92 episodes

The Recursive podcast is your weekly wander inside the minds of innovation leaders across SouthEast Europe. Each week our hosts cozy up with a digital economy champion and dive deep into their life philosophy, values, leadership style, and personal development. Join us for inspirational stories on how to grow, learn and think big.

The Recursive Podcast The Recursive Media

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

The Recursive podcast is your weekly wander inside the minds of innovation leaders across SouthEast Europe. Each week our hosts cozy up with a digital economy champion and dive deep into their life philosophy, values, leadership style, and personal development. Join us for inspirational stories on how to grow, learn and think big.

    Entrepreneurship as a Personal Growth Path With George Dochev from LucidLink

    Entrepreneurship as a Personal Growth Path With George Dochev from LucidLink

    Our guest is on a quest to redefine the way businesses collaborate and work with data in the cloud.

    With more than 20 years of experience in building successful enterprise software products, George Dochev is the co-founder and CTO of US-Bulgarian scale-up LucidLink. 

    The company’s solution is used by the biggest names in the media, health, and finance industries, namely Adobe, Spotify, and WebMD. 

    At the end of 2023, LucidLink closed the largest round for the Bulgarian ecosystem - a 75M dollars Series C. 

    Is LucidLink on its way to becoming the next Bulgarian unicorn? Watch the episode to find out for yourself. 

    In this conversation with George Dochev we unpack some of the big questions around scaling and growing a company to a multibillion dollars business: 












     *This episode of The Recursive Podcast is released in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As part of their mandate to support small and medium-sized businesses, The EBRD’s SME Finance and Development Team provides knowledge, network, and skills to help emerging businesses innovate, thrive, and succeed.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    How to Build a Profit-First Mindset with Serial Entrepreneur Ruslan Leteyski

    How to Build a Profit-First Mindset with Serial Entrepreneur Ruslan Leteyski

    Our guest is only 27 years old but he already has several successful ventures in the e-commerce industry. Ruslan Leteyski founded his first company while still in high school. 

    He’s the founder of CheckOutX and Vanga AI, e-commerce solutions for Shopify & WooCommerce that help merchants increase their revenue. 

    His current project TimeCraft is a platform for providing session-based digital services. 

    Ruslan Leteyski is also an active angel investor. Some of the businesses he supported include CloudCart, Klear, Puzl Coworking, and CoLiving Semkovo.  

    In this episode, we follow his journey in building, scaling, and exiting profitable businesses in the e-commerce industry - from CheckOut X becoming the industry's top checkout alternative to being rejected by Shopify, through the challenges of transitioning to a WooCommerce ecosystem. 

    The episode is packed with actionable insights on: 


    The balance between validating a product idea through development and user feedback;


    The challenges of receiving feedback and managing imposter syndrome (while feedback is valuable, it's essential to filter and assess its relevance);


    Lessons learned from failure in building a lean startup 



    In his conversation with Irina, Ruslan Leteyski introduces his latest project TimeCraft, a platform designed to streamline and support various session-based services such as coaching, therapy, and teaching. Leteyski aims to empower individuals to monetize their time effectively and to provide freedom for service providers.

    Ruslan Leteyski is also a prominent critic of the prevalent startup culture's fixation on fundraising and the misconception that raising capital equates to success. He advocates building a solid business model and addressing real market needs rather than solely chasing investment rounds. And urges the media to cover and recognize the stories and potential of bootstrapped companies more often. 

     *This episode of The Recursive Podcast is released in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As part of their mandate to support small and medium-sized businesses, The EBRD’s SME Finance and Development Team provides knowledge, network, and skills to help emerging businesses innovate, thrive, and succeed.

    Time Stamps: 

    0:00 Introduction 

    01:17 Curiosity Fuels Entrepreneurial Journey

    03:39 Building a Profit-First Mindset 

    8:56 E-commerce Disruption: The Rise and Fall of CheckOut X

    12:00 Navigating the Shift from Shopify to WooCommerce Ecosystem

    18:15 The Product Validation Journey: Balancing Vision with Customer Feedback

    26:56 Vanga AI: Lessons Learned From the Transition and Exit 

    32:15 TimеCraft: Redefining Session-Based Services in the Digital Era

    43:11 The Digital Nomad Lifestyle and the Future of Remote Work

    52:12 Why Startup Success Shouldn't Revolve Around Investment Rounds

    59:10 Outro

    • 1 hr
    How AI Is Reshaping The Workforce With Strategic Investor Ivaylo Slavov | Ep.87

    How AI Is Reshaping The Workforce With Strategic Investor Ivaylo Slavov | Ep.87

    In today's special episode, we're breaking away from the norm to revisit some of our most memorable conversations and catch up with our guests to see where life has taken them since.

