Sofia Electric Brewing, the Sofia-based craft beer manufacturing company, is the winner of Endeavor Bulgaria’s fourth edition of the Dare to Scale non-dilutive accelerator program for scaling entrepreneurs.
For the first time since the start of Dare to Scale, the 4-month program took place entirely in person. From September until December, 11 Bulgarian startups received individual mentorship from members of the Endeavor network, participated in group workshops, and exchanged founder-to-founder knowledge.
The participants in the 4th edition of Dare to Scale pitched during the program’s Demo Day on December 13, 2022, in front of a jury panel that evaluated their growth over the last 4 months and their plans for future scaling.
“It takes great courage to embark on this scaling journey and I want to congratulate all participants for being brave enough to share their experiences, visions, and challenges with fellow entrepreneurs. Judging by the intensity of the relationships created between the participants in the cohort and the mentors, I am assured that the program managed to achieve its goal to set the founders on the right track for successful scaling,” Momchil Vassilev, Executive Director of Endeavor Bulgaria, highlighted during the Demo Day event.
The 4th Dare to Scale at a glance
This year, Endeavor Bulgaria partnered with the investment crowdfunding platform Seedblink to provide additional access to funding to the participating companies. In addition, the team of Endeavor Bulgaria attracted as partners the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Banks (EIB), and PwC.
For the first time, this year’s program featured a category for an organization operating for the benefit of society, which was granted to the Bulgarian Startup Association (BESCO).
Dare to Scale 2022 was joined by 19 founders from 11 companies – Swipe.bg, Pollenity, GridBit by ADD, C4 Nexus, AutoIkonom, Sofia Electric Brewing, The Recursive, Healthy Bars LLC, BESCO, Flat Manager, and Appolica. All of them had met the program’s requirements to have a launched product or service on the market, to have a turnover of at least €100K for 2021, and to have less than 150 employees.
Besides Dare to Scale, Endeavor Bulgaria supports the growth of local founders with two other programs – Endeavor Global Program and Regional Support Program. Since its establishment in 2015, Endeavor Bulgaria has helped 100+ entrepreneurs from 50+ companies, who have created over 2,300 jobs and generated revenues of €160M for the past year.
Who is the big winner?
Sofia Electric Brewing, the winner at Dare to Scale Demo Day, is a microbrewery startup that specializes in the production of high-quality craft beer and its distribution in Bulgaria and Europe. Founded in 2018 by the software developer and homebrewing expert Simeon Parvanov, Sofia Electric Brewing officially started fermenting beers in Sofia in 2020.
Besides Simeon, the team of the microbrewing startup includes a molecular biology graduate from Sofia University and a Head Brewer, who has previously worked for beer brands Pohjala and Siren
Having used Dare to Scale as an opportunity to strategically work on its expansion plans, the team of Sofia Electric Brewing will be focusing to boost the capacity of its factory, accelerate its export activities, and transform its Sofia-based factory into a creative community space where brewing enthusiasts and beer lovers meet.
In addition to Sofia Electric Brewing, three other cohort companies were awarded under the categories:
- “Straight-A Participant” for the most active company at workshops, events, and sessions which was given to Appоlica
- “Dare to Scale Ambassador” for the company that most actively takes advantage of its participation, shares its progress in various channels, and inspires the next cohort of entrepreneurs, which was given to C4 Nexus.
- “Collaboration Champion” for the company that successfully uses the opportunities of the program to scale its business, which was given to Swipe.bg
The applications for the fifth season of Dare to Scale will open in the upcoming spring season.