I was born and raised in the beautiful Bourgas, Bulgaria, a city located on the Black Sea coast. When I was 9, I got my first computer and became completely fascinated with technology. I immediately started programmin and won my first national informatics competition that same year. Soon, I became proficient in a number of languages including C/C++, Pascal, and Assembly and specialized in reverse engineering, data structures, and complex algorithms. Throughout high school, I enjoyed going to numerous national programming competitions and even had the fortune to win a few.
During the same period, I met Iliya Yordanov, a very skilled programmer and a good friend, and in 2001 while still at high school the two of us cofounded an Internet company called CPP-Home that served as a learning hub for beginner C++ programmers. After growing rapidly, CPP-Home was acquired 2 years later. This was my first taste of the startup life and I have been hooked ever since. I learned a great deal about entrepreneurship from that experience and owe a lot to Iliya.
Throughout high school, I was not only working on startups but was also heavily involved in my local community, cofounding the first Interact club in my district (part of the Rotary International family). After a short stint at a local campaign for mayor, where I headed first-time voter relations, I was inspired to pursue a more rounded education and in 2004 started my Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences (political science, sociology, mass communication, and economics) at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. During my undergrad, I continued being active in the local community, serving as the President of the student body and cofounding and leading a Rotaract club (again part of the Rotary International family) until my graduation in 2007. In recognition for my community involvement and exceptional performance, I received an award from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
As a next step, I knew I wanted to build even stronger and better new ventures and so I applied and got accepted to the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where I pursued an MBA as one of the youngest members of the Class of 2009. I had an incredibly rich experience at the GSB: I got to know myself much better and made many amazing friends. I also learned a great deal about leadership, entrepreneurship, and management from faculty, classmates, and alumni.
I came to the Stanford GSB dedicated to building a startup and immediately connected with current and past classmates to try out various ideas. After testing and discaring 7 ideas, the eighth one worked and later became Philanthropedia. I cofounded the company with my amazing classmates Howard Bornstein, Erik Bengtsson, and Chris Herndon.
Philanthropedia helps donors give better by identifying high-impact nonprofits in different social causes through crowdsourced reviews. Think Zagat for the nonprofit world. In 2011, Philanthropedia was acquired by GuideStar, the largest provider of nonprofit data. At GuideStar, I created and ran GuideStar Labs, an incubator bringing product ideas to market. I led two projects focused on integrations with the LinkedIn and Salesforce platforms.
In 2012, I left GuideStar to start startup #3 together with the best hacker I have ever worked with, Petar Dobrev, who was also engineer #1 at my last venture Philanthropedia. I am excited about what's to come!
In my spare time, I write about startups and entrepreneurship in the Startup Lore. I also enjoy advising entrepreneurs, helping them make their startups successful. I am very interested in leadership, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, technology, science, philosophy, and the world at large. I tweet and speak about these topics as well - most recently at Stanford (at the undergraduate, law, and business schools), Menlo College, Harker School, the Telerik Academy, the Smart Start conference (in Bulgarian), and MyWay.BG (in Bulgarian). I am a former professional gamer (StarCraft, Counter-Strike) and still follow the eSports scene for fun.
Thank you for visiting my website. I hope you enjoy your stay!