Ernest Wilson

Ernest J. Wilson lll

University of Southern California

"If you don't have proficiency in ACE-IT skills (adaptability, cultural competency, empathy, intellectual curiosity and a 360 degree world view" you won't be able to attract a team, funding, or customers."

Ernest J. Wilson lll, Ph.D., professor of communication and political science, is founder and director of the USC Center for Third Space Thinking, devoted to research, teaching and executive education on soft skills in the digital age. Through the Center for Third Space Thinking, Dr. Wilson’s most recent research focuses on critical workforce competencies and talent and skills development in the 21st Century.

Michael Marvin

Michael Marvin

MapInfo, founder of Tech Valley in upstate New York

"Identifying, understanding and attracting the right market for your business' product/service: the importance of being able to work within the entrepreneurial ecosystem."

Mike Marvin has been actively involved in starting and/or growing more than 100 technology companies – and investing in many of them – over the last 30+ years. He was a founder and first CEO of a startup that went public 7 years later and was ultimately sold to a Fortune 500 company. Also, Mike was an adviser to a $1.4 Billion Equity Fund, where he screened the companies to be funded and served on their Boards. He also Founded and helped manage a seed capital fund that invested $10,000 – $100,000 in startup companies concentrated within a 60-mile radius of great universities. Throughout his career, Mike has been a CEO, Chairman of the Board, Board Member, Advisor, and/or an Investor with numerous technology companies located in New York, Florida, Virginia, Connecticut, and Canada. Mike has joined BEC’s April 2017 trip to Bulgaria to talk with business leaders and entrepreneurs, lecturing about how to build effective seed capital funds to connect with US funding resources.

Deyan Vitanov

Deyan Vitanov

CEO and Co-Founder of Chobolabs, a mobile eSports company

"I am excited to share my learnings from 10 years of founding and running startups, both in Bulgaria and in Silicon Valley."

Serial entrepreneur currently serving as the CEO and Co-Founder of Chobolabs, a mobile eSports company. Previously, co-founded Philanthropedia (acquired in 2011) and CPP-Home (acquired in 2003). Deyan completed his MBA at Stanford, where he co-chaired the Entrepreneurship Conference and taught the "Leadership Labs" class.

He has continued his community involvement serving as an advisor at Stanford Ignite, StartX, and Innovation Endeavors among others. Deyan has helped 100+ entrepreneurs, who have raised $300M+ in funding and employ thousands of people. He regularly speaks about entrepreneurship, technology, and leadership at conferences, communities, and schools, including Stanford and Berkeley.

Jamie Williams

Jamie Williams

NFL & Super Bowl Veteran, Holllywood Actor, Entrepreneur

"Putting together the right team means gathering support from people who are different, but also people you can lead".

After becoming an All-American Football and Basketball player at Nebraska University, Dr Williams played professional football and earned a NFL XXIV Super Bowl ring with the San Francisco 49ers. Following football, Dr. Williams embarked on a career that included work in the film industry as a writer, director, screenwriter and actor. Jamie is most known for his role as a writer, technical director and actor in Oliver Stone’s Any Given Sunday. Along the way, he achieved both a Masters Degree in MassCommunication and a Doctorate Degree in Education and Leadership. Jamie’s startup, Ymotion, creates everything from commercials, graphic design, music videos, web development, illustration/animation and social media presence. All of its “creatives” have degrees in Fine Art, and its clients mostly represent Fortune 500 hundred companies.

Dafina Toncheva

Dafina Toncheva

Partner, US Venture Partners – Tech Investor

"So you think your ready to raise capital...what's your pitch?"

Dafina is clearly a shining example of a successful entrepreneur. Currently, she is Partner at US Venture Partners (USVP) in Silicon Valley, where she specializes in technology investing. Her history is most amazing. At 18 years old, she came to the US from Bulgaria to attend Harvard on a scholarship (after applying to 50 schools and receiving letters of acceptance to 13). She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a BS in Computer Science; then went on to earn her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. After school, but before she became a venture capitalist, Dafina held positions in development and product management at Microsoft, where she focused on authentication systems, digital signatures and business workflow. Dafina is working with the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) to develop an entrepreneurship curriculum and to deliver “Follow Your Passion” talks/workshops to students to encourage them to expand their “realm of the possible”.

Michael Marvin

Michael Bigham

CEO, Paratek Pharmaceuticals

"Who do you ask for money, when do you ask for it, how much do you ask for and what do you offer in return?"

Michael F. Bigham is CEO and Chairman of Paratek Pharmaceuticals Board of Directors. Mr. Bigham has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. From January 2003 to November 2015, he was a general partner at Abingworth LLP, a leading international investment group dedicated to life sciences and healthcare. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of InMediata and has held several directorships, including at Avila Therapeutics, Magellan Biosciences, Portola Pharmaceuticals, Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Avedro and Valeritas. Mr. Bigham was formerly Vice Chairman of Corixa Corporation, a publicly traded biotechnology company, and was President and Chief Executive of Coulter Pharmaceuticals, a publicly-traded oncology company, until it merged into Corixa. Mr. Bigham received his B.S. from the University of Virginia and qualified as a C.P.A. before completing his M.B.A. at Stanford University.

Momchil Kyurkchiev

Momchil Kyurkchiev

Co-Founder and CEO of Leanplum

"It all get's down to your ability to market and do you use a relational approach to social media?"

Momchil Kyurkchiev is a leading expert in mobile marketing and the CEO and co-founder of Leanplum, a rapidly growing startup company with offices in San Francisco, New York, London, and Bulgaria. Momchil started his career at Google where he spent five years as a software engineer. At Google, he launched multiple quality improvements to YouTube’s ranking algorithms, which resulted in millions of dollars in additional revenue. He also built some of the core A/B testing infrastructure for featured video ads. After leaving Google, Momchil co-founded Leanplum, the leading platform for mobile marketing automation that empowers marketers to build meaningful relationships with their customers via mobile apps. As the CEO of Leanplum, Momchil raised $46M in funding from top-tier VCs like Canaan Partners, Kleiner Perkins and Shasta Ventures, and won VentureBeat’s GrowthBeat Innovation Showdown, which showcased the most promising startups in the marketing tech space. Momchil has a M.S. in Software Engineering & Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Veneta Andonova PhD

Veneta Andonova PhD

Associate Professor of Business at Universidad de los Andes

Milena Nikolova PhD

Milena Nikolova PhD

Veneta is a leading educator and researcher in the field of business and entrepreneurial strategy in emerging and developing contexts. She has years of professional experience working with hands-on projects and executive education. Her research was published in the Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Development Studies, and Review of Law and Economics, among others. She is a startup mentor and business consultant in the field of strategic management and internationalization. Her on-going professional and research projects are on the topics of multilatinas, technological startups and student engagement and creativity.

Milena Nikolova PhD teaches Marketing in the Executive MBA and the undergraduate business program at the American University in Bulgaria. Previously, she studied marketing at the George Washington University (GW) School of Business, USA.


Wall of faces

Milena Nikolova PhD:

Assoc. Prof. Anton Svrakov PhD

Dimi Ilieva

Dimitrina Dokimova

Dimitar Kostadinov

Mihael Varbanov

Angelina Miteva


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World Wide Top Mentors


World Wide Top Lecturers


A brilliant career


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