High-impact, Mentor, Visionary
View Iskren Krusteff’s profile
Chairman of the Managing Board
Iskren Krusteff is a high impact entrepreneur and investor focused on sustainable business models and educational transformation towards partnerships and innovation. He introduced the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in Bulgaria and serves as Chairman of the Board. Prior to building the GEM Bulgaria team, he managed businesses, programmes and projects consisting of cross-functional teams and budgets up to £50m in the public and private sectors in the EU, including the Financial Services Authority in the UK.
Mentor at Start it Smart – Bulgarian entrepreneurship club founded in 2009 with a mission to inspire and support young people to start their own companies. Also, mentor at Endeavor Bulgaria – Endeavor the largest high-impact movement around the world.
Iskren is a frequent speaker at forums and conferences on entrepreneurship and member of judging panels on national and international competitions for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneur, Mentor, Angel investor
View Svetozar Georgiev’s profile
Member of the Managing Board
Svetozar Georgiev is a co-founder of Telerik, Telerik Academy and Campus X. After spending 14 years building a global software company, he is now dedicated to sharing his learnings with the next generation of Bulgarian entrepreneurs.
Svetozar’s mission is to help the local tech and start-up ecosystems evolve and become strong bottom-up forces for positive change in Bulgaria.
Entrepreneur, Consultant, Educator
View Mira Krusteff’s profile
Member of the Managing Board
Mira Krusteff is an entrepreneur, passionate about children and youth, education transformation, informal education and making Bulgaria a better place for living.
She had previously managed high-profile international conferences on urbanism for the Urban Age project of the London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, while in London. In Ireland, she set up, together with her husband, the first Bulgarian school in southern Ireland.
Mira spends her spare time educating parents on how to use effectively digital instruments to benefit their children. Mira studied Business Administration and World Politics at LSE and is certified PRINCE2 Project Manager Mira is also co-author of the GEM Bulgaria National Reports since 2016.
CO-FOUNDERS (alphabetically by surname)
Veneta ANDONOVA, PhD
Dean, University Professor, Scholar and Mentor
View Veneta Andonova’s profile
Co-founder and author of GEM Bulgaria National Reports 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017-2019
Veneta is an Associate Professor of Business at the Universidad de los Andes School of Management and Dean at the department of Administration. Veneta is devoted to the development and adaptation of business strategies in developing countries and those in transition. Professor Andonova supports young entrepreneurs as tutor and mentor and helps companies understand effective and innovative business models, suitable for environments with serious social and economic challenges.
With her expertise, acquired from numerous travels and contact with leading figures in the business science and practice, Prof. Andonova actively participates as mentor of entrepreneurial initiatives in Bulgaria and actively supports student entrepreneurship while in Bulgaria.
She is frequent guest and speaker at international conferences and academic programs. She has published articles in international journals and her reports are popular among the international academic community.
Attorney-at-law and co-founder at Blockchain Valley, Evedo and Scalator
View George Chisuse’s profile
George Chisuse is a lawyer registered with the Sofia Bar Association and has defended a Masters Degree in International Business Law at King’s College London. Prior to starting his private practice and entrepreneurial endeavors, George was a member of the Banking & Finance legal team at the Sofia office of Wolf Theiss Law Firm.
George specializes in the legal structuring and regulatory framework analysis of blockchain undertakings, international financial law, litigation, mergers, and acquisitions. His client portfolio consists mainly of local and international innovative startup and scaleup IT companies. The international team of lawyers led by George contributes to the growth of many entrepreneurial ventures.
EU funds expert
View Malina Kroumova’s profile
Malina Kroumova is an expert on EU funding and has worked in executive positions in the central government of Bulgaria in the past few years.
Expert in Behavioral Economics for the Travel Industry, Academic Educator
View Milena Nikolova’s profile
Milena is a leading expert in behavioral economics and traveller behaviour trends. Her passion is in exploring ways in which behavior-smart tactics can enhance the positive impacts of travel for people, companies and places. In the last years she has been a frequent speaker at global and regional tourism industry events on topics such as behavioral economics for tourism, innovation dynamics in travel, new traveler consumptions patterns, etc.
Milena holds a PhD in Business (Consumer Behavior and Sustainable Tourism) from The George Washington University (GW) School of Business. She has 13 years of combined experience as academic educator and researcher at The George Washington University School of Business (2003-2008), the Department of Business at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG) (2011-2018) and most recently as Professor of Business and Co-director of the Graduate Program in Entrepreneurship at Varna Free University / Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center (2018-currently).
Chief Intelligence Officer – DEEP I / O
View Adriana Popova’s profile
I am a serial entrepreneur and strategy consultant in technology, telecommunications, finance, healthcare and media sectors and has acted as an advisor on economic, international and security affairs and chief of staff in a number of Bulgarian governments.
A strategic & competitive intelligence professional with over a decade experience in public affairs, business intelligence, analytics, cyber security and data governance, risk & compliance, AML/KYC research, AI research and development, strategic communications and crisis management.
Experienced Project Manager in a number of innovation projects in the field of AI-driven technologies, including machine learning, semantic technologies, ontologies, neural networks, robotic processes automation, sequence to sequence design, automated content generation, data transformation, big data analytics, among others.
Managing Director of Telerik Academy School
View Petar Sharkov’s profile
Petar Sharkov spearheads Telerik Academy School – the leading tech-ed organization for students from 1st to 12th grade. He is responsible for the long-term strategy of Telerik Academy School and oversees all key partnerships with education institutions, businesses and communities.
Petar has extensive experience and expertise in launching and managing organizations, developing educational programs and introducing new training techniques and methodologies. In 2009, he co-founded Start It Smart – a leading entrepreneurship organization, supporting the startup community in Bulgaria. Petar played an instrumental role in driving the organization’s strategy and development and led the first startup preaccelerator in Bulgaria. He served as President of Start It Smart from 2013 to 2015 and currently is on the board of the organization.