AUBG invests in 3 Bulgaria student startups in its Elevate accelerator

American University in Bulgaria has announced the fifth edition of its accelerator program Elevate. Three out of a total of seven teams receive a financial injection of $10,000. These are Verdere, Enthela and Regrounded.

  • The AUBG Accelerator Program Elevate is a 18-week experience-and mentorship-based program designed to help AUBG students and recent graduates start and grow a business. It was created by American University in Bulgaria in partnership with Sofia-based VC Eleven Ventures.
  • Since its inception in 2019, the Elevate accelerator has nurtured a total of 25 startup projects across four cohorts. Elevate AUBG provides students and alumni with a $2,000 investment to cover expenses for validation and prototype building, allowing them to test and develop their startup ideas.

During the Season 5 Elevate Demo Day on April 24, three of the teams secured funding of $10,000 with motivation to continue working on the projects:

Winners of the fifth edition of Elevate:

  • a Sofia-based startup founded in 2023, Verdere, growing and supplying nutrient-dense micro-vegetables to restaurants and direct to customers;
  • a Blagoevgrad-based Enthela that creates a biostimulator based on nitrogen-fixing bacteria that allows farmers to replace the use of nitrogen fertilizers while maintaining yields and increasing soil fertility.
  • a Bulgarian ReGrounded that turns coffee grounds into eco-friendly reusable cups, revolutionizing the coffee industry and building a sustainable future one cup at a time.

The jury of the accelerator included Bulgaria’s top investors and enterpreneurs — Pavel Velkov, Rene Tomova, Nikola Yanev, and Krum Hadjigeorgiev. Among mentors were Hristo Borisov, Kosta Yordanov, Radoslav Georgiev, Nikola Yanev, and Svetozar Georgiev.