Getting involved in a conference that was one of the leading in the region for several years and that suddenly stopped, skipping a crucial year was not an easy task. But we always knew there is a gap between theoretically oriented lectures and the real business. Thus we had to do it. We had to contribute to the whole environment and we ourselves are part of it. This is why we decided to change the focus. And create something more interesting for the audience and in the same time beneficial. This is how we decided to but an emphasis on the practice rather than the theory and came up with the main message “It’s time to put theory to practice!”.
The conference was separated into 5 panels each aiming at a different aspect of the modern business – startups, franchising, entrepreneurship, growth management and going global. The panel “Get Inspired” or “Get Lost” aimed to show that theory is one thing, but actually you must have a broad view of practices in different fields and always look for the most appropriate solutions. The second panel “Startup School” showed how to avoid wrong decisions in the first steps of your business venture. The franchising panel focused on the topic of franchising models and their development. During the fourth panel “Growth Management” the audience was introduced to the guidelines on how to grow your business and expand and invest in your team as your most valuable asset. During the last panel “Start Business Abroad” speakers focused on how to think globally and consider the specificity of the market in which you enter.
For the first time this year the conference included the challenge “Startup Competition”. The contest was for anyone who wanted to present to the relevant wider audience their own business venture to receive guidelines for the development of their business idea and learn from successful business models.
The format is the first step for new enterpreneurs. Тhe three best and most innovative projects have received special attention and advice for their development. Anyone with a business idea was eligible to participate in the contest until October 15, 2016. The competition went through three stages. A team composed of members of Start It Smart, Franchising.bg, Fly Events, Launchub and others selected 10 ideas with the most potential. On the second stage from 17th to 30th of October 2016 was held online voting as the most highly rated 3 companies were presented to the public at the conference. 10 semi-finalists were entitled to attend the conference for free on 4th and 5th of November 2016. Three successful Bulgarian entrepreneurs from “Get Inspired” or “Get Lost” panel have received one of the three selected ideas. Each of start-up presented their ideas to the audience then each entrepreneur gave feedback and recommendation on how to improve the concept, what they would do if this was their business.
The results of this preplanning was the rebirth of one of the biggest business conferences in Bulgaria in which took part of the most successful lecturers and brands in the region and worldwide!