Yordanka Fandakova, Mayor of Sofia, Sofia Municipality
Krasimir Kiryakov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science
Prof. Sava Grozdev, PhD, Deputy Rector for scientific activities and career development, VUZF University
Dr. Yolian M. Ivanov, CEO and Board Member, Sofia Tech Park JSC
Dr. Yolian Ivanov used to be Executive Director for Southern Europe of the Canadian Collins Group (international investment banking) between 2010 and the beginning of 2016. Dr. Ivanov was a Director of the U.S. investment company Nova Capital for the period of 2006 till 2009. Yolian Ivanov used to be National Director of Beautiful Bulgaria Project in 2005.
Mr. Ivanov has been a Manager of Fidelity Global Group and Euro Fidelity in Southeast Europe, including Bulgaria since 1998 till 2004. He also served as an adviser to Bank of America in Bulgaria from 2001 to 2003.In 1994, Mr. Ivanov was a founder of International Investment Group Eurocapital where he subsequently became Director Business Development, Executive Director and Vice Chairman of the Board between 1995 and 1998. He was responsible for corporate management, investment projects and maintaining relationship with foreign partners and shareholders. From 1994 to 1995, Mr. Ivanov was a head of department in the Privatization Agency, where he conducted investment promotion for Bulgarian privatization projects.
Mr. Ivanov has M&A experience in deals on the buy-side with Eurocapital and Euro Fidelity Capital Group and sell-side with the Privatization Agency in a number of Bulgarian privatization projects. He has also acted as an adviser in capital and investment matters to institutional investors since 1999.He has had working assignments with Schroders Investment Bank and Gabelli Mutual Funds in New York, the World Bank and US Security and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
Dr. Ivanov has economic and engineering background. He received a Ph.D. in robotics from Institute of Technical Cybernetics and Robotics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and M.Sc. as a power engineer from the Technical University in Sofia, Bulgaria. He also completed post-graduate specialization in Management of Investment Funds at Central European University, Czech Republic, intensive MBA course at Lancashire Business School, UK and International Economic Affairs at Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service, Washington, D.C., USA.Yolian Ivanov has been named to “Who's Who in the World”, “Who's Who in Finance and Industry”, "Who's Who in 20th Century America" and "World Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st century" - Cambridge International Biographical Centre.
Dr. Didier Kane, Lead Coordinator for the University of Texas Global Commercialization Technology Program, Austin, (USA/FRANCE) Dr. Didier Kane is a recognized expert on growth strategies for a wide range of companies ranging from startups to Fortune 100 . Under contract with the University of Texas at Austin, he leads the deployment of their renowned Global Technology Commercialization Program in Bulgaria and France. Since its launch in 2001, this prestigious program, already proven in 19 countries, has generated over a billion dollars of revenues for many university researchers, startups as well as small and medium businesses. Dr. Didier Kane conducted one in Korea last year, which resulted in millions of dollars of revenues for the startups and SMBs trained and selected .
As Managing Director and Partner at Denary, LLC, a boutique strategy consultancy and M&A firm in Texas, he has advised a number of technology clients on how to maximize their valuation ahead of a future exit or IPO. For the last 3 years, Dr. Kane has also been an executive coach to a diverse team of CEOs of companies in the $100- $500 Million range. Prior to this, Dr. Didier Kane had a number of senior and executive roles at Fortune 500 companies such as the 3M Company, AT&T, Lucent Technologies. He has also been Chairman of the Manufacturing Methods Council of Sematech, the international consortium of the semiconductor industry. Dr. Didier Kane is director or advisor on the Board of companies in Telecom, Nanotechnology, Software as well as on the Board of the French American Business Council. He also mentored many graduate and post-graduate students, direct reports and peers. He is a certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt and ISO 9001 Lead Auditor. Dr. Didier Kane holds a PhD in Electronics from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (Lyon-France) and an Executive MBA in International Finance from the AT&T School of Business.
Dr. Marta Rosa, Lead Consultant in International Networking (Argentina, USA) Dr. Marta Rosa, Co-founder and Owner of Business Science Consultants, Ltd., is a recognized expert in International Relations and Linguistics. With a PhD in Contemporary History, an ABD in Philosophy and extensive travel worldwide, she truly understands cultural differences and their business implications. She is a builder of international networks of professors, researchers, executives in various high tech sectors (e.g. nanotechnology, biotechnology, healthcare, life science, aviation/aerospace) to promote partnerships and exchanges .
Dr. Nedeljko Milosavljevic, Director, Center for Technology Transfer, Belgrade University, Serbia
Dr. Nedeljko Milosavljević is the Director of the Center for Technology Transfer at the University of Belgrade, and a member of Technology Brokerage Network in Serbia and Network of Local Innovation Access Points. He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and holds a position of Research Associate at the Innovation Centre of the Faculty of Technology and Metallurgy. He is also a board member of the High Energy Physics Technology Transfer Network (HEPTech) and Vice-President of pan-European association for professionals involved in knowledge transfer between universities and industry, ASTP-Proton.
Prof. Tim Vorley, Sheffield University, UK
Tim Vorley is a Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Sheffield University Management School and the co-director of the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED). His research focuses on institutions, entrepreneurship, economic development, he has also been involved in a number of EU projects on entrepreneurship education.
Robert Wapshott, Senior Lecturer at Sheffield University, UK
Robert Wapshott is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Sheffield University Management School. Robert’s research focuses on employment relations in small firms and on entrepreneurship while he also undertakes editorial board duties for several leading journals. From a learning and teaching perspective, Robert is involved in the EU project Startify7 and co-author of the “Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Management” textbook from Routledge.
Assoc. Prof. Evgeni Evgeniev, VUZF University
Assoc. Prof. Evgeni Evgeniev is the Vice-Rector for European Projects and Further Education at VUZF University. He has been actively supporting the building and promotion of Bulgaria’s Innovation ecosystem in the past decade. He is one of the authors of Bulgaria’s Smart Specialization Strategy (3S) and Sofia’s 3S. Dr. Evgeniev collaborates also with the EC, IMF, OECD, UNIDO, and UNCTAD. As a former Economist at the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank (2007-2015), he authored over two dozens of World Bank reports and provided advisory support in countries, like Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, among others.
Dr. Radostin Vazov, Chief Assistant, VUZF University
Dr. Radostin Vazov is the CEO of VUZF University and member of the Innovation Research Unit at VUZF University. He is a lecturer in the “Fundamentals of Finance” and “Public Finance”. He is an expert in financial analysis at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and founder of the “Foundation for Quality Management.” Mr. Radostin Vazov studied at South Bank University London and London School of Economics and Political Science. He has Master’s degree in Economics, Theory of Finance, Finance of the Enterprise, Insurance and Investment. He is fluent in English and Russian, while Bulgarian is his native language
Prof. Roumen Nikolov, University of Library Studies and Information Technologies
He works in the area of Future Internet Technologies and applications (e.g. Smart Cities), e-learning, digital archives and services, innovation and entrepreneurship. Roumen is also President of Virtech Ltd and he supported the creation of several start-ups during the last 20 years. He has specialised in USA, UK, the Netherlands, and other countries. Prof. Nikolov is also member of the expert group that developed the Sofia Strategy for Smart Specialisation. During the last 25 years he has been involved in more than 100 European and international projects and got a dedicated award from Ministry of Education and Science in 2014. He has more than 100 research papers.
Dr. Huseyin Yorucu, Board Member and Executive Director, ALCOMET JSC
Dr. Yorucu has graduated from the University of Manchester with a master degree in metallurgy. Later on, he obtained a PhD degree. He is still affiliated with the university in the area of technology of the metallurgy. He started work at ALCOMET JSC (http://www.alcomet.eu/) in 2000 as Production Director. A year later, he became the executive director, whereas since 2007 he is the chair of the Management Counciland Executive Director at ALCOMET JSC in Shumen, Bulgaria.
Ms. Svetlana Lomeva, Executive Director, Sofia Development Association
Ms. Svetlana Lomeva is the Executive Director of the Sofia Development Association. She is a former deputy minister of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science (2009-2010) and one of the founders and director of the Bulgarian School of Politics (2001-2009) and the Political Academy for Central and Southeast Europe. Ms. Lomeva has specialized at the Robert Schuman Institute in Budapest, Council of Europe, among others. She served as guest lecturer at the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management and Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, USA.
Мr. Belizar Marinov, Eleven Startup Accelerator
Belizar Marinov is an investment analyst at Eleven Startup Accelerator since 2013. He is also a co-founder and advisory board member of the Association of Bulgarian Leaders and Entrepreneurs - ABLE. He holds an MSc in Finance from Tilburg University (the Netherlands), and has completed additional trainings in the US and UK.
Mr. Alexander Kamcharov,co-owner, Welldrinks Ltd
Business development and FMCG professional with wide international experience. Master in strategic management and Marketing (Moscow State University). Co-owner in Welldrinks Ltd."
Ms. Zlatina Karova, Ministry of Education and Science, Republic of Bulgaria
Ms. Zlatina Karova is the present Director of the Science Directorate at the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria. Previously, she has been involved as project manager with the Technology Transfer Office of the Sofia University. She also worked as PPP consultant and legal project manager at JOBS-UNDP, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works of the Republic of Bulgaria. Ms. Karova is one of the authors of the Smart Specialization Strategy for Sofia and she has also collaborated with the team that authored the Smart Specialization Strategy for Bulgaria