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The winners of the EWA 2022 Start-up Competition have been announced


The winners of the EWA 2022 Start-up competition on 26th November in Varna are already known:

Stefka Malcheva won the first prize with her idea for the honey based sweets of Dr. Oi, followed by Antoniya Georgieva and her project Biogaria for the development of fertilizer based on the utilization of algae biomass.

EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

The  EWA Participants presented their pitches in preliminary announced order, each having seven minutes to pitch their business idea in the way they would present it to an investor, followed by 7 minutes Q&A session, during which the jury and the audience could ask questions regarding the business idea and the business model as follows:
1. Antoniya Georgieva – Biogaria
The start-up idea is to develop a product based on algae biomass. It will find application as a biofertilizer that will regulate the processes of absorption of water and nutrients by plants.
2. Betina Yordanova – Orchard - village Tsarev Brod
Betina’ s idea is to offer to the market fruit raw material of prunes that is free of substitutes and chemical additives. The target market are factories for prune products, using fruit raw materials in industrial quantities. She is also developing a new product – candies, based on the natural fruit raw material.
3. Desislava Stoitsova – Duck farm
Desislava presented her idea for closed cycle of organic production of duck meat. The start-up aims to  ensure the quality by producing their own feed and  growing the ducks in natural conditions. This  will allow to reduce the use of  chemicals and thus  reduce a number of environmental and human health problems.
4. Nataliya Nikolova – Recycle Art
Nataliya gathered valuable experience during EWA Programme which allowed her to further develop her idea for the production of seedling from rare plants and decorations into a service that would allow customers to choose combinations of herbs and plants according to their taste by using a specially designed application.
5. Kristina Tsenova
The knowledge and skills gained in the programme helped Kristina to promote her products and reach to new customers and to develop and offer to the market a new product – immunostimulator Tsenova.
6. Stefka Malcheva
Stefka Malcheva shared that the gained knowledge and experience in EWA programme and especially the received feedback and mentor support, helped her reshape her business idea. She started initially with idea for houses for apitherapy and then, following the advice during the group session on business planning and with the help of her mentor she started developing a completely new product – Dr. Oi’s sweets with 90% honey for soothing a sore throat. The innovation includes another new product - honey powder, produced by own technology, that can also be used as sweetener instead of sugar.
7.  Slavena Rodinova – Hot Farm
In the course of EWA programme and with the help of her mentor , the start up has developed a new variety of chilli pepers – Bulgarian sense. HotFarm uses own technology to offer quality products that are suitable for people with stomach problems. Another product with numerous health benefits is Hotfarm tincture – food additive with vitamin C and good effect on metabolism and blood pressure.
8.  Blazhka Dimitrova – Zero Wave
The start-up utilizes the waste products from malz and beer in the production of  high-quality food, rich in fibres and proteins. The start up is based on the idea of zero waste and low carbon foodprint throughout the value chain.  
Significant achievements thanks to EWA programme, include entering new markets – Romania and Greece and 100 Shell locations in Bulgaria, offering Zero Wave products. The company has also signed contracts with Lagardere and Lidl and started collaboration with “Istinski med” – platform for the support of beekeepers and honey producers.
9. Jane Dimitrova - FoodoBOX

The idea of FoodObox is to help reduce food waste and at the same time provide consumers with high quality food at affordable price. The start-up has grown by 52%, adding 13 000 users of the app and 35% more B2B clients (retailers and restaurants) since the start of EWA Programme. The company has also achieved its objective to enter new markets – Romania.  
During the jury meeting from 14.00 to 16.00, an Information event was held for introducing EWA Bulgaria 2022 Programme of EIT Food and other initiatives for support of women entrepreneurs and startups in agrifood, implemented by  EIT Hub Bulgaria, Women Entrepreneurship Centre  (WOMEN IN BUSINESS project), Innovation Starter Box and Agro Hub BG. 

Main keynote speakers and presentations included:
Ralitsa Zhekova, RAPIV presented the implementation of EWA Programme 2022 in Bulgaria. 
Ina Todorova, Cleantech Bulgaria presented the initiatives of EIT Food Hub in Bulgaria and future opportunities for the support of agrifood entrepreneurs, offered by EIT Food.
Svetlana Boyanova, Institute for Agrostrategies and Innovation and Agro Hub BG introduced the The Digital Innovation Hub for Agriculture (DIH) which aims to bring together all stakeholders in the agricultural sector in order to develop cooperation and create joint developments for the benefit of agricultural producers.
PhD. Leona Aslanova, CEO, Innovation Starter Box presented different initiatives and programmes of Innovation Starter Box for the support of start-ups, especially in the agrifood sector. 
Assoc. prof. Eleonora Tankova, Varna Free University presented the success story of the  Women Entrepreneurship Centre, created within the WOMEN IN BUSINESS project in cooperation between RAPIV and Varna Free University was presented. The centre offers training, mentoring and consultations and networking opportunities to young women entrepreneurs at different stages of development of their business idea.
Milen Vlaev, Head of Department "Agribusiness", DSK Agro, Bank DSK AD  presented financial products and services, offered by DSK bank, tailored to the specific needs of agricultural producers. 
Todorka Dimitrova, Varna Economic Development Agency presented Training opportunities under other EU Programmes (Erasmus+, Interreg Danube Transnational Programme, etc.)
After the announcement of the results and the winners by the jury, the event was officially closed.
The Pitching event was streamed online via RAPIV’s Facebook page 

About EIT Food
EIT Food is the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community. We accelerate innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all.        
Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, we invest in projects, organisations and individuals that share our goals and vision for a healthy and sustainable food system. We unlock innovation potential in businesses and universities and create and scale agrifood startups to bring new technologies and products to market. We equip entrepreneurs and professionals with the skills needed to transform the food system and put consumers at the heart of our work, helping build trust by reconnecting them to the origins of their food.
We are one of nine innovation communities established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.     
Find out more at www.eitfood.eu or follow us via social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube  and  Instagram.

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