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The Program

ABLE Activator offers an exclusive 6-weekend entrepreneurship program that provides 30 ambitious self-starters with the knowledge, mentorship and network necessary to propel an idea to fruition.

 

Adopt the entrepreneurial way of thinking and strengthen your leadership qualities.

Toolkit

Learn how do develop a breakthrough idea and develop it into a ready-to-launch version.

Knowledge

Get access to business know-how and learn how to apply the lean approach in each new venture.

Opportunities

Become proficient at pitching to investors, potential future co-founders, accelerators and customers.

Mentors

Get tailored advice relevant to your project's needs from successful entrepreneurs.

Gain the skill-set and key competences to bring meaningful impact in every project you pursue.

Join ABLE and develop meaningful connections with the other members of the community and its wider network of partners and contacts.

Ecosystem

Expand your network to include successful founders and investors.

ABLE Community

Meet like-minded achievers and, potentially, your future co-founders.

ARE YOU READY TO ACTIVATE?

PROGRAM MODULES

Wednesday session

February 8th, 2023 - 7 pm

Click Here

Apart from them weekend and Friday evening activities, during the course of the program we will hold additional Wednesday events, some of which exclusive only for participants of ABLE Activator. These events are designed to acquaint you with the stories behind the successful companies from the Bulgarian startup ecosystem, expand your network of contacts, and supplement your knowledge and understanding of different topics with regard to leadership and entrepreneurship.

Each Wednesday, we will host a different guest and give you a chance to get to know their stories better in a dedicated Q&A session. Some of our guest speakers have been Daniel Lorer (Маnaging Partner at BrightCap Ventures), Genoveva Christova (Co-founder of Ligna Group), Ned Dervenkov (Vice Chairman of the board of BESCO – The Bulgarian Start-up