From 500 Euros to a 3 Million Euro Startup: The Story of Serpact and Nikola Minkov

The Importance of Entrepreneurship Education

The International visiting lectureship for entrepreneurs and practitioners aims to connect the different economic environments of the Universities of the alliance through the experiences of their more prominent entrepreneurs. The goal is to educate students to an entrepreneurial mindset by involving real entrepreneurs as role models. Many universities introduced programs on student entrepreneurship or included entrepreneurship strategy as a compulsory subject in the curriculum.

The T4EU project is the opportunity to meet the entrepreneur face to face.

On the first week of June, the University of Trieste hosted Mr. Nikola Minkov on the behalf of the second International visiting lectureship.

Nikola Minkov is the founder and CEO of Serpact, a small Bulgarian SEO agency established in 2016. The agency has managed more than 2,500 successful SEO projects and is the only Bulgarian SEO agency to have participated in three Google events, with over 80 international certificates and 14 international awards in the past five years. Minkov also has significant teaching experience as a lecturer in Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and Varna Free University “Chernorizets Hrabar”‚Äč in Bulgaria, in Tokyo University in Japan, in Australia, and Italy.

Turning 500 Euros into a 3 Million Euro Startup

Minkov kindly shared his story of how he turned 500 Euros into a 3 Million Euro startup. He emphasizes that business opportunities are where problems exist, and the key is to identify them. He talks about the structure of his company, which includes:

  • SEO Agency Serpact;
  • The first Bulgarian fully SEO focused program SERP Acad.;
  • SEO Conference SERP Conf.;
  • and other products.

He also introduces his latest startup, Trackian, which is currently on pre-seed funding stage.

Lessons Learned and Personal Growth

Minkov shared some personal stories and lessons learned throughout his journey. He talked about his failures, including his bankruptcy and how he turned his life around. He emphasized the importance of sharing knowledge and helping others, regardless of how much money one has. Furthermore, he discussed setting goals and how having daily, weekly, and monthly goals can help one achieve success.

Mr. Minkov shared some of his other achievements and involvements, including being a member of the board of directors in Bulgarian E-commerce Association, having around 10 years of experience in digital marketing, being certified by Google, Bing and HubSpot Academy, and giving talks at various conferences worldwide. He also mentioned being a member of Rotary International and serving as a president on their local group in Bulgaria in 2020.

The Importance of SEO and Digital Marketing in Business

The speaker compared the internet users in Bulgaria to those in Italy and highlighted the difference in population and target audience, discussing the significance of search engine optimization (SEO) and how it affects the organic results generated by Google.

How to Dominate Your Business Niche

The lesson learned is composed by eight simple points to dominate a business niche, including conceptualization, investment, focus on customers, value proposition, marketing, branding, alliances and partnerships, and innovation. Minkov emphasized the importance of innovation in digital marketing and how it can quickly become outdated, highlighting the significance of staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry.