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Founder Institute(FI), one of the leading global startup incubators, has opened an office in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. The new structure is the first satellite location of the FI headquarters outside of its home in the Silicon Valley, Adeo Ressi, founder and chief executive officer of the Institute has said during the official opening ceremony.
Founder Institute would support the Bulgarian startup community by the new office, Mr. Ressi has explained. The team in Sofia would work for various activities all around the world. The opening of the so-called Sofia HQ took place on May 29 at MOVE.BG’s home in Sofia.
“And if you ask why in Bulgaria - I hope it is pretty obvious to you: because of the people. I came three years in a row for the DigiTalk conference, I have friends here, and I really love the city,” Mr. Ressi told the attendees at MOVE.BG’s home.
“The people that live here are some of the best that I have ever seen across Europe, including their commitment, talent, skills, work, and their personality.”
Currently, the Bulgaria-based office has two members, but it plans to double the number until the end of 2019. Janet Todorova is the head of the Sofia HQ. Ms. Todorova also works for Sofia and Berlin’s programs of the FI.
“Now is a moment when all of us should look to the future, not to the past. Let all thing that had happened in the past to go,” Mr. Ressi said.
“I want to focus on the future, which starts right now. I want all of you here in the room to put aside all past things and trauma and to open your hearts. We can make an amazing future together. We are a great community, and we can do all things as one the one that is working together to build a bright future.”
Mr. Ressi speaking at MOVE.BG.
During the official opening ceremony, Mr. Ressi also started the 5th Founder Institute Sofia cohort. More than one hundred entrepreneurs have participated in the FI accelerator in Sofia since the Bulgarian program launch in 2015. Thirty-five startups have ended the accelerator successfully, and six of them have found investors.
Established in 2009, the Founder Institute operates programs in more than 200 cities across the globe. More than 3,500 startups with a total market capitalization of USD 30 billion have successfully finished its accelerator program, the Institute claims.
MOVE.BG and the startup ecosystem
In April, MOVE.BG co-organized the first specialized workshop for angel investors in Bulgaria. Moreover, MOVE.BG's EDIT program conducts the exclusive annual study of the startup ecosystem in Bulgaria, called "Innovation Ship."
The program also organizes a series of specialized webinars that provide key insights for the development of digital businesses.