Successful stories Bulgaria

In this section, successful stories of women in Technology in Bulgaria will be shared, in order to inspire young people within their field and beyond.

Once upon a time, there was a young lady suffering from a condition without any treatment. Her sister was desperate to help her and started looking for new treatments within clinical trials. Even though the sister was coming from the clinical research industry, she failed to find a suitable study in the right place at the right time. This sister is Maya Zlatanova, co-founder and CEO of FindMeCure. And this is how the story of our company began.

Maya joined forces with Miroslav Valchev (COO) and Ivaylo Yosifov (CTO), two experienced software engineers. Respectively, they have been involved in the development of the British and Australian clinical trial registries. Together, they founded FindMeCure, a patient-centric platform to empower patients to easily identify relevant trials close to them. To this date, we have helped more than 370 000 patients in their search for clinical trials and supported them in being connected to the study team – free of charge. We are staying true to our core principle: Give first!

As a real estate professional for 15 years, the CEO of Propy, Natalia Karayaneva was frustrated with how time-consuming and rife with fraud real estate transactions were.

Propy was built with the vision to automate the real estate sales process. The Palo Alto-based company is writing new pages in real estate history by introducing the technology to allow entirely online and self-driving real estate transactions on smart contracts.

Propy is the first collaborative transaction management software for remote and cross-border transactions. Used by 10,000 agents and brokerages who have international or remote buyers and sellers. Propy enables all parties: brokerages, agents, buyers and sellers, title companies, escrow and transaction coordinators to close the deals entirely online on one single platform.

Only 26 years old, Boryana Gerasimova was diagnosed with cancer. However, only for a year she manages to defeat the life-threatening disease. She changes her diet, become sports active and even changes her career, leaves her current job, and founds NutriGen – genetic research company.

It is a startup in the field of Nutrigenomics, aiming to facilitate people in Bulgaria in their efforts to improve quality of life by providing information about their DNA profile. We believe that the more we understand about ourselves and how our bodies function, the better we can follow our individual path to our best health and physical performance.

NutriGen is the first Bulgarian company to offer individual solutions in the field of Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenics developed based on the unique DNA profile of each individual.

Tatyana studied law at Freie Universität in Berlin. In 2015, during her internship at a legal firm, Tatyana realized a business opportunity in the travel space that only a handful of legal offices were exploiting. This concerned an EU Regulation that grants airline passengers the right to monetary compensation for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights.

Tatyana contacted Velizar Shulev (co-founder & CTO), a former high school classmate who was studying computer science at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, to build a landing page for her idea. Tatyana then reached out to Alexander Sumin (co-founder and CMO), who was working as an analyst for the Canadian Federal Government and had, coincidentally, just experienced an excessive delay during his last trip. From these three remote locations – Scotland, Germany, and Canada- ClaimCompass was launched in the summer of 2015. ClaimCompass compensates airline passengers traveling from/to the EU on flights that are delayed, overbooked or canceled.

Elitsa Stoilova is the Founder and CEO of Chatbot agency Umni.co, automating the communication of the business with customers and other processes in Facebook Messenger and the business web site using chatbot technology.

Before to enter the tech world, Elitsa spent over 20 years abroad in hospitality in Sales and Marketing, Operations as well as on the position of a General Manager of a hotel.

Upon returning to Bulgaria 2 years ago, Elitsa participated and graduated from The Founder Institute, the world’s premier idea-stage accelerator and startup launch program with Umni’ project for chatbots for hotels.

Umni.co creates, maintains and trains virtual assistants for businesses from various industries – healthcare, tourism, HR, entertainment, and others. Umni chatbots provide information to customers 24/7 through integrations with database, CRM and other systems and platforms, performing also various sales & marketing and customers care tasks.

Yana Tsolova and Joana Koleva met in the non-government sector while working with people with hearing impairment. Jamba, which was officially founded by Iva and Joana in 2017, started as a platform that empowers people with different disabilities. Through workshops and educational courses, Jamba provides its “heroes”, the participants in the project, with key competencies, soft and professional skills and then bridges them with companies that would hire them. Jamba targets the over 800K people in Bulgaria with diverse disabilities such as physical disabilities, visual and hearing disorders or intellectual disabilities. According to Iva and Joana, only around 10% of those people are offered the chance to develop professionally and Jamba is aiming to change the statistics.

The professional trainings provided by Jamba are mostly in the digital domain – coding, quality assurance, digital marketing, graphic design, WordPress development etc. The courses are conducted mainly by mentors from partnering companies and could last from several weeks to 6 months.

Sanja is a lead trainer of “Programming basics” programme in SoftUni for the last two years. Meanwhile, she is studying Informatics and Mathematics at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski with a focus on pedagogy.

She was introduced to programming in high school, while participating in an additional course of HTML and CSS. Her teacher was the person inspired her and who managed to keep her interest on the subject, so later on she decided to dive deeper in and choose a particular technology (C#).

Sanja see programming as an opportunity to solve numerous problems and is fascinated by the chance to create something which could be used multiple times by everyone in the world. “That way, each of us could participate in the creation of the future and give his contribution to various fields. That was exactly what motivated me, the knowledge, that one day I can create something which is in favor to society.”

At present time, Venera is working as a Senior Developer in Ocado Technology, in Sofia Bulgaria. She is working in the field of robotics and computer vision on the computer hand project. She started her education in Sofia High School of Mathematics, Paìsiy Hilendàrski, then went for a BSc. in Computer Science at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) MA, USA, followed by a MSc in Computer Science from University of Colombia, New York.

In the past, Venera had worked for giants like Bloomberg and Google in the US. For Bloomberg she was creating financial software for trading. On a later stage she worked as a back-end developer at Google Maps. In 2018 she decided to return to Bulgaria and ever since then she is working for Ocado.

Her motivation about work – “I am motivated by the meaning of what I am working on. I am always striving to work on things which would at least a bit would change the world. I am motivated to know enough so I would be able to help or give an advice. I am motivated when I see something which had started as a crazy idea to become reality.”

This project has received funding from the European Union's Rights, equality and citizenship Programme 2014-2020 under Grant agreement №101005895. The content of this website represents the views of the author only and is his/ her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains!