AUBG Alumnus Organizes Masterclasses in Tech Investing

Why do most business angels lose money? How to assess investor upside and spot billion dollar tech startups? How to handle conflicts with founders, other investors and venture capitalists? The Masterclass in Tech Investing - a series of events in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas and Ruse organized by AUBG  alumnus Georgi Manolov ('14), will answer these and more questions.

After graduating from AUBG Manolov joined KOWN - a mobile platform empowering individuals to make money by investing in tech startups. Manolov's first task as an intern was to create an investor club in Sofia. Together with two other AUBGers, Ivan Hristov ('15) and Dmitri Lukin ('14), the KOWN team established the first active investor club in the country. Since then the club reviewed hundreds of startups and invested in a few. Two of them are already profitable, two have received follow-up funding and the latest investment of the club in the Bulgarian team GameLeap has become extremely successful, as GameLeap has grown revenues by 820% in less than 6 months.

KOWN’s success is largely powered by AUBGers. Besides Manolov, several successful alumni  have been investing via the platform. 

Аnother AUBGer, Kristo Prifti ('15), has also played a key role by developing the KOWN mobile platform for Android. Prifti first built the “KOWN” investor app, which enables individuals to discover, discuss and invest in startups from their mobile. Then Prifti developed the “Fundraise on KOWN” app, which enables founders to record video pitches and immediately reach investors using the KOWN app. “This is how GameLeap got funding from the club. The founder installed the app, pitched, joined several conference calls and two months later he had the investment in his bank account,” Manolov explained.

The success of KOWN’s investments has sparked another ambitious endeavor. Recently Manolov, together with some of the investors in the KOWN club, has launched the Sofia 2.0 foundation alongside a "7 Step Master Plan," which aims to create an environment breeding billion dollar tech companies in Bulgaria. 

The first two steps of the plan have already been implemented. To accelerate the implementation of the remaining five steps Sofia 2.0 is looking for an "Operations Ninja" to join the team (job details) - an opportunity perfectly suitable for seniors or recent graduates.
But aside from the achievements, the team and the investors of the club have gone through countless challenges. “We had conflicts with some of the founders the club invested in, we had clashes with venture capitalists, who wanted to invest in our deals. After going through such experiences we learned that most of the investing advice you find in books is a recipe for losing your investments,” Manolov said.

“This is why we do the masterclasses, where we share stories from real investments and blatant investor insights, which you won't find in books, YouTube or mass events.”

You can read more about the "7 Step Master Plan" in Bulgarian here.

Watch Manolov's TV interview about Sofia 2.0 in Bulgarian here.

Photos courtesy of Georgi Manolov.

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