Not having a typical VC background could make things harder for those who want to break into the VC industry, Doncheva said, for both entrepreneurs or aspiring VCs. “… Having experienced being in the position of an ‘outsider’ to VC circles did give me a big sense of appreciation of how difficult it can be to break into these industry networks,” Doncheva said. That is why she got inspired to start the Ecosystem Project, an initiative to overcome the barriers to entry deepened by the first COVID lockdown.
project first and foremost started with the aim to overcome this knowledge gap between those who have a VC background and people like Doncheva, who don’t. Earlier in the project, Doncheva and some allies from the VC world did the first webinar
, and the dynamic grew into an online series course from there. Ecosystem project has grown tremendously from its start and now offers online panels
stacked with important VC partners, and events called #EcosysemGiants where VCs and entrepreneurs can connect virtually.
For Tzvete, the most important advice she can give any person interested in joining the entrepreneurial ecosystem is to find a community. It doesn’t matter if “you are a founder, a tech operator, or aspire to become an investor yourself…Find a community or a network you associate with … ‘find your tribe’! and try to understand what are the resources you should be reading/following to develop a more specific understanding/expertise, related to the ecosystem you are looking to become part of. How can you become a more active member of any community or network? Be aware of the value-add your background or experience can bring to others - and lead with value creation (give, not take).”
And if you’re already in the entrepreneurial space and are looking for venture capital investments then she emphasized that you must “understand whether venture capital is the right type of financing for your business”. Ask yourself: you would like your company to grow organically? If your answer is yes, then this may not be the way. Secondly, research on what are the firms that invest in your sector, stage, and region and target a pitch. “You have to know who you should be pitching to.“
Learn more about Tzvete’s journey by following her on Twitter
. And Shout out to @iamjackyrivero
for bringing us this great interview!