Yavor Stoychev (‘12): From Working at Amazon in Seattle to Launching a Startup in Bulgaria
A recent AUBG graduate, Yavor Stoychev (‘12) already boasts professional experience at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle and his own technology startup in Bulgaria. After spending nearly three years in the U.S., Stoychev decided to return back to Bulgaria in 2016 and, together with his business partners Alexander Kitov and Vlad Alexiev, co-founded the eCommerce personalization software company Perpetto.
Stoychev has a varied experience to guide him in his new enterprise. Back at Amazon, the alumnus mastered his software engineering skills and learned project management.
“Being [at Amazon] gave me the opportunity to not only create high-quality software that gets deployed all over the world but also helped me develop my project management skills,” Stoychev said. “I led multiple projects during my time there, and last summer I even mentored an intern.”
A skilled developer, Stoychev is not new to the startup culture either. Prior to leaving for the U.S., he worked as a software engineer at the alumni-led startup Transmetrics in Sofia.
“Working at Transmetrics was my first startup experience and it was awesome,” Stoychev said. “I joined the team quite early on and we had to build everything from scratch. These are exciting times which help bring the team together and you get to do so much more than just sit and write code.”
Joining a startup is a valuable experience that allows you to explore all aspects of running a business, Stoychev said. “I think working for a startup is not for everyone but it's one of those things that everyone should try,” he said.
Perpetto is now looking to hire a sales representative to lead the sales process of the company. "This is a position for people with little previous experience, but with a lot of drive and innate ability to sell. (...)The ideal candidate has no fear of calling and writing cold emails, and has sold something to earn money before," Stoychev explained. "What we offer in return is a competitive compensation package, a cool office in downtown Sofia, the possibility to experience sales in a startup environment and work in a small, dynamic team."
What makes Perpetto stand out is its unique approach towards eCommerce data personalization. The company offers a fast, affordable and effective technology that allows mid-sized online retailers to scale their business and personalize their customers’ experience.
“With increasing amounts of data being created online and limited time, consuming that data will become an increasingly complex problem,” Stoychev said. “Therefore, we believe that creating technology that solves that data abundance problem for users and creates individual experiences tailored for each person will be the ‘status quo’ of the future.”
A promising new business, Perpetto has already attracted five major investors, including the seed funds LAUNCHub and Eleven and AUBG alumni duo Vassil Terziev and Svetozar Georgiev who co-founded Telerik and sold it for $263 million in 2014.
AUBG played an important part in Stoychev’s career and personal development, he said. “When you're fresh out of high school you're like a slice of unbaked dough,” Stoychev said. “It can turn into nice artisan bread if developed, or it can sit and rot away. AUBG turned out to be a pretty good bakery.”
As a student, Stoychev took every opportunity to use what AUBG has to offer. He double majored in Computer Science and Economics, completed a minor in Mathematics and was a member of the Computer Science Student Union (CSSU) and Freakonomics student club at the university.
“There are people on campus from all over the world who are encouraged to share their interests and passions,” he said. “There are many extracurricular clubs and interest groups that help students take knowledge out of the classroom and test it out in the real world, and professors actively collaborate with these clubs to enhance the overall learning experience. AUBG also actively supports entrepreneurship and community service initiatives that ‘bake’ not just great professionals, but great individuals who help make the world a better place.”
Keen to be part of the positive change in the world, while at AUBG Stoychev applied for the Bulgarian Young Leaders Program and was one of the 20 Bulgarian students selected for the program that aims to reinforce Bulgarian civil society and economic growth by offering a unique entrepreneurship and leadership training in the U.S. Thanks to his successful application, Stoychev spent two semesters at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
“Don't wait for opportunities. Create them,” Stoychev said in advice to current AUBG students.
Story by Dimana Doneva
Photo Courtesy of Yavor Stoychev