Dr. Plamen Russev

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“Scarcity of resources is a mindset. We live in an abundance of opportunities.”

Dr. Plamen Russev


Dr. Plamen Russev is serial entrepreneur, investor, futurist, and philanthropist with over 30 years experience in tech and investments (direct and as LP).


  • Plamen Russev is an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions, and entrepreneurship 
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Healthcare Management with thesis focused on AI and Digital Solutions for Managing Health and Social Challenges.
  • Executive Chairman of Webit Foundation, best known for its Founders Games $6 million award for impact innovation with Grand Finals in Davos and at the UN's COP

  • His work and accomplishments have been featured in various media outlets worldwide, including The Economist, Monocle, Bloomberg, CNBCe, Forbes, Venture Beat, Arabian Business, Al Jazeera, and CNN.

  • Founder & Executive Board Member of the publicly listed investment company Webit Investment Network (BSE: WIN), turning hundreds of retail investors into impact investors and inventing new financial tools for creating a desirable, sustainable, resilient future.
  • He developed a concept for intelligent specialization of Central and Eastern European countries, which was published by the World Economic Forum.

Dr. Plamen Russev developed a concept for intelligent specialization of Central and Eastern European countries


  • He has built and nurtured an influential Webit community of over 1 million digerati, founders, policymakers, investors, and entrepreneurs dedicated to achieving a positive impact on humanity. Additionally, he hosts the widely attended annual Webit forums worldwide.
  • Plamen has received numerous awards and accolades by governments, universities and NGOs including two Doctor Honoris Causa titles by universities in Europe and South America; he was named among the top 100 innovators of New Europe by the Financial Times and Google; received awards by the Government of New Zealand among the others.

  • Dr. Russev is a founding member of the European Commission’s Blockchain Observatory and Forum and has served as an Evaluator and Faculty Member, at the Medical School of Harvard University.
  • He serves on the boards of several companies, universities, and NGOs, including his Alma Mater, Board of Trustees.
  • Dr. Russev is dedicated to supporting the creation of a sustainable, resilient, and desirable future through the Founders Games startup (early-growth) program and competition. This initiative identifies, evaluates, endorses, funds, and supports the growth of impact entrepreneurs who are generating social and environmental change while building successful businesses.
    It is a fact that investing in all companies that made it to the Founders Games finals for the past 7 years would have resulted in a 6x financial gain.

  • Author of the best-seller "Power to the People" which explores social media's impact on society and brand communication.

Education

In 1989, Plamen successfully passed a highly competitive selection process and was admitted to The Math School of Varna. The school has a reputation for producing world champions in both mathematics and linguistics. However, a few years later, Plamen dropped out of school to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. He continued his education as a homeschooler and completed an individual program of study and exams to obtain his high school diploma while also working as a radio show producer.

Plamen managed to continue his education while working without interruption, and he was able to successfully obtain:

  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management
    from Varna University of Economics;
  • Master of Science in EdTech/Mathematics and Physics
    from Kliment Ohridski University;
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Healthcare Management
    from The Medical University Prof. Dr. Paraskev Stoyanov. His doctorate thesis focuses on utilizing AI and digital solutions for managing health and social challenges.

Business Career

As an entrepreneur, Dr. Russev has started over 20 companies in the areas of media, marketing, business services, software development, health, education and venture capital. He is founder and Executive Member of the Board of the publicly listed investment company Webit Investment Network (BSE: WIN) - the first of its kind investment company, created to co-fund the Founders Games global impact innovation award of $6M.

Plamen began his career in 1993 as a radio producer and quickly became top radio show producer and host with over a million in revenue at the age of 18. Afterwards, he decided to pursue a career in TV production and became a licensee of Columbia Tristar/Sony Pictures. Unfortunately, this endeavor resulted in his first significant failure, which led to him losing all of his money at the young age of 21. However, this experience taught him a valuable lesson in mindfulness.

In 1998, he entered the IT industry. He successfully grew businesses in London, followed by operations in Zurich. After multiple exits, he found his spiritual calling and dedicated his time and resources to supporting entrepreneurs in their pursuit of impact, growth and potential.

This is the story of how Webit came about in 2007 - as a tool and platform to attract talent, investments, and opportunities to the host locations where Webit takes place.


Plamen's aim was to give back to the community, which played a significant role in shaping him into the individual he became and in his business success.

Over the years, Webit has been hosted by various governments across the world, at locations including Sofia, Istanbul, Dubai, Singapore, New Delhi, Miami, and other cities.

Today, Webit is an international platform and 1M people community with a mission of generating return on humanity globally through fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.


