Startup Europe Awards


MYSPIRULINA is the Bulgarian winner of E-Health category

Country: Bulgaria

Category: E-Health

Project Aim: producing a bioreactor designed to cultivate the spirulina at home, very easily and without the need for additional knowledge or equipment. In this way, each person can satisfy his or her needs by acquiring direct spirulina at home using our small and stylish device.

What is the problem to solve?

In the recent years, the problem of unhealthy nutrition has increasingly come to the fore in the form of various analyses and articles on obesity, as well as an increase in number of diseases and clinical conditions caused by the food we consume and the lifestyle that we have. At the same time, the topic of the food itself – its origin and quality – is becoming more and more current. There is also more and more talk about different kinds of super foods and nutritional supplements that aim to enrich the intake of different nutrients and improve our diet.

What does MYSPIRULINA do:

One of that super foods is the Spirulina alga, and we are producing a bioreactor designed to cultivate the spirulina at home, very easily and without the need for additional knowledge or equipment. In this way, each person can satisfy his or her needs by acquiring direct spirulina at home using our small and stylish device. On the one hand, this guarantees the quality if the product and the fact that, unlike the dry Spirulina, which has undergone multiple treatments and has lost up to 60% of its qualities, the fresh one is fit for direct use and does not lose its qualities. What is more, the fresh one has a pleasant taste compared to the dry one.

So, what exactly Spirulina is and why is it defined by the UN as the superfood of the Future? This alga is potentially of great importance for human nutrition because of the overall nutritional qualities, over 100 Nutrients, of which: 60-70% protein, all essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals (iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, selenium and zinc), unique pigments, omega-3 and omega6 fatty acids, etc.

The quality and nutritional value of spirulina makes it suitable for use by all people, but our focus is people interested in healthy eating and healthy lifestyle, vegetarians and vegans, as well as people with an active lifestyle who regularly exercise.

CEO’s testimony:

The Bulgarian start-up ecosystem is rapidly developing during the past few years and we are proud to be selected as winners of the national StartUp Europe Awards 2017 and represent Bulgaria in the E-health category at the Final.


The Green and Water final of the SEUA has been held in the Berlaymont Building

On July 24th at 11:00 a.m. the final of the Green and Water categories of the StartUp Europe Awards (SEUA) was held at the Berlaymont Building located in Brussels. The event was attended by Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, who handed over the prizes to Biomyc and Enova named as winners by the appointed expert members of the jury. Both startups happened to be from Bulgaria and were selected through the Country Manager of the country, Cleantech.

Furthermore, the ceremony was attended by the CEO of Finnova, Juan Manuel Revuelta, who talked about the relevance of the environment and the possibilities of funding for Startups within the European Union. “It is of paramount importance to boost entrepreneurship and private-public partnerships between startups and public administrations and there are European funding tools that serve that purpose” pointed out Juan Manuel.

StartUp Europe Awards (SEUA) is an initiative implemented by the Finnova Foundation, promoted by the European Commission and supported by the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the President of the Committee of the Regions, Karl-Heinz Lambertz, within the framework of the Startup Europe programme. These awards seek to identify and recognise startups in Europe who are concerned with developing the values of entrepreneurship and innovation, including the promotion of respect for the environment.

The Green category aims at recognising startups offering products, services or methodologies addressing different topics like improved resource efficiency, climate change, low carbon economy or societal challenges among others. The award represents Finnova’s and the European’s Union compromise with the preservation and protection of the environment for present and future generations. The winner for this category was BIOMYC a Bulgarian startup which is developing an economically viable, fully biodegradable composite material made of agricultural waste as feedstock and mushroom mycelium as a binding agent.

On the other hand, the Water category aims at recognising startups working in the implementatio

n of various matters like water sustainable systems, coordination to public participation, chemical pollution or groundwater among others. This category responds to the importance of water itself. Water is the source of live and life itself.  It is a precondition for human, animal and plant life, an indispensable resource for the economy and a fundamental piece in the climate regulation cycle. Therefore, protecting our water resources, such as fresh or salt water or the water we drink and bathe in is one of the pillars of environmental protection in Europe. The winner for this category was also a Bulgarian startup called Enova. This startup has designed a BOD monitoring system based on a new generation of biosensor capable of detecting and quantifying the organic pollution in water.

