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12 Graduates, 400+ Stories Popularizing Bulgarian innovation: The Recursive Academy So Far

The Recursive Academy: Mentors and Sponsors
Image credit: The supporters and mentors in The Recursive Academy (from upper left): MIhail Stefanov, Kalina Panayotova, Vesko Kolev, Mirela Yordanova, Anna Tsenova and Updata One, Georgi Kadrev, the America For Bulgaria Foundation represented by president and CEO Nancy Schiller, Marin Iliev, Max Gurvits, Mihail Stoychev, Orlin Radev, Raycho Raychev
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This is the story of how the tech community in Bulgaria can build up the next gen of creators in the country.

Finding great storytellers was difficult enough. Finding great storytellers who actually understand tech and innovation was next to impossible. So, we realized we’d have to train them ourselves – for us but also for the needs of the fast-growing technology sector in Bulgaria. 

That’s how the concept for The Recursive Academy was born almost two years ago. Today, we have 12 young journalists, marketers, and sales people who completed the program and now work in companies like Progress, Updata One, and well, The Recursive.  

Thanks to them 400+ additional stories, read over 100, 000 times, were published and helped popularize the Bulgarian tech ecosystem internationally. We managed to build a network of amazing external mentors and tutors who share their knowledge with the next generation. We’re partnering with the leading business media in Bulgaria –, Forbes Bulgaria, SeeNews, Manager magazine.

Last but not least, the innovation community has started realizing the necessity to invest in the education of journalistic and marketing talent. Because the ecosystem can only grow if there are enough storytellers to not only explain the benefits of technology but also inspire more people to join.

The operational costs for The Recursive Academy, a registered non-profit, are significant, so we’re grateful to the America for Bulgaria Foundation*, Updata One, and all the individual contributors for the financial support. 

This helps cover part of the scholarships of students, cost of training, as well as other expenses such as office space, administration, and software. 

We’re still looking for 3 more sponsors to join our efforts for the next 3rd cohort starting in October. If you’re interested, reach out to Irina Obushtarova, co-founder and CEO of The Recursive. 

Next to supporting an important cause, you will receive hiring access to graduates and different brand promotion/ positioning options via The Recursive and partner channels. 

Read more:  How to pitch an idea for a guest article to The Recursive

Here’s what our partners say about graduates of The Recursive Academy.:

Viktoria is an incredibly competent and reliable young specialist who has proven that she is willing to take on a variety of tasks. Her speed in responding to assignments and providing high-quality results make her an asset to any team,” Anna Tsenova, Marketing Manager at Updata One.

The second cohort of The Recursive Academy
The Second Cohort of The Recursive Academy – from left to right – Alexandra Khakimova, Georgi Madzharov, Yulvie Izet, Aleksander Kukolev, Stelizara Borisova

About the academy

The Recursive academy courses are led by our own experienced journalists, video and marketing experts, but also venture capital investors, communication experts and founders of successful companies who share real-life experiences and up-to-date knowledge on the various disciplines.  

Over the course of 3 months, participants go through the fundamentals of digital storytelling & journalism, content marketing, video production, technology and innovation concepts, as well as soft skills. On month 4, after this initial immersion into The Recursive newsroom, the intern joins the marketing team of a partnering tech company for another month or the newsroom of a partnering media organization..

One of our first trainees, Viktoria Kuzmanova, currently social media specialist at multinational tech giant Progress, shares:

“Unlike all other courses focused on learning theory, The Recursive Academy helped me enter the world of practice. The hands-on approach is at the core of the program, since day #1. The academy holds the power of making you an ecosystem actor, from flesh and blood. I enrolled for the program right after my first year at university and the experience was path-changing. With close to zero knowledge and experience, I received the chance to be in the middle of a living, breathing ecosystem, rich in ambitious startup founders, demanding VC investors, and dedicated social entrepreneurs.”

“I still remember the “Basics of Journalism” workshop, and how nervous I felt when picking up the phone to make my first interview. Now, I know that learning-by-doing is the best way to take up a new challenge and find out whether you like it or not for real. I found that I love it – the dynamics, the constant learning process, the social element, and the team. To me, it is not only about writing, it’s about networking, broadening your horizons, understanding what really goes into developing an innovation ecosystem, how your favourite new tech solutions work and especially about getting inspired by the stories you hear about every day,” Elena Ivanova, Senior Content Producer at The Recursive. 

Read more:  Digital Storytelling Internship: Apply for the 3rd Cohort of The Recursive Academy

“The Recursive Academy gave me the knowledge and freedom to explore the world of digital innovations. It inspired me to become better in digital storytelling in order to present more accurately and efficiently industry knowledge for connecting relevant stakeholders. It pushed my boundaries to expand my creativity and willingness to find innovative approaches to a variety of situations,” Kristiana Kuneva, Business Development Manager at The Recursive. 

*Disclaimer: Support for The Recursive Academy is provided by the America for Bulgaria Foundation. The statements and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Recursive Academy and do not necessarily reflect the views of the America for Bulgaria Foundation or its affiliates.


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