The international conference, hosted by the Bulgarian partner - Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities (UBBSLA) was held in Varna on 28.05.2019. Planned as a project final event, the conference was the meeting place of many European and local experts and stakeholders in the field of crowdfunding.
The international conference was officially opened by Mr. Peter Manchev, Deputy Regional Governor of Varna and by Mrs. Mariana Kancheva, Executive Director of UBBSLA.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Manchev said that Varna is one of the leading cities in Bulgaria in the field of crowdfunding. "In our city there are 6 universities and about 28,000 students. There are also a number of organizations that provide training and support for start-ups. The main focus in Varna are digitization, smart applications, tourism, social services, etc. There is a base, human resources and support from local and regional authorities. What is a challenge for us is attracting relatively large international partners and investors. That is why the CrowdStream project is particularly interesting for the community and the region. I hope that in today's event we will create good contacts and new opportunities for common project’s ideas that will attract investors and developers in Varna"concluded Mr. Manchev.
In front of a wide audience of representatives of local business associations, Varna University of Economics, Varna District Administration, Municipality of Varna and Municipality of Devnya, Varna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Scientific and Technical Union - Varna and many young people interested in business development with the help of crowdfunding, the project partners shared their experience and achievements in the frame of CrowdStream.
At the opening panel,Mr. Dragan Kovacevic form AEIpresented in summary the CrowdStream project work and the key speaker Ms.Claudia Singer(EU Strategy for the Danube Region)gavean overview about EUSDR. Afterwards there werean open panel discussion on CrowdStream – the main project results and strategy contributions.
At the secondsession on „Quality framework for alternative finance”, Mrs. Ivana Mišetić, ZICER, Croatia, joined by Mr Daniel Horak – CONDA and Mr Rudolf Kinsky – AVCO, Austria addressedtopics such as relevance of crowdfunding as a new instrument in the context of alternative financing options,ensuring high quality for cross border crowdfunding, alternative financing and crowdfunding experience. Their discussion werefollowed by a third panel titled “Capacity buildin”, chaired by Mrs. Brigitte Hatvan, ConPlusUltra.The panellistsStefano Guardati– STP, Slovenia; Mr Robert Nemeth – PBN, Hungary; Ms Alexandra Pintilie – CPU, Austria and Mr Jan Jares – JAIP, Czech Republic sharedtheir views on increasing knowledge and capacity of relevant actors on qualitative crowdfunding, alternative financing for energy projects and impressions from CrowdStream pilot trainings and field missions.
The panellists of the final session “Innovation frameworks and next steps to follow-up”, Mrs Silvia Shtumpf – Business Agency Varna, Bulgaria; Ms Lilyana Savova– ITERA Institute – Varna, Bulgaria and Mrs Polina Antonova – Institute for Youth Initiatives and Innovations, Bulgaria sharedtheir experience on innovative services provided by the Business Pre-Accelerator of the North-East of Bulgaria, European Digital Bootcamps and starting successful business.
CrowdStream project – CROWDfunding to mainSTREAM innovation – helps cities and BSOs in the Danube Region to support Crowdfunding as a potential tool to close the financial gap for start-ups and SMEs. The project addresses the challenge to create new innovative support services for small enterprises.