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The Recursive Turns 3: Here are 6 Big Milestones We Achieved in Bridging the CEE and Global Tech Ecosystems

The Recursive team

As The Recursive celebrates its third birthday, we reflect on our journey of relentless growth and impact. Our vision to create a two-way bridge between the innovation and startup ecosystems in CEE and global markets has been at the forefront of our efforts. In this article, we highlight our key milestones over the past three years and look forward to continuing our mission.

Building a Top-Level, Well-Balanced, Creative, and Resilient Team

Three years ago, The Recursive was launched by Irina, Etien, and two interns with almost no work experience. Today, our team counts 13 people with complementary profiles and over 125 years of combined experience. As any young company, we went through many challenges and mistakes, but three years later, we’re still here and hungrier than ever to succeed. The addition of Dilyana Haralanova as our COO and our constant internal desire for improvement puts us on the right track to scale our impact.

Becoming The Most Trusted Regional Source of Information

As a media at the heart of the community, The Recursive became the most trusted regional source of information about innovation and tech startups in CEE. We’ve published over 2700 stories across the web, video, and podcasts, read and viewed by over 1 million people worldwide. Our extensive network includes key stakeholders in the region and in international markets like the US, UK, DACH, and more, which is key for our future success.

Establishing Storytelling Studio to help tech brands from CEE communicate and succeed internationally

Led by Teodor Antonio Georgiev, we established Storytelling Studio as the go-to marketing and PR partner for tech companies from CEE looking to communicate and scale internationally. Our successful campaigns have resulted in features in leading outlets such as TechCrunch, Sifted,, EU-Startups, and hundreds of major media outlets in CEE countries. In total, our campaigns have reached an audience of over 30 million worldwide.

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Launching the First of Many Comprehensive Market Reports in CEE

Last year, we launched the most comprehensive market report on the state of AI in CEE. With an exceptional international reach, the report reached an estimated 1.75 million people and enhanced the visibility of the Bulgarian and CEE AI ecosystem globally. Over 600 top-tier and local media outlets recognized it, with 2000+ key stakeholders downloading the full report. Our combination of deep quantitative and qualitative analysis provided the most holistic understanding of the AI landscape in the region.

#BreakingGrounds Initiative’s Initial Success in Putting United Brand of Bulgaria on the Global Map

The #BreakingGrounds country branding initiative has started to significantly put the Bulgarian tech ecosystem on the global map. In just three months, #BreakingGrounds notably unified diverse ecosystem stakeholders for the first time in a cohesive communication drive, including entrepreneurs, tech providers, VCs, and organizations like BVCA, Endeavor, BESCO, FMFIB, the Ministry for Innovation and Growth, BSMEPA and Invest Sofia. We assembled a delegation of ecosystem leaders, created a comprehensive visual identity, launched a social media campaign, organized side events, and secured speaking roles at Web Summit, Slush, and DLD Conference. Our efforts resulted in an impressive number of 597 meetings for delegates.

Building the Future Story of Our Region with 175+ Customers

Across all of our existing business lines (media, storytelling studio, reports), we’ve had the pleasure to work with 175+ industry-leading customers from the tech ecosystems in CEE, partnering with them to reach international audiences across the global technology landscape.

The list features names like:

  • VC Funds: OTB Ventures, Eleven Ventures, Blackpeak Capital, New Vision 3, BrightCap Ventures, LAUNCHub Ventures, Fiedler Capital, Flashpoint VC, Underline VC, Innovation Capital
  • Scaleups: SeedBlink, SiteGround, Paysafe, OfficeRnD, SessionStack, Leanplum, a CleverTap company, Ocado Technologies, FlowX.AI, Nooka Space, Rolla, Druid AI, Sessions.
  • Technology Service Providers: BICA, Anthill, Next Consult, MarketStar Bulgaria, Bosch Engineering Center, CatalystPay, Amdaris, Digital Lights, Europe Cloud, DigiNovo, Motion Software (acquired by Exadel), Beetroot.
  • Accelerator Communities: Bulgaria Innovation Hub, Endeavor, Raiffeisen Elevator Lab, Visa Innovation Program, Found.ation Greece, Roche Healthcare Lab, Żabka Future Lab.
  • Tech-focused Multinationals: Google, Mastercard, Veolia, Bosch, Orange, TBI Bank, EBRD, KPMG, Commerzbank Digital Technology Center
  • Country/City Promotion: Invest Sofia, Vienna Business Agency, La French Tech, Startup Luxembourg, Make IT in Oradea.
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Stay tuned as next week we also announce one of our major new projects on the EU level.

As we look to the future, The Recursive is committed to leveraging the power of storytelling to strengthen the connection between the CEE and global tech landscapes. Through our media and reports, we aim to become the go-to source for international audiences seeking insights into innovation in CEE. Our Storytelling Studio will further develop our networks and expertise in strategic communications and PR, positioning us as the premier partner for CEE IT companies looking to grow internationally. Our journey continues with renewed vigor and ambition.

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Etien Yovchev is a co-founder and Chief Editor at The Recursive, online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. He has told the stories of over 200 ventures from the region and aims to provide high-quality constructive reporting on the progress of the SEE innovation ecosystem, making sure that the stories of promising local founders reach global audiences. Etien holds a MSc degree in Innovation Management from RSM, Erasmus University Rotterdam and has more than 4 years of experience in the commercialization of new products, having worked with many early-stage companies and a few corporate innovation departments across Bulgaria, The Netherlands, and the USA.