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Grand Finale Day

We are gathering this year in Sofia, Bulgaria to recognize and celebrate the startup ecosystem of the colorful region of Central and Eastern Europe.
The CESAwards Grand Finale day will consists of 3 major events on the 23rd of November; an exclusive daytime networking and workshop event with the greatest thinkers and doers of the region and beyond, an award show like none other and an afterparty that everyone will remember (or not).

Join the futureshapers, the makers, the dreamers and powerhouses of the CEE startup ecosystem, meet the investors and corporate partners and let’s have a day together of no-tie, no-stress and no-bullshit fun in the next-generation epicenter of innovation, Sofia!

Grand Finale Teaser Video


November 23

John Atanasoff Innovation Forum + Raffy Bar
Sofia, Blvd “Tsarigradsko shose” 111 B
Sofia Tech Park

The Grand Finale day is organized by

Daytime - CEE ecosystem summit

13:00 – 18:00

Location: Sofia Tech Park

The daytime event of the Grand Finale day is a networking and knowledge sharing event designed to connect the CEE region not only with each other, but with the global startup community in an intimate environment, with programmes that foster understanding, acceptance, and collaboration.

→ 12:00 – 13:00 – Registration
→ 13:00- Welcome by CESAwards
→ 13:03 – Welcome and introduction to the Bulgarian ecosystem by ABLE
→ 13:10 – Introduction to the Bulgarian ecosystem by Bulgarian ecosystem stakeholders
→ 13:30- Introduction to the other rest of the event, panels and workshops

→ 13:30- 14:10 Fireside chat I: Startup ecosystem in the CEE: strengths, weaknesses, challenges, investments and legislation
→ 14:10 – 14:50 Fireside chat II: Startups and corporations: How we work next to and with each other to mutually contribute to a better connected and smarter future

→ 15:20- 16:00 Presentation:TechStars on putting investment rounds together with Max Kelly

→ 16:00 – 18:00 Workshop: Startups and corporations: what, where, when, why, HOW? This is a limited admission, facilitated workshop.
→ Open networking: With led networking, snacks and coffee

We selected the hashtag #FUTURESHAPERS for this years edition of CESAwards, because we see and sense the increasing impact startups have on shaping a new economy and driving deep innovation.
We are not only in love with startups but are committed to build bridges and enhance collaboration of those startups in the CEE region.
We are on a mission!

We set out a goal for ourselves to build a sustainable platform for all the CEE #FUTURESHAPERS to meet, talk, collaborate and join forces on topics that will have a huge impact on the way startups are made, nurtured and grown to be cornerstones of the economy.

Our first action for this platform is the workshop on the Grand FInale day.
The aim of the workshop is to 1: encourage networking and best practice sharing; 2: gather obstacles to better collaboration in the region; 3: to prepare a set of recommendations for addressing the obstacles which we plan to aggregate into CEE startup status report issued by Q1 in 2018, and circulated through the network.

All contributors will be mentioned and have the opportunity to place their brand in the report. Our regional and global reach is expanding by the day and we believe that this is a good PR opportunity as well as a good step in forging the regional ecosystem closer together.

The daytime event is open to VIP ticket holders and invited stakeholders only and has a limited number of attendance by 120.
If you would like to participate or be featured in the report, drop us a line, we would love to hear from you.
Get in contact at hello(at)cesawards.com


Award Show

19:30 – 22:30

Location: Sofia Tech Park, John Atanasoff building

The Award Show will take place at the Sofia Tech Park “John Atanasoff” building.
We, the startuppers work so hard through the year, constantly pushing the boundaries of time and space will meet and greet here.
We wanted to have an award show where you do not have to prepare a pitch, do not have to stand inside a booth all day long and certainly do not have to wear a tie.
The Award Show is created for the startup ecosystem to gather, have fun and enjoy the accomplishments and celebrate the wins of fellow entrepreneurs!

Your Award Show ticket includes unlimited free food, drinks and a free admission to the afterparty!

The Award show can be attended with all types of valid tickets!




Location: Raffy Bar

The afterparty venue is just a stone-throw away from the Award Show, its just a minute walk through a beautiful park. At Raffy Bar we recommend you try some local drinks, talk to anyone standing next to you, hug your friends and your enemies and dance the night away!
Sofia nights are wondrous and full of mystery, so don’t be surprised if you go home with friends from the other side of the world….or the phone number of THAT investor in your telly.

The Afterparty can be attended with all types of tickets!


Sofia Tech Park
Inter Expo Center
The Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency
Bulgarian Memory Foundation