Interview: Atanas Simeonov – A Family Investment Company

Atanas Simeonov @StartBGpodcast

In an interview with Georgi Mitev at StartBG Podcast, our founder – Atanas Simeonov – shares valuable insights from his own vast experience in the Bulgarian business ecosystem.


The reinventing entrepreneur

Throughout his inspiring three-decade career, Atanas has gained highly diversified business acumen as a founder and key figure in many organizations, such as:

  • S Group International: a group of companies investing in real estate and security solutions for more than 20 years.
  • Amatas: the first cybersecurity company in Bulgaria, supplying comprehensive solutions using the unique for the industry “as a service” management model.
  • Resolute Software: building and delivering comprehensive software engineering solutions and consulting services.
  • Endeavor Bulgaria: as part of a global network, the association supports the Bulgarian tech ecosystem. Atanas was a founding Board member.
  • Family Business Association (FBA) in Bulgaria, Member.


Your key takeaways

Tune in to learn more about the perks of creating products with high added value; the nature of the IT and start-up ecosystems in Bulgaria and the challenges they face; what is the key difference between successful and unsuccessful start-ups that you should be able to notice; the risk facing fast-growing companies nowadays; the difference between an effective and ineffective team, for businesses with a cause.


Watch the full interview, covering the below points and more:

  • 01:24 – Atanas Simeonov and Ocean Investments
  • 06:49 – Business 4.0 – Business results but with a cause
  • 10:14 – The solution comes from entrepreneurs, not the state
  • 13:44 – Family investment company
  • 19:41 – The “Holy trinity” needed in a company
  • 23:51 – What distinguishes successful from unsuccessful startups?
  • 26:58 – The fine line between helping and interfering
  • 30:08 – Selection of people in companies is the most important parameter
  • 32:44 – How to choose a business partner?
  • 38:28 – Supporting a cause outside of Ocean Investments official verticals – Cybersecurity, Healthtech, Space, Blockchain/AI.
  • 39:28 – Overheating of the IT and startup ecosystems
  • 45:49 – MVP spend has doubled
  • 46:50 – You need to be a good employer globally
  • 49:14 – A craft is stolen, not learned
  • 51:31 – Entrepreneurs will improve education in Bulgaria
  • 56:38 – Adjustment in salaries in the IT sector
  • 1:00:19 – There is no crisis for quality
  • 1:00:49 – The risk facing fast-growing companies
  • 1:02:28 – The culture in Atanas’ companies
  • 1:09:43 – Creating a culture of reciprocity, empathy and support
  • 1:13:03 – The company is growing – how to develop and invest in our employees?
  • 1:17:04 – Look for people open to learning and continuous improvement
  • 1:19:42 – How to identify the right people for a team?
  • 1:25:59 – The difference between an effective and ineffective team
  • 1:31:26 – Dare to Scale: the best incubator program at Endeavor
  • 1:33:23 – Books Atanas recommends


Do you have an idea? We should talk!

We want to partner with forward-thinking entrepreneurs who have a great idea and want to operate at the frontiers of digital innovation. With us, you will find a partner who will be a stable ally along the way – by not only providing the capital but also the right networks and strategic pathways to success.

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About the author

Ralitsa Naumova

Ralitsa is a well-rounded marketing professional, imaginative copywriter, brand strategist & storyteller. Her marketing, advertising & corporate comms expertise has been carefully nurtured in international corporate and agency environments; in the heat of organizing/communicating international industry events & trade shows; in managing B2C and B2B communications in the clinical research industry. Ralitsa’s professional career has seen business in action in both the UK and USA, giving her the invaluable cross-cultural touch integral to any successful marketing consultant. Today’s marketing challenges require tomorrow’s technological solutions – and that’s Ralitsa’s lifelong career pursuit – how to get that one step further ahead of established practices.

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