Larry Biehl, founder of the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center, on a flying visit to Bulgaria, February 19-23, 2020

Larry Biehl, founder and benefactor of BEC, will visit Bulgaria again, between February 19th and 23rd. He is invited to give a lecture on “social innovations”, during the Innovation Explorer conference, held in Sofia on Thursday, February 20th, 2020 at Sofia Event Center. Larry’s speech will be at 15.00 h, during a panel discussion on “Investment and Social Innovation Growth”, together with speakers Martin PetrovDaniel Lorer and Pavel Ezekiev.

“Bulgarian citizens must be taught how to invest in their communities, if they expect their personal livelihoods to improve”, Larry said once to an interviewer from Bulgarian national TV.

He continued: “Communities throughout the country should know by now that the government is not going to make their lives better, it’s left to them to improve their local circumstances by creating a “connectivity” between 1) each citizen who has demands which must be met, 2) members of the business community that provides citizens goods and services, and 3) social services such as medical care, hospitals, security through police and fire protection, and elder care that take care of us when we are in need. Creating “shared wealth” among all community constituents is a “good thing”: supporting and investing in local businesses; improving schools, hospitals, and public facilities; using our unique skills and capabilities to benefit the “common good”. We must return to the old, time-honored-belief that “communities are like families”, interdependent groups of people (hunters, gatherers, carpenters, farmers) who spent their time doing what each could to enable their “tribe” – and, in so doing, themselves – survive and even thrive.”

Larry explained further: “Today, people spend too much time trying to isolate themselves from one another, be concerned about their own lives rather than the lives of their “extended families”, their communities. Silicon Valley, when I moved there to go to school in 1963, was a group of small towns surrounded by apricot orchards. But because 1) students came out of Stanford’s Electrical Engineering Department eager to innovate and experiment, 2) the university supported this experimentation by sharing intellectual property rights and research and development activities, 3) the population wanted to support these new innovations by investing money in new start-ups to deliver them these new and exciting products, and then, 4) investors persuaded new businesses to donate a portion of their stock to a Community Foundation to fund the expansion of hospitals, municipal services, police protection and other social services, Silicon Valley has grown to be the wealthiest and best served community in the United States.”

You may hear Larry’s whole lecture during the Innovation Explorer Forum 2020. For more information please visit: https://innovationexplorer.bg/

Larry Biehl is a financial consultant and investment manager with more than 50 years of experience in Silicon Valley. He is a co-founder of two successful investment management firms and has an extensive background in asset management, personal finance management and marketing. Larry is an avid promoter of the local innovation ecosystem and a founding member of the Bulgarian Entrepreneurship Center (BEC) which seeks to motivate and encourage entrepreneurship in Bulgaria. Larry holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Medieval History and a Master’s degree in Finance, both from Stanford University.

His upcoming Bulgarian visit will also include a trip to Varna, where Larry will observe the progress of BEC’s projects: the MOBI entrepreneurship educational program and the SmartVarna Foundation. During his stay in Sofia, he will meet with representatives of America for Bulgaria foundation, Arc Academy, Telerik and many more.

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