July 9th, 2012
Close to 800 teams have applied to the novel Acceleration & Seed funds, developed under the JEREMIE Initiative in Bulgaria in the framework of the Operational Programme “Competitiveness”. The management of the instruments has been undertaken by the Fund Managers – Eleven and Launchub, which were selected by the European Investment Fund in April 2012.
The results of the first application window, for which deadline fell at the end of June, exceeded the expectations of the Fund Managers and the team of the European Investment Fund in Sofia. In addition to the large number of applications, this impressive outcome is also supported by the fact that 1/3 of all applications came from foreign entrepreneurs. The latter contributes to the implementation of one of the strategic goals of the instrument, namely to help Bulgaria establish itself as an attractive destination for innovations, investments and start-ups on the Balkans.
After the closure of the first application window, both Fund Manager teams will initiate a thorough evaluation process of the submitted business ideas. The evaluation process will involve several phases, the last of which will consist of a to the investment committees of the two Funds, in their capacity as decision makers. The first investments in start-ups are expected in the fall of 2012.
The entrepreneurs who are not among the ones selected to be funded will have a new chance to present their improved ideas in the autumn, when the second application window is to be opened. According to preliminary estimates of the two funds, by the end of 2015 (the deadline for investing the resources under the JEREMIE initiative) the application windows for funding business ideas will be opened every 3-4 months, allowing over 300 business ideas to receive financing.