Dr. Russev also established a highly competitive program for early-growth stage impact companies (post-seed, A/B) and an innovation platform known as The Founders Games in 2009. This program is now recognized as one of the world's premier impact innovation programs and scaleup competitions. The Founders Games offers one of the largest funding awards of $6M, which is awarded annually in January in Davos. The semi-finals take place at the UN's COP. Every year, Founders Games receives over 4500 applications from scale-ups from 150+ countries. 

More than 300 growth stage venture capital investors assess these applications as part of one of the most competitive processes in the world, consisting of 5 rounds and 8 months of selection. Only the top 10 high-growth, impact entrepreneurs make it to the Grand Finals in Davos and usually secure funding of $5M to $50M within 4 months of being announced.

Investing for Impact

Plamen invests in businesses and funds dedicated to making a positive impact on humanity, with a focus on sectors such as AI, blockchain, healthcare, sustainability, fintech, agritech, food security, and education.

Public listing and investment career

In 2022, Dr. Russev successfully led Webit Investment Network AD (BSE: WIN) to become the first publicly listed investment company to co-fund one of the world's biggest investment awards, the Founders Games.

Over 700 investors backed the company's initial public offering (IPO), which was a resounding success as it was oversubscribed by over 2.43 times.

Plamen has invested directly or as a limited partner (LP) in impact founders and companies in different parts of the world. His commitment is to support high-growth companies that have already established themselves (post seed/A+ round) and generate social and environmental change while also achieving business success. 

His investments demonstrate that saving humanity is a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity.

Personal Life

Plamen has been happily married to his wife Aniela since 2008, and they have two sons. They also work together, as Aniela manages the Webit events around the world.

The Russev family is very adventurous and enjoys spending time outdoors, engaging in activities such as tennis, skiing, swimming, diving, hiking, surfing and mountaineering.  

During one of his expeditions to B.C. Everest in the Himalayas, Plamen contracted a life-threatening infection. However, with the spiritual help of the monks of Tengboche Monastery and his friends, he survived. This experience deepened his study of mysticism and Buddhism even further.


SELECTED HONORS, AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • Doctor Honoris Causa
    of VFU, Bulgaria
  • Doctor Honoris Causa
    of UDABOL, Bolivia
  • Top 3 Blockchain Investor for 2018 by CCForum
  • Awarded by Financial Times, Google, Respublica and Vishegrad Fund among the 100 New Europe Innovators.
  • Special Awards for overal commitment to the develpment of the digital economy of Bulgaria by BWA.
  • Award by the Government
    of New Zealand.
  • A number of international Digital Industry awards.
  • Best Selling Author - business literature for the book Power to the People.
  • Award by the Bulgarian Economic Forum.

EARLY LIFE

Plamen was raised in Bulgaria along with his loving and united family of four. Due to his parents' low income, he had to start working in agriculture at the tender age of five to help supplement their earnings. At seven, he started his first entrepreneurial venture by collecting and selling wild fennel. During his summer breaks, he pursued various jobs, selling food and beverages on the beach in his hometown of Varna, excavating archaeological sites, working as a waiter, bartender, street musician, and many more.

Music played a significant role in Plamen's life. When he was just six years old, he joined The Varna Boys and Youth Choir. Later on, he founded and played in multiple pop/rock bands. He performed vocals and played guitar and piano, which he taught himself. Plamen was also passionate about technology and started reverse-engineering his family's electronics from an early age, which eventually led to consequences from his parents. He mastered the art of coding in Turbo Pascal by the age of 15 but quickly realized that programming was not his strength. He dropped out of the Mathematics School of Varna when he was 17 to pursue his entrepreneurial aspirations. At 19, he earned his first million as a radio producer.

In the Media

MediaKit

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Eric Schmidt

“Webit is doing en enormous service to society.”

Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder, Schmidt Futures; Former CEO, Google.

Rossen Plevneliev

Plamen Russev is one of the pioneers and he works for the sake of Bulgaria to help the country build its reputation in the digiatl and tech fields. His vision for the digital future of Bulgaria is also mine!

Rossen Plevneliev, President of Republic of Bulgaria

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Video Resources


Power to the people - the new marketing

Power to the people - the new marketing


The best selling book "Power to the People - the new marketing" is a guide to creating online identity and engaging in conversation. It reveals a step-by-step process of successfully using social media for business.

In the first part @Plamen Russev explains the social media phenomenon. The second part provides precise guidelines to creating both a personal profile and a brand page. Althouh we all know how to do that, if you read the book you'll understand why some are more successful than others. The third part is dedicated to a comprehensive plan for creating a social media marketing strategy. The forth and last part of the book provides proven tools and solutions of successful online reputation management.

"Power to the people - the new marketing" is published by e-Academy - the EU-certified educational institution for professional online business and digital marketing education.