• 1st place NFT Marketplace Aggregator Platform is the idea-winner of the competition and receives the big prizes, provided by BFА, StikCredit.bg and Emi Koulov, Managing Director at GoAnalytix
  • 2nd place – Violeta Petkova with her idea on P2P lending for Higher Education, award – Emi Koulov, Managing Director at GoAnalytix
  • 9-day From Zero To Fintech Hackathon gathered all key stakeholders under the initiative to provide the best Fintech education possible to students and interested people in the field of digital finance
  • The hackathon consisted of a 6-hour workshop session on 19th March a mentor session throughout the week 20-26 March and an awarding ceremony on 27 March.
  • More than 40 participants signed up and attended the event’s activities
  • A 14-member jury reviewed and evaluated the ideas
  • Mentors will continue working with participants on their Fintech solutions.
  • BFA and FEBA are committed to continuing working in bringing together the public and private sector to further develop the Fintech conditions in Bulgaria

What exactly is From Zero To Fintech hackathon?

The hackathon was the next step of the Master’s degree program in Finance, Investments and Fintech at Sofia University and provided the participants with a series of workshops, conducted by some of the most prominent specialists in the field of marketing, sales, and investments in Fintech solutions in Bulgaria and Europe.  The event was open to anyone interested in the field of digital finance and attracted more than 40 participants. In addition, From Zero To Fintech gave a chance to solve real-life Fintech cases, propose and develop new Fintech solutions, and test their ideas with ‘dummy data’ via Iris PSD 2 HUB. All Fintech ideas created and developed during the Fintech hackathon were evaluated by a highly respected jury consisting of Fintech specialists from Bulgaria, the UK, and the Silicon Valley. The event was supported by our general partner – Mastercard and powered by Nexo and StikCredit. From Zero To Fintech initiative has been widely supported by academic institutions and organizations among which the Technical University – Sofia, Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Sofia University, Telerik Academy, SoftUni as well as by the IT community from the Data Science Society Bulgaria.

What happened during the hackathon?

The start of the 9-day hackathon organized by Bulgarian Fintech Association (BFA) and the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Sofia University, was given on 6 March with an opening ceremony with keynote speeches by the Bulgarian National Bank and the European Commission.

The keynote section was followed by a 6-hour exclusive webinar 8 Fintech professionals shed light on everything it is needed to be known to have a successful Fintech solution working in our region. During the hackathon the participants were met with representatives from Eleven Ventures, Limacon, Fram Creative Solutions, Iris Solutions, IBM champions from Conquex, and Cognition Foundry to talk respectively on investments, sales & marketing, UX, Open finance, and technology in Fintech. The workshop session ended with a presentation by Neda Muzho, Ph.D., Head of Department at the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) of Bulgaria who shared more information about the Innovation Hub, led by FSC.

Once all participants were provided with the needed knowledge and tools for the development of Fintech business ideas, they had 6 days, from 20th to 26th March, to work on their projects. Gathered in teams according to their interests, the participants had the opportunity to be guided by mentors – specialists in the field of the teams’ projects.

Saturday, 26th March, was the day when each team had to create 3-minute pitching videos by applying all knowledge and skills acquired during the workshops. The pitching videos were later reviewed and evaluated by a competent jury comprised of professionals from the public and private sectors of Bulgaria, the UK, and the Silicon Valley.

On the last day of the event, 27th March, with the presentation of the created Fintech solutions we held a virtual Fintech panel discussion on the future of Fintech, joined by some of the most popular Fintech experts in Bulgaria. Namely, the panelists were Svetoslav Dimitrov, Secretary of BFA, Deyan Radev, Ph.D. at Sofia University, and Stephan Simmang, Group CTO of flatexDEGIRO.

Who won the competition?

The participants in the From Zero to Fintech formed 2 teams with respectively an idea in P2P lending for higher education and an NFT Marketplace aggregator.

You can watch the winner’s pitching videos and the other Fintech solutions created during the Fintech hackathon in this video.

To continue working on their great ideas and accelerate their go-to-market, the big winners – the NFT team, win BFA award – BGN 3,000, post-hackathon consultations by StikCredit.bg and a consultation by a 10+ year-consultant at Chicago Booth Business School – Emil Koulov. Emil Koulov consultation extends to a one-time post-hackathon consultation with the team behind EduMicro Invest – the P2P lending for higher education.

To learn more about the prizes check our website.

What are the next steps?

Based on the Hackathon’s success, the interest in Fintech shown by the Bulgarian audience, BFA and FEBA are committed to continuing to work to provide the best education in the field of digital finance. Both organizations remain determined to organize more Fintech hackathons in the near future and satisfy the ever-growing popularity and traction of digital finance in Bulgaria.