Global IT Leader Progress: AUBG Creates the Perfect Environment for Exploring Entrepreneurship

February 02, 2017

The global software leader Progress donated $ 5,500 to the AUBG “Aspire” hub, thus helping to fuel innovation and creativity among students of outstanding potential from the region and beyond.

Progress, which now comprises the former Bulgarian-owned company Telerik, has been a good friend of AUBG. Before joining the global family of Progress, its Bulgarian predecessor Telerik was also very active in supporting the university.

Telerik was founded in 2002 by four graduates of AUBG and the Technical University of Sofia. Vassil Terziev, Svetozar Georgiev and Boyko Iaramov were the AUBG alumni on the founding team.

In October 2014 the US-based corporation Progress acquired Telerik in a record deal, paying $263 million for the acquisition. At the beginning of 2017, the four founders of Telerik left Progress to lead the tech-ed initiative, Telerik Academy.

Progress donated the amount at the end of 2016. Here is how the company commented on its support for innovation and entrepreneurship at AUBG.

Progress (and before that Telerik) has been a long-term friend and supporter of AUBG. What has prompted and sustained this relationship?

We’ve always appreciated the bright and talented professionals AUBG prepares. Three of the four founders of Telerik, which was acquired by Progress at the end of 2014, are AUBG alumni and we have other former AUBG students on different teams. We’ve always been impressed with their positive can-do attitude, deep understanding of their professional field and relentless desire to go an extra mile to achieve more. Participating in AUBG life through providing scholarships and supporting students’ activities felt natural and easy and has been an important part of our relationship with the university, its students and alumni.

How did Progress decide to support Aspire and what are its goals in doing so?

AUBG’s great spirit and vibrant community create the perfect environment for learning about and exploring entrepreneurship. It is essential that its students have a dedicated place where they can gather to share ideas, meet mentors and receive feedback. We want to see them getting as close to turning their business ideas into reality as possible, supported by their peers and mentors.

Today, entrepreneurship means much more than having an idea and starting up a business. Entrepreneurship is about being open-minded, creative and resourceful, thinking beyond any boundaries. It is a state of mind which, like any other skill, should be mastered and practiced. Regardless of the professional path Aspire student entrepreneurs decide to pursue, having been exposed to and having mastered the entrepreneurial way of thinking will be one of their key strengths.

How would you comment on the importance of co-working spaces and innovation hubs in today’s economy and business environment?

What makes co-working spaces and innovation hubs valuable is the opportunity to mingle with like-minded people, make new connections and get exposed to new ways of thinking. Creative energy is contagious and passes on from one person to another. Naturally, such an environment inspires and calls to action. Good ideas don’t stay up in the air for long; they get acted upon and turned into real businesses. Having such spaces facilitates the creation of new quality products and services.

What are the most important qualities that AUBG students and students in general, should possess in order to be successful in a company like Progress?

In our industry, change is the only constant. Therefore, what matters most is one’s ability to embrace change and adjust to new business realities. This mostly means being a fast learner—from new technologies and programming languages to new approaches and ways of thinking. Today’s jobs in the sense of professional fields are evolving so fast that what we’re doing today might be completely different from what we’ll be doing a year from now. Being able and ready to follow and drive the latest in the IT world is a prerequisite for success in the industry and at Progress.

What message would you like to send to all those community members who gather at Aspire to create, innovate and collaborate?

Be bold and fearless. Pursue your goals with passion and grit. Make every second of your student years count.

Photo courtesy of Progress

Interview by Despina Koleva-Hristova

We are Social