Peter Neftelimovis a biotechnologist and bioentrepreneur by education. For the past 8 years, he has been developing the media for practical tips for business Neftelimov.com. He is also a journalist inUspelite.bg. With the help of the team there, he published the book,,Success in the Bulgarian gene”, containing 49 lessons about successful Bulgarians in the country and abroad. Not only that – he is engaged in entrepreneurship, he is a guest mentor in several entrepreneurial programs, a speaker at events, and a volunteer in a number of projects. He is the co-founder of the biotech startup,,A flower in a test tube”, which is a revolution in gifting eco-friendly bouquets without the need for cut flowers.
You went through many projects until you reached your last called “Flowers in a test tube”. What have you learned from each of your projects or initiatives over the years that helped you get here?
I learned that every single project was meant to start or that I joined right when I was meant to and left it at the right time. I also learned that with persistence and motivation, anything can be achieved. Sometimes, not immediately, which was very difficult to learn. Each project needs technological time to be developed and grow, and reach the level at which it is appropriate to present it to the public.
Tell me about “Flowers in a test tube”. What was it that got you fired up about the idea and how did it develop?
During my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology at the Faculty of Biology at Sofia University, after passing the Plant Biotechnology course at the Department of Plant Physiology at the Faculty of Biology, I saw an opportunity to start a business with the intermediate product from our laboratory work. Namely, flowers to bloom in a test tube. We realized that money is available and almost everyone would support with funds such an innovative project of young people. But the huge stumbling block was finding a laboratory that would be our faithful partner on the way to the realization of our idea. For almost a year, we put all our strength and capacity into finding a laboratory. Most private, university or BAS research laboratories were skeptical of us due to outdated attitudes or legal rules. But our persistence and drive to really do something that makes sense and is mostly about our education didn’t stop us from continuing to search. And so we came to the institute where we are now, namely the Institute of Decorative and Medicinal Plants, Sofia, which gave us a hand, and accepted our cause as theirs and we are very happy to work together.
Otherwise, the specifics of our product are that the Flowers in a tube are a unique jewel for the loved one, living for at least two months without needing any care. It is an alternative to bouquets. An innovative decoration solution, creating a pleasant atmosphere for the home, for restaurants and hotels, as well as for festive events. After two months, without the need for care, only sunlight, it will be able to be taken out and planted in a pot, where it will continue to grow like a normal plant.
A key moment in the development of any idea is planning for the future. How do you do it and what advice can you give to people who are now drawing the plan to realize their dream?
Whoever wants to plan, let him plan. I act. For the simple reason that whenever I have planned, something else always happens that is not satisfying to me. Entrepreneurship is about taking risks and taking action. The right time to launch will never come until you take the first step. From there, everything is in your hands and in the hands of the market. You succeed or you fail – there is no other option. And there’s nothing wrong with starting something new.
Do you think it is important to have a mentor to help you when you realize your idea and why?
I have never had a mentor and have always taught myself through trial and error, which is the best and most painful lesson. On the other hand, at one point I decided to become a mentor to pass on what I had learned to the more inexperienced, but willing to act. Being a mentor is a great feeling.
It depends on the person. Will you want to find a mentor or will you do things yourself? Both have their strengths and weaknesses. The question is, do you want rapid growth (with a mentor) or do you want slow and smooth development, knowing that everything you will achieve (including failures) is thanks to yourself?
Finally, share a piece of advice and a motivational message with all those who want, but have not yet started to develop their dreams
Each one of us with a dose of passion and a huge amount of work can become the person he dreams to be. Becoming successful is never a lost cause because they also started from somewhere. I don’t say from scratch because everyone has a different initial push depending on their family, friends, and environment. From there on, our choices make us who we are now.
I can compare this to innate and acquired immunity. Everyone receives innate immunity from the mother, but it is very primitive and insufficient. Therefore, in the course of our life, we meet many different pests and acquire immunity against them, and we become stronger and stronger. It’s the same with success.