The maturing Bulgarian startup ecosystem

20 May 2013

New Balkans Law Office is very pleased how far starting up in Bulgarian technology has come since 2009, and we are looking forward to continuing to support the startup sector, including through several events this week.

Firstly, today, two of our lawyers – Anna Georgieva and Radostina Mladenova, working with partner Kamen Shoylev – are presenting to an audience drawn from accelerator Eleven’s current crop of teams on two groups of key legal issues for startups. Radostina will discuss practical aspects of intellectual property rights from the perspective of an internet business. She will look at these in the context of cross-border B2C sales and of investments in the business, before moving on to issues of privacy, data protection and consumer-related regulation.

Anna will then take over to deal with a number of key investment documentation / term sheet provisions, focussing in particular on full and weighted ratchet clauses; change of control provisions and redemption rights – all of which are provisions negotiated particularly in post-seed, post-angel financing and which are frequently demanded by venture capitalists before they agree to fund a business.

This week will also see Mini Seedcamp Sofia, at which a number of domestic and several international startups will compete for funding from Europe’s pre-eminent accelerator. NBLO will attend. A list of pitching companies is available on the event page here.

Seedcamp Sofia will be held in the context of a larger conference, the Balkan Venture Forum which New Balkans Law Office, is proud to be a sponsor of alongside Microsoft, VM Ware, Telerik, BlackBerry and others.

This event promises to attract a large audience and to be an opportunity to take stock of how far the space has deepened and widened of late, particularly since last year’s launch of two domestically-based seed funds (Launchub and Eleven) and with the increasing maturity of business models.

NBLO has over the years supported initiatives designed to encourage starting up in technology by means of seminar series, free consultancy by way of competition awards, and by organising a landmark 2010 event “Financing in IT”, which gathered actors with an interest in SEE venture and promoted awareness of the investment class among entrepreneurs.

We look forward to the further maturation of the sector and are excited to see the constellation of high quality events and pitches which await us, for a brilliant end to a startup May.

Recent work:

An ~€1M claim on behalf of real estate consultants

NBLO’s dispute resolution lawyers represented UK-based real estate consultants who had structured a € 40-million-worth commercial property project on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast.  In breach of an applicable contractual obligation, the consultants had not been paid the agreed success fees for their services. The then director of the defaulting party had been tragically shot dead in the meantime.

Following a hotly contested first instance, with below-the-belt attempts by the other side (the least untypical perhaps being the claim that the contract had been a forgery and a trial-within-a-trial on the issue), our team succeeded in obtaining a judgment at first instance.  The parties were then able to achieve a significant settlement.

The key skills we were able to bring to bear in providing a solution included searching for solutions across the problem domain; appropriately involving representatives of Bulgaria’s EU partner member-states to buttress judicial independence; and resourcefully dealing with heterodox approaches by our judicial opponents.

© New Balkans Law Office 2019