcast, we welcome seasoned entrepreneur and investor turned political candidate Daniel Lorer.
His journey in the business world has been versatile and rich. Starting as a coder, turned into a sales executive, who then turned into а startup founder with a couple of successful exits. After years of living between Tel Aviv, Paris, Brussels, and Zurich, he came back to Bulgaria and entered the venture capital world with Sofia-based BrightCap Ventures.
Now, Lorer is at a turning point again. He’s running for the Bulgarian parliament as a part of the newly founded party “We continue the change”.
In his conversation with Irina, Daniel shares what prompted him to burst his own tech bubble and enter the very different reality of Bulgarian politics.
“The tech community is export-focused, our business is worldwide, we have very little attachment to all the issues here. Our problems are mostly communal, we’re not really experiencing the problems of the common people around us. That has given us the luxury to look the other way for too long. We stay in our beautiful bubble and we think that things will sort out themselves”, he admits and then adds:
“However, after a long period of time where nobody else picks up the shovel and starts cleaning up, the moment when the opportunity arrives for you to do it, you start asking yourself: “How I am going to look at myself in the mirror 20 years from now?”
According to Lorer the biggest asset a politician can have now is empathy – the ability to listen, understand, and relate to the different communities, big and small, and respond. He gives the credit of cultivating his own ability to empathize with others to his wife.
In the episode, Lorer shares his vision of how will Bulgaria rise to become a regional innovation hub. Now that the country is finally breeding globally-oriented product companies, the missing link in public policy, he says, is the investment in education.
He believes that to move to the next stage of ecosystem development, Bulgaria needs to have top education, which means both government spending on R&D and enterprises, investing more on R&D.
In his view, in order to create and retain local human capital, but also attract the brightest minds from abroad, Bulgaria has to drastically improve its basic social services, but also appreciate and promote better its natural assets. “I would like to see my contribution to radically changing the international perception of what Bulgaria stands for”, Daniel concludes.
Watch the previous episode to learn how leaving the corporate world and turning to entrepreneurship helped Ilinca Paun, now a managing partner at Impact Hub Bucharest, reclaim her freedom and get used to a new approach to business.
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