Vassil Terziev, a key player in the Bulgarian startup ecosystem, became the mayor of Sofia

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in Startup Stories

One of the most popular startup entrepreneurs in Bulgaria, Vassil Terziev, is the new mayor of the capital of Bulgaria. Sofia drives innovation and is seen by many as THE startup sector in Bulgaria. Terziev won the election with 48.17% of the votes, against Vanja Grigorova who got 46.92% of the votes.

Terziev himself is part of the Bulgarian and regional startup ecosystem. His contribution and success in the development of startup companies may be one of the reasons why he managed to win the local elections in Sofia. He participated in the elections as an independent candidate but had the support of “Changes Continue”, “Democratic Bulgaria”, “Save Sofia”, as well as the civic association “Team Sofia”.

Terziev seemed spotless during his campaign and was unencumbered by political baggage. This helped him to “conquer” Sofia and take the throne from the GERB political party.

What did Vassil Terziev promise in the elections?

Part of the program that he presented in the elections was focused towards further development of Sofia as the center of the innovative economy in Bulgaria. The pillars of his program were based on efficiency, transparency and cooperation. The aim was to develop Sofia’s neighborhoods, protect green areas, improve public transport, promote entrepreneurship and thereby, attract talent to Sofia.

Part of the pre-election promises and vision that he shared with the voters are focused on creating an efficient and digitized city administration. With full transparency, citizens will be informed about the spending of public money. In addition, citizens will be empowered to participate in decision-making in the municipalities.

The plan for the improvement of public transportation includes the creation of a digital twin of Sofia and the monitoring of citizens’ movements. Then, after analyzing the movement patterns, public transportation, buses, trams, and subway will be further optimized.

Finally, he announced greater investments in education. One of the commitments is the promotion of entrepreneurship in schools and attracting talents to learn, study and work in Sofia.

Who is the new mayor of Sofia?

Vassil Terziev (born June 9, 1978) is a Bulgarian entrepreneur, investor and, according to some sources, a millionaire.

Vassil Terziev is a partner in the Bulgarian venture capital fund Eleven Ventures. The fund invests in early stage startups from Southeast Europe. He was also the Director of Innovation at Progress Software. Through numerous investments and mentorships, he plays a significant role in the development of the technological and innovation ecosystem in Bulgaria.

In 2002, together with Boyko Iarlamov, Svetozar Georgiev and Hristo Kosev, they co-founded the company Telerik. The company specializes in development of business software. At Telerik, he was responsible for the sales, support and business development departments. In 2014, 12 years after its founding, the American company Progress bought Telerik for $262.5 million.

Endeavor Insight Report Graphic for Telerik’s role in the local ecosystem

Terziev invests the money from the sale in the startup sector. So far, he has invested in 62 companies: Payhawk, Quantive, Gtmhub, OfficeRnD and SMS Bump are just a few of them. He is the biggest angel investor in Bulgaria.

Interest from the technical sector in politics

Terziev is the last “member” of the technical and software sector to become interested in politics in the last few years in Bulgaria, but not the only one. His colleague Bozidar Bojanov was Minister of e-Government in 2021 which is now ranked fortieth on Stackoverflow. Bozho on Stack Overflow – has 137 gold badges, 1039 silver badges, and 1128 bronze badges, and his 5614 answers have reached 91.5 million users.

Bojanov and Terziev serve as excellent examples for understanding the possibilities of technology and for attempting to rationalize the bureaucratic madness in the institutions. Given the circumstances, this will not be an easy fit. Nevertheless, they continue serving as great examples of what other IT specialists should strive to achieve….

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