Irina Dimitrova, LAUNCHub Ventures: Women in VC Lessons – The Recursive

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The next guest on The Recursive podcast is one of the first women in the Bulgarian VC space. The Chief Financial Officer and a Partner of LAUNCHub Ventures, Irina Dimitrova has been a part of the ecosystem for more than 10 years. She is joining us to share more about her experience in what historically has been a male-dominated business. 
Irina moved to London right after graduating from the American College in Bulgaria. Her journey was challenging as an outsider of the EU at the time, and amid the Dot-com bubble burst to happen at the time. She showed determination and authenticity, which made her stand out from the crowd and landed her a position in the investment banking field in a time of economic crisis.
In this episode, Irina Dimitrova shares about her journey in the UK as a young student, graduating in Banking and International Finance, and what made her “quit the rat race”. Instead, she pursued a career in Bulgaria, a newly established EU member with an emerging finance and investment banking industry at the time. 
Irina went back to her home country, looking to make an impact, and thought of pursuing a career in project management, which at the time was highly specialized in IT. With this as a slight setback, she decided to use her knowledge and experience to help businesses with their IPO releases, structuring, and valuations, among others. This is how she met Lyuben Belov and Todor Breshkov, the founders of LAUNCHub Ventures.  
Throughout the episode, Irina Dimitrova explains the struggles of a newly founded VC in the emerging Southeast European startup ecosystem and what led them to believe that this experiment is worth it.  
The Chief Financial Officer passionately discusses the journey of an idea to a successful startup. She believes that many ideas have the potential to grow and become the next unicorn. However, a more important part of the process that many entrepreneurs underestimate is the business development plan. Dimitrova perceives every new investment as an educational opportunity, as every company is unique and it needs in-depth understanding.
“It’s not the idea, it’s how you build it into a product,” Irina Dimitrova shares when asked about the main struggle that she sees with founders. 
Irina is hopeful for the future of the ecosystem and expects that the success would feed off itself. “We would be the next generation of founders already supported by the first generation of successful founders.”
Tune in to learn more insights on what investors look for in startups, risk evaluation, women in business, and the future of the SEE tech ecosystem through the eyes of an investor and a financial director.
Catch up with our previous episode to see what made Max Gurvits become a Bulgarian by choice and which are the challenges in front of the Bulgarian ecosystem. 
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