You can re-view the event here, to see the pictures of the ceremony please click here.


QWater is the bulgarian winner in Tourism category

Country: Bulgaria

Category: Tourism

Project aim: The motivation to start our project is to protect the natural waters and green areas where usually are situated the closed touristic complexes and small villages. Commonly the position of these areas is remote from sewerage infrastructure and big wastewater treatment plants, which requires the creation of local ones.

What is your project about?

Our project is related to the wastewater treatment. We propose a local wastewater treatment plant which is small, aesthetic, melting into the environment, easy for management, starting and stopping of the process with a lyophilized biological product for fast starting of the process and zeolites as an essential inert material that can be easily cleaned and that creates conditions that exclude the necessity of costs for aeration. It treats the wastewater to a level that allows to be used for irrigation. It solves the wastewater problem in small villages that are not obligated to have wastewater plants. It also contributes to the sustainable production systems in small livestock farms and closed touristic complexes as thus it is closing the loop regarding the water use. We propose individual approach to every case because of the variety of the substances in the wastewaters.


Which one are the climate impacts of our project?

Wastewater treatment near the source of generation (in small villages; near small farms; near big houses; near closed complexes); protection of the water basins from pollution; saving costs for transportation of the wastewater to big wastewater treatment plants; saving costs for aeration; use of the treated water for irrigation in the agriculture; closing the water cycle; contribution to the transition from linear to a circular economy.

Now we have a prototype of the small wastewater treatment plant in which we are testing the process with different biological systems for improvement of the lyophilized biological product and optimizing the operating conditions of the plant.

We offer to our clients a complex service including the small wastewater treatment plant; the lyophilized biological product; control system of the technology; the whole technology; 5) expert consultations for problems solutions and optimization of the process.

The wastewater treatment and the improvement of these kind of processes is a key element for the transition from a linear to a circular economy, for the achievement of sustainable development not only in Bulgaria, not only in Europe but in the entire world.

The recognition to be a candidate for Bulgaria in the European final for us means that we are working in the right direction and that our project could contribute to the protection of our nature and to the sustainable development of the society”. Nora Dinora, Qwater´s CEO.


Green ReStart is the bulgarian winner in Smart City category

Country: Bulgaria

Category: Smart City

Project aim:  Green ReStart is a company dedicated to improving the quality of construction by assessment and mitigation of the environmental burden of construction products and processes. While measures for energy efficiency during the operation period of the buildings are widely incented and accomplished, the overall environmental profiling of buildings and building products is yet to be developed. We started our company with the desire to help the establishment of the holistic and smart management of construction materials and works.

What is your project about?

Green ReStart provides product life cycle assessment (LCA) services for the manufacturers of construction materials. LCA allows for a detailed overview of the magnitude and sources of environmental problems with respect to established environmental impact categories. On the one hand, LCA helps identifying the key activities and processes with major environmental impacts and, on the other hand, LCA can distinguish the areas where these impacts occur.

Which is your objective?

Our goal is to develop the standard LCA methodology into a tool that takes into consideration the geographical location of the process under study. This is to provide more accurate, realistic and reliable information on the environmental footprint of buildings and construction products.

The LCA results can serve as a basis for type III environmental product declarations (EPDs). Very few products are issued such EPD but there is increased interest of investors and buildings end users for sustainable and intelligent habitats. BIM modelling and design is facilitating the cooperation between different professionals and also allows for a life-long management and maintenance of the buildings. Environmental data for construction products can be successfully integrated into the BIM model, thus allowing the designers and users to better calculate and analyze the parameters of the project.


Various life cycle assessment techniques can be useful in product development and design, for better understanding and optimization of the supply chain, for detailed study of market opportunities, sensitivity analysis and decision making.

Life cycle costing (LCC) can also be used as a supportive tool for assessing the economic dimensions of the products life cycle over the different stages. The detailed structure of supply chain, processes, raw materials consumption, use of water and energy, transportation activities, etc. provides a good basis for cost analysis and optimization.

Our team is determined to prove the efficiency of LCA on the social, environmental and economic aspects of construction sector. So far, we have finished our first project for life cycle assessment and preparation of LCA-based type III environmental declaration of an external thermal insulation composite system (ETICS) offered on the Bulgarian market. We have received positive feedback from the verifying organization and we are awaiting the official certificate to be issued by the end of January 2018.

We strongly believe that our collaboration with manufacturers, designers, government authorities and the partnerships we establish with LCA practitioners from other countries will help improving the competitiveness of the construction sector. We believe that LCA audit can serve as a basis for a better organization of the processes throughout a building’s life cycle in such a way that the environmental load to be controlled and minimized.



ShiftIDEAS is the bulgarian winner of Green category


Country: Bulgary

Category: Green

Project Aim: Global warming is costing businesses directly and thus has a negative impact on the economy. In addition, governments have started implementing regulations on petroleum based products, resulting in rising compliance costs for businesses.

What is worse, current eco-friendly solutions are not applicable for large scale use, because of high cost, lack of functionality or complicated production processes that requires substantial investments until appropriate economies of scale can be reached.

That is why we are developing a biocomposite material, that is completely biodegradable and is created in an energy efficient process with a low carbon footprint. We transform sustainably sourced lignocellulosic biomass into a drop-in replacement for styrofoam packaging. We will be able to target an array of packaging markets – consumer electronics, furniture and glassware. We are designing a waste-free production process and striving to achieve industrial manufacturing that is economically viable and environmentally friendly.

What does ShiftIDEAS do?

Biomyc (formerly shiftIDEAS) is a biotech company, based in Sofia, Bulgaria. We are currently developing a compostable alternative to styrofoam, made of agricultural waste and mushroom organisms.

The industry for petroleum based synthetics has produced many useful and low cost products, that enhance our lives, like styrofoam. The problem is they generate huge quantities of non biodegradable waste that attributes greatly to global warming.

What’s ShiftIDEAS future?

We are currently conducting an EU wide market research to pinpoint the perfect market niche that will allow us to proceed with a pilot production in 2019.

We are excited to have won the opportunity to represent Bulgaria on an European level and are looking forward to the competition.

For our team this will be a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about sustainable business and the Circular economy, as well as test our skills against the best in Europe.






ConnectedBin is the bulgarian winner for the IoT category

Country: Bulgary

Category: IoT

Project Aim: We believe that we all deserve to live in cleaner, safer and greener cities!

We see one of the main issues cities around Europe are facing today in the overflowing, burning and vandalized waste containers. These are due, to a great extent, to the re-active waste collection strategies that prevail – fixed pick-up schedules no matter how full or empty the bins are, delayed or no reaction to incidents, …

We at ConnectedBin – Bulgaria believe there is an easy and effective way to solve that, namely, making the waste containers “smart” and allowing for real-time monitoring and management of the waste collection.

What does ConnectedBin do?

ConnectedBin remotely monitors various parameters of the waste bins (e.g. fill-level, GPS position) and optimizes the schedules for their collection, as well as provides real-time notification for incidents (e.g. fire, vandalization). This way the environmental impact from the waste collection is minimized, funds are spent more efficiently and better service is provided, public or private.

By turning the waste bins into smart devices, which proactively communicate their status to a central system, we enable the transition to a pro-active waste collection. Namely, knowing the status of each bin the system offers the waste-management organization the opportunity to timely react to events and optimize the schedules/routes for collection, thus saving money, time and resources

What is ConnectedBin’s future?

We have developed already the pilot versions of both the IoT device that makes the bins “smart” and of the software system that provides for their management. We are heading now towards our first field trials with several waste-management organizations in Bulgaria.

For us, the recognition as the Bulgarian IoT candidate for the SEUA 17 Final is a proof of the significance of the problem we are addressing with ConnectedBin as well as great opportunity to increase at European level the awareness of the possibilities to solve it in a smart way.




GreenScan is the Bulgarian winner for Agritech category  


Country: Bulgary

Category: Agritech

Project Aim: The main objective of GreenScan is to help the growth and the developement of a precise agriculture by monitoring the growing crop and his characteristics with drones, wich will extract important datas and informations that are goint to be very important for the development of agriculture in the monitored areas. These datas will help the farmers to be warned of the possible dangers that their products can face and also the farmers will have a particular description of the corn’s condition.This will also help the agriculture to reduce the usage of chemical fertilizers, the time spent in making decisions and therefore save a considerable amount of money.

What does GreenScan do?

In a world where information travel fast, there’s no doubt this is an innovative project that will improve the farmer’s work and will also save their proucts. Being awarned of dryness, desease and general issues of the crop means that you can look for a solution in the less time possible.The drones will provide informations also about the entire crop cycle, including datas about the soil, about the planting, the irrigation and all the aspects of agriculture, so that the farmers can have the biggest amount of information in the fastest way possible. This will help to find the better solution in a very short time.These realtime data are provided by the drones that scan the earth and then provide elaborate NDVI maps with all the information possible about the vital condition of vegetation.

How does it work?

GreenScan’s team spent 6 months using their drones in different cultures, then, they processed the drone imagery in GIS environment and elaborate precise NDVI maps wich can detect structural, chlorophyll and water stresses, indicate crop disease, compare vegetation conditions in various areas and highlight which fields need closer examination and special care, facilitating agriculture producers in their everyday life while at the same time contributes to better and more sustainable environment.



Twelve startups will represent Bulgaria in StartUp Europe Awards

StartUp Europe Awards is promoted by the European Commission and supported by President of the Committee of the Regions, several members of European Parliament as Ambassadors and it is implemented by Finnova Foundation in collaboration with Startup Europe.

Cleantech Bulgaria organized Bulgarian final. The winners in this country are:

For Agritech, the winner is Green Scan. They are a startup for precise agriculture. With the help of unmanned aerian vehicle we monitor fields with various agriculture and produce NDVI images showing the vital condition of the vegetation.

Rivus, for Climate is a startup who develops highly efficient water-saving products like tap nozzle and shower head. Rivus nozzle can save up to 90% of the water and Rivus Shower up to 70% of the water.

Cybersecurity category was won by RV Solutions. They make modular WEB based system with a mobile application, which uses IoT to perform remote monitoring and control of industrial installations in warehouses.

My Spirulina won e-Health category. They create a Small and unique sized bioreactor for home cultivation of the superfood spirulina.

For the Energy Category, ELJOY is an startup that create smart electric bicycles and bike sharing system to change the way how people commute in cities.

CRISTA won Fintech category with Climate Risk Integrated System for Thematical Analysis provides climate risk analytics primarely to insurance companies to enhance the depth and integrity of their assessments.

In the Gastronomy the winner is Pulpy Crips, they implement Implementation of juice pulp into healthy fruit and vegetable chips.

In Green Category, ShiftIDEAS had won with developing an economically viable, fully biodegradable composite material, made of agricultural waste as a feedstock (straw, corn husks, tobacco stems etc.) and mushroom mycelium as a binding agent. The fungal organism feeds on the lignocellulose rich feedstock and produces hyphae that connect and bind the waste particles to form a bio-mass composite material, from which a multitude of products can be created – particle boards, protective packaging and construction materials.

Connected Bin, in IoT category. “ConnectedBin offers a smart solution for just-in-time solid waste collection.  It allows for remote monitoring of various parameters of the waste bins (e.g. fill-level, GPS position, vandalization) and optimized schedules for their collection, as well as real-time notification for incidents (e.g. fire-alarm, dislocation, vandalization).

This way the environmental impact from the waste collection is minimized, funds are spent more efficiently and better service is provided, public or private.”

In Smart Cities, GreenReStart is the winner. “Green ReStart is a consulting company for life cycle assessment and preparation of environmental product declarations. Our initial focus is on the construction sector in Bulgaria with further development on other industrial fields and neighbouring countries.

Tourism category was won by qWater. They management of local wastewater treatment processes – We offer a complex service including small aesthetic local wastewater treatment plant, bioaugmentation product for optimization of the process and consulting for management of the water treatment processes.

ENOVA won Water Category. The BOD monitoring system we designed is based on new generation of biosensors capable to detect and quantify the organic pollution in water.  The systems could be used for monitoring of water bodies such as lakes, rivers and wetlands or to be a part of the control systems in different industries dealing with water.