Innovation hub Sofia

Conclusions from the MediaMotor coaching programme at Innovation hub in Sofia

Conclusions from the MediaMotor coaching programme at Innovation hub in Sofia

During the last 12 months, 10 promising deeptech startups (from a total of 61 startups and scaleups) were selected for the two batches of the MME mentorship program and attached to be served by the Innovation Hub Sofia under a MediaMotorEurope intensive mentoring program.

The aim of the MME project was to bring selected deeptech innovators from an MVP to growing companies together with candidate clients in the media sector and potential investors.

For the achievement of this purpose, the innovation hubs including the Sofia hub had to manage a six months mentoring program, in which the main players were the selected mentors. So, was the mentoring program useful for the startups, and why? Let’s share with you which are the success factors that created benefits for the startups! The conclusions are based on the experience of the team of the Innovation Hub Sofia.

The factors can be summarized into the following three groups :

1) Commitment and engagement of the coaches - working with an individual coach through a series of coaching sessions led to three main results for most of the startups in the hub: better definition of their business plans, products/services, management – e.g., some of the startups went through the process of successfully growing and managing of their teams under the guidance of their coach; some reconsidered their target market and groups; others considered new types of partnerships and networks like academic and training organizations. Coaches and startups stay in touch and follow up even after the official end of the support cycle.

2) Collaboration and wide network - most of the startups established relationships and mutual projects and work with peers who have a similar business and provide complementary services and products - e.g. during the Networking & Experience Sharing event of the program most of the startups took the chance to meet and share their challenges, experience, solutions, their lessons learned, pitching opportunities, advice for fundraising, etc.

3) Strong support by the MME consortium - the project consortium laid down a solid basis for fruitful work process, collaboration with well-defined roles in the program which leads to strong support and benefits for the participants, e.g., the regular meetings with the CSKC hub coordinator and/or the coach proved to be quite insightful and efficient resulting in diverse viewpoints and ideas shared and decisions made quite fast.

In summary, the first two support cycles’ “alumni” left the program with quite good returns, experiences, and opportunities for growth. The team of the Innovation Hub at CSKC, Sofia, and the Media Motor Europe project partners continue working and supporting these startups even after the program end.

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