You may see the full video from the Webit’s Founders Games ceremony here.
The entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central and Eastern Europe is picking up traction and the region is awaiting its billion euro company soon! The winner of the Founders Games Challenge has already over 12 million users from 140 countries and growing.
The New Markets Startup Oscars Ceremony was held on the second day of Webit.Festival Europe in Sofia, the digital capital of the new markets.
1438 startups from 60 countries have applied. There were 3 rounds of valuation and finally 65 of them were invited to join the festival and provided free expo booths and opportunity to pitch in front of 20 investors and global enterprise leaders.
For 2 days the jury selected 5 out of 65 to present at the ceremony. See video from the live streaming of the Award Ceremony here
The 5 selected finalists were: Biowatch (FinTech biometric company from Switzerland), Clikem (Advertising white label URL shortening & monetization platform from Israel), BuddyGuard (a German home security system packed in a single and beautiful device), Broshura.bg (Bulgarian based online brochure service with over 10 M monthly users in Europe) , AdGuard (Russian startup for security/privacy protection and ad blocker) .
As the names of the finalist were kept secret to the very last moment, one of the selected finalists BuddyGuard has left to catch a flight and missed its opportunity to win this record award. It was replaced by the next on the list - Playground Energy.
Finally the Founders Games Trophy and cash award in seed investment of 200 000 EUR was granted to AdGuard – a Russian startup with 12 million users in 140 countries, $1.5M annual revenue with 50-75% annual growth. AdGuard is a software tool to protect users from web security/privacy threats including malware, js tracking and scam/untrusted web-pages and blocking online ads.
The majority of the 65 selected startups were in post seed stage with 200 000 to 2 million EUR investment made already and growth potential.
There was also a special pre seed section of the Challenge too.
The € 200’000 award was raised only by Bulgarian investors and successful entrepreneurs to prove that Bulgarian ecosystem is not only supporting its own growth but also the growth of European startups. The 4 investors include the founder of Telerik Vassil Terziev, who made the biggest exit in CEE with Telerik, which was acquired by Progress for 264 million, Ivo Evgeniev (owner of Rosslyn Capital), Lyubomir Minchev (founder of largest SEE system integrator Telelink) and Plamen Russev, investor, philanthropist and Chairman of Webit.Foundation.
About Webit.Festival Europe
Webit.Festival Europe welcomed over 4300 attendees from 74 countries. Among the speakers were the President of Bulgaria, Mr. Rossen Plevneliev, the President of the European Committee of the Regions Marku Markulla, the founders of BlockChain, Hyperloop, Presidents and top executives from MasterCard, Google, IBM Cloud, Cisco, innovators, entrepreneurs, top European policy makers and investors. Among the speakers were also scientists including Prof. Moran Cerf, a business and neuroscience professor recently names among the the top 40 professors in the world under 40.
Cars producing water as an exhaust product, ceiling cover products from the Carbon in the air, a crystal memory which is practically forever and can record up to 360 TB information were only part of the future tech presented at the festival.
“Europe is becoming second tier player not only to America, but to China and India” said Plamen Russev, investor and Chairman of Webit.Foundation. “Central and Eastern Europe has the potential to help the continent make a jump. We have to prove that Digital Europe can jump” said also the Chairman.
See the official opening keynotes here.
The 4 Bulgarian investors and the winner
The Founders Games host – Evan Luthra (a self made tech millionare and an Instagram star), and the 4 Bulgarians who raised the 200000 EUR award (left to right) Plamen Russev, Bulgarian investor and Chairman of Webit.Foundation, Vassil Terziev, founder of Telerik, Ivo Evgeniev, Bulgarian Investor, Rosslyn Capital, Angel Kelchev, Endeavor Org.
The President of Bulgaria, Mr. Rossen Plevneliev and Plamen Russev, investor and Chairman of Webit.Foundation
The Mayor of Sofia, Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova
Over 4300 attendees from 74 countries attended Webit.Festival Europe. This is the Blue Hall of the Festival
Evan Luthra, the Host of the Founders Games Starup Challenge and the Webit’s Pitch Stage
Webit’s Jazz Networking Area
Part of Webit’s venue – Tech Park Sofia