    Our guest for today is none other than Ivaylo Slavov, a veteran in Bulgaria's IT industry. Last time we spoke, his company BULPROS had recently merged with the German giant ec4u, forming DIGITALL and setting ambitious goals to lead the digital cloud services market in the US.

    Fast forward almost two years and Ivaylo has traded his CEO hat for that of an investor, diving into projects at the intersection of AI and HR. After 13 years at the helm, he reflects on the transition, marked by international travels, and reevaluation of life priorities.

    Ivaylo shares his decision to step away from operational duties, focusing instead on providing advisory support to tech startups.

    He unveils his involvement in four impactful projects:

    Transforming Easy Consult into a flexible workforce service provider;
    Supporting Team Schedule's shift management software, which addresses scheduling and resource challenges
    Work Talent, a modern job board, aiming to streamline hiring processes and better match candidates with employers;
    Vibe Jobs, tackling the challenge of connecting non-digital workers to job opportunities through a chatbot-based job board within Viber. The emphasis is on simplifying the application process for those with limited access to digital platforms.

    In his role as a strategic investor, Ivaylo emphasizes his active contribution to strategic development, market penetration, and mission validation.

    The conversation delves into the evolving impact of AI on the workforce. While noting positive effects for senior knowledge workers, they acknowledge challenges for low-qualified workers, underlining the crucial need for strategic thinking and addressing security concerns in the realm of AI.

    Join us on this insightful journey as we unravel Ivaylo Slavov's post-CEO ventures and explore the ever-changing landscape of AI and HR.


    *The Recursive Podcast is excited to announce that this episode is released in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As part of their mandate to support small and medium-sized businesses, The EBRD’s SME Finance and Development Team provides knowledge, network, and skills to help emerging businesses innovate, thrive, and succeed.

    • 38 min
    Cracking the Code of Life With Milena Georgieva from EPIX.AI | Ep.85

    Cracking the Code of Life With Milena Georgieva from EPIX.AI | Ep.85

    Our next guest is on a quest to unlock the code of longevity.  

    Milena Georgieva is a molecular biology, genetics, and epigenetics professor at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. 

    She is also a Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at the startup company EPIX.AI. 

    In her role, Prof. Georgieva is in charge of R&D activities and manages a group of experts working to understand aging processes and create instruments to measure biological age and extend the human lifespan. 

    The conversation spans from the genesis of Prof. Georgieva’s fascination with molecular biology, genetics, and epigenetics. 

    The discussion delves into the current state of genetic research and the mission of EPIX.AI, emphasizing the importance of health span over the lifespan. She explains how their interdisciplinary team leverages biological data, genetics, and epigenetics to create personalized prevention protocols for age-related diseases to extend healthy lifespans.

    EPIX.AI, as its name suggests, deploys AI and ML algorithms, to decipher genetic triggers and organize and utilize effectively the abundance of health data. 

    Prof. Georgieva expresses the necessity for a cohesive ecosystem integrating scientific breakthroughs into practical applications, pointing out the gap between research and its implementation in business. She advocates for a shared language and collaborative mindset between the scientific, business, and governmental sectors to bridge this divide.

    Watch the episode to learn more about: 






    *The Recursive Podcast is excited to announce that this episode is released in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As part of their mandate to support small and medium-sized businesses, The EBRD’s SME Finance and Development Team provides knowledge, network, and skills to help emerging businesses innovate, thrive, and succeed.

    Time Stamps: 

    00:00 Introduction 

    01:27 Unraveling Life's Code: First Steps into Molecular Biology & Genetics

    05:10 Bridging the Gap: Integrating Science and Business in Genetic Research

    12:35 From Lab Discoveries to Entrepreneurial Impact

    17:00 Nature's Blueprint, Nurture's Influence: Understanding Genetics and Epigenetics

    30:59 EPIX’s Mission to Revolutionize Aging

    42:15 2024: EPIX’s Roadmap to Personalized Health Transformation

    47:10 The Future of Healthcare: From Treatment to Prevention and Precision

    52:46 Decoding Stress: Understanding Its Diverse Impact on Health

    58:58 The Power of Listening to Your Body

    1:04:46 Outro 

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Why Hydrogen Is the Clean Fuel to Save Humanity With Dragomir Ivanov From Hydrogenera

    Why Hydrogen Is the Clean Fuel to Save Humanity With Dragomir Ivanov From Hydrogenera

    Our next guest is a dedicated engineer looking for solutions to reduce harmful emissions and popularize hydrogen technologies.

    Dragomir Ivanov is a leading expert in the field of hydrogen with over 16 years of experience.

    He is the founder of Hydrogenera - a company developing technologies for the production, storage, and consumption of hydrogen. He is also the author of two patents in the field.

    Dragomir’s vision is to demonstrate that hydrogen can be the main energy source because it is universal, has a zero carbon footprint, and can completely replace conventional fuels.

    In his conversation with Irina, Dragomir shares insights from his transition from lab innovations to entrepreneurial endeavors focused on hydrogen technology, emphasizing the simplicity and potential impact of converting water into clean fuel.

    The entrepreneur says that the technology for a hydrogen-based energy system is here but the primary challenge he sees is a shift in the mindset and a proper legislation.

    In his view Bulgaria is lagging behind in adopting hydrogen compared to other European countries, missing on the potential for market growth and energy efficiency improvement.

    In this podcast episode you’ll also hear:

    How an energy revolution based on hydrogen could reshape society, influencing economic structures and labor dynamics. The conversation shifts to envisioning a future where hydrogen becomes a widely adopted and affordable energy source, akin to the evolution of solar panels' affordability over time.
    The business model at the core of company, which customizes systems for each client rather than mass-producing standardized products;

    Time Stamps:

    0:00 Introduction

    01:28 The Origins of Hydrogen Passion: From University Sparks to Green Energy

    03:20 Hydrogen Innovation: Bridging the Gap Between Lab Discoveries and Market Solutions

    11:02 Hydrogen Adoption: Challenges, Readiness, and Market Potential

    19:56 Hydrogen Integration: Competition, Collaboration, and Customization

    27:14 Redefining Energy Costs: Hydrogen's Place in Future Economies

    31:21 Navigating Deep Tech Fundraising: Insights and Challenges

    34:30 "Hydrogen Valleys" - Potential Models for Communities Generating Their Own Green Energy

    38:40 Sofia's School Hydrogen Project: Reducing Emissions & Inspiring Curiosity

    41:11 The Energy Transition: Dual Push by Government and Industry

    44:30 Outro



    The Recursive Podcast is excited to announce that this episode is released in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. As part of their mandate to support small and medium-sized businesses, The EBRD’s SME Finance and Development Team provides knowledge, network, and skills to help emerging businesses innovate, thrive, and succeed.

    • 46 min
    On People and Ideas: Inside Marius Istrate's Investment Philosophy

    On People and Ideas: Inside Marius Istrate's Investment Philosophy

    Hello, The Recursive Community! We are back from our summer break and today we are taking you on a journey to Bucharest and inside the mind of a seasoned investor. 

    Marius Istrate is currently the Chairman of the Board of TechAngels Romania, an investors' community planning accelerated growth after a decade on the market. He is also a Venture Partner at 3VC and Crew Capital.

    Among the companies he invested in are FlowX.AI, parol, Carsup, Snackable AI, Transition-One, Romania-Insider.com, Younichoice, SmartDreamers, Bunnyshell, OxidOs. 

    In his previous modus operandi, Marius was an entrepreneur himself, CTO, and CEO at various IT companies. He also took on the role of Chief People Officer at the Romanian unicorn UiPath, leading the company's growth from 100 people to 3K.

    In a conversation with our Country Lead in Romania Elena Vrabie, Marius discusses the transition from being an entrepreneur to an investor, highlighting how his experience at Uipath shaped his thinking, but also the importance of embracing change and gaining diverse experiences in the business world.

    “One of the things that people appreciate about working with me today is that I'm capable of asking questions from different angles that they haven't really thought about before”, he explains.  

    Marius reflects that the most rewarding aspect of his work as an investor is the opportunity to continuously meet and learn from people with diverse backgrounds, values, and perspectives.

    Join Elena and Marius’ conversation as they explore the value of education today, what it means to be a decent human being, and why founders should explore life in different cultural contexts.

    • 1 hr 14 min

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