• Startery CEE – we teamed up for a real social impact in Central Eastern Europe

    Sofia, Bulgaria - On a 4-day Summit for social start-ups, which was organized by Social Impact and proudly supported by SAP, 26 social start-ups were building up on their innovative ideas how to help their communities and the world run better.


    Ambitious entrepreneurs were networking and sharing ideas across CEE and also with SAP employees who help them build up on their social impact challenges. “We at SAP are helping run business better and improve people’s lives and these guys and ladies are changing their local communities and the world. We can learn so much from each other and we can help each other, so SAP is proud to support projects like Startery CEE,“ said Simon Kaluža, MD SAP CEE.

    Building ideas into successful sustainable business was done through Design Thinking methodology. Day by day they were tackling with one of the business challenges: how to build idea into a prototype, defining their customers, defining the founding, convincing all the relevant publics to participate and how to present their idea to the public. During these intense 4 working days, some ideas have changed dramatically, some have re-shifted the focus and some entrepreneurs built up a business model for a sustainable business.

    Since very important part of business is also presenting the ideas, each entrepreneur held a 2-minute presentation before the audience. Based on that 10 finalists were selected who had a chance to present the ideas in front of the jury on the final pitch event and win a special learning experience at Social Impact Lab in Berlin. Final pitches were amazing: an app for helping children with learning disabilities from Slovakia, a natural food production factory from Romania, recycling jeans into bags in order to reduce pollution from Albania, a special software reintegrating prisoners into the workforce from Czech Republic, innovative way how to help disabled people from Poland, an online platform connecting neighbors to clean up their neighborhoods from Bulgaria, app helping young mothers sharing things from Romania and a special learning course for schools from Hungary.  

    Jury, consisted of: Anna-Marie Vilamovska (Secretary for Innovation and Healthcare, Administration of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria), Norbert Kunz (CEO @Social Impact), Kevin Aspregen (President of American University in Bulgaria), Stanislav Nikolaev (Venture Partner @Empower Capital Fund), Alexey Lazarov (Editor @Capital newspaper) and Simon Kaluža (Managing Director, SAP CEE),  had a hard job choosing the best ones, nevertheless here are the three winners who got the opportunity to upgrade the idea and the business model at Social impact Lab in Berlin:

    • I donate my birthday (Romania)

    A Crowdfunding Platform encouraging acts of generosity via online campaigns initiated by volunteers, close to their birthday anniversary. They choose the cause they would like to support and promote the initiative to their friends and beloved, replacing gifts with donations.

    • Post-Apocalyptic quest (Slovenia)

    An interactive field game that uses empty, abandoned, neglected spaces - mostly industrial spaces (factories, warehouses, and quarry) - for a creative and playful way of spending a free time. Places with many abandoned spaces like our town seem futureless. The idea can help invent our future.

    • Listen up (Bulgaria)

    The idea is to establish a national center for sign interpretation and speech-to-text services for deaf and hard of hearing people in Bulgaria, to ensure equal access to information, communication, and education. Currently, there doesn't exist such a center in Bulgaria.


    Congratulations to all three winners. After hearing so many great ideas and meeting young and talented entrepreneurs with a desire to make a world a better place, we are not afraid of what is yet to come. We are looking forward to Startery CEE 2016.

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