AUBG Students Give Business Advice to Start-Up Companies

December 07, 2014

This past Tuesday in Andrey Delchev Auditorium, more than 40 AUBG students from Dr. Veneta Andonova’s International Strategic Management and Policy class vied for the attention of three start-up companies. Each team presented their visions of how these companies should approach the market.

The idea of the hands-on learning inspired the event, which several AUBG business professors organized under the belief that real life cases are essential to education and best prepare students for the professional realm. Over the course of one month, AUBGers assumed the roles of consultants by presenting their research and recommendations to actual clients. A total of 17 groups presented to three companies: Capital Labor Supply (CLS), a technology company founded by AUBG alumni Teodor Dimitrov; RoboPartans, who deal with youth education in the field of robots; and Biottery, who produce an organic energy drink. The companies had been assigned to each group through a lottery about a month before the final presentations, and at the end of the project, each company selected two groups as winners to present their plans and visions and to receive special certificates. 

“We are happy because at the beginning we thought it wouldn’t end up well,” said Violeta Petkova, a member of the winning team for CLS. “The company is new and hasn’t done research on the market. Our goal was to do that research for them.” Although the companies are radically different from one another, this did not scare the students. They confidently fulfilled their tasks as professional analysts—covering market trends, business competition, international markets, and the companies’ structural development in their presentations. 

 “Today, my opinion was 70% similar to the companies’ decisions,” said Prof. Andonova. “For me that was a successful experiment. From now on, I would like to see what the companies will do with that information.” 

All of the founders of the companies were present at the event. They listened with interest to the proposals and the advice of their young business colleagues. The main point of such events is not only to involve students directly with the business world but also to give the companies fresh perspectives. 

“What you can see from those presentations is how people who are not into this business look at the business’ issues,” said Kiril Mitov, founder of RoboPartans. “That was crucial feedback. I saw what our company hasn’t communicated well to the people.” 

After the event Biottery provided the students with small containers of their energy drink: a little bit of energy after two hours of hard work.

Story by Tsvetelina Miteva
Photos by Venera Nikolaeva

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