Vassil Afzali


Born in the capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia, I was interested in trade and economics since I was 12-13; therefore I went to a specialized high school (National High School of Management and Finance, Sofia). Afterwards, my education continued at Sofia University in the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, major Economics. There I had the chance to do two semesters abroad, one in Germany, before which I did a Work and Travel programme in USA. A lot of traveling!

Why did you choose Jönköping International Business School?  

JIBS was a partner university to my home university and some friends went here on an exchange. They were impressed by the social life together with the abundant events created for students, the institutional infrastructure and the informality in the relationships. I chose JIBS because of the transnational perspective. It could ensure the mingling of different viewpoints and suggestions of different solutions to business and political cases, thanks to heterogeneity in the cultural perspective, which is something that Harvard also does.

Tell us a little bit more about your business idea; what is your next step?  

My business idea combines modern and advanced technology, launched more than 10 years ago, that, when combined in a certain manner, would result in the possibility of opening house/office doors without the use of a conventional key, access card/code or any other type of physical additive, except a mobile phone.
The idea came to me during a warm evening last summer. As I was trying to sleep my brother came in to my room to tell me about what he and his boss had been discussing at work. At JIBS I had the task to create a business in one of the courses. Even at the conceptual level I decided to further develop the idea during the second quarter, via another course at JIBS. There I could communicate more with my brother, clear up some unclear issues and also discover even more problems. Nevertheless, it seemed like it was not impossible, although very challenging. Unfortunately, such a product and its development are very cost bearing, and a fully-fledged product would be impossible to launch without a strategic partner. However, this lies more in the further future.
Currently, my next step is to create a working prototype — simple — and exactly as difficult as it sounds, for which the prize from the JIBS Entrepreneurship Challenge will be utilized. But the team I am working with right now is too good not to show results: my brother, who is an engineer and a Ph.D. candidate at the Technical University Sofia, and his boss, engineer and also entrepreneur in the IT world for more than 20 years.

Content updated 2012-02-24