Breakfast with Burton Lee and Deyan Ivanov – thoughts on the entrepreneurial culture

By digitalchampion  | April 03, 2013

Just at the end of the last week I was invited on one very interesting breakfast in the residency of the American Ambassador Marcie Ries. The occasion was the presence of Burton Lee from Standford and Deyan Ivanov – an impressive young entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. The topic was the entrepreneurial eco-system in Bulgaria and how USA could partner us in this significant for every smart country priority.

Here are some of the thoughts I shared during the breakfast:

  1. Entrepreneurship is culture. It is not embedded in the mentality of Bulgarians, who are afraid of failure, but rather it can be educated in our children.
  2. Entrepreneurship is related to the environment – less regulations, good management, which tolerates risk-taking and experiment as culture.
  3. Education – not just its inclusion in the syllabus but encouraging lifelong entrepreneurial education.
  4. Promotion of role models – I am very proud of my Start-up Advisory Board – Adel, Boyan, Steve, Luyben, Max, Chris – only a small part of all impressive young Bulgarians with new professions, who can serve as role models for my children. They are also the best business card of Bulgaria. Do you see any women among these names? There are but they are extremely insufficient.

As usual, USA could be extremely helpful – with their best practices, holding the key to the biggest innovative high-tech companies like Google, Amazon, IPhone etc., with their young entrepreneurs exchange program, funded by “America for Bulgaria” Foundation and so on. I hope this breakfast will be just the beginning of even closer bilateral cooperation for building live and vigorous entrepreneurial community in Bulgaria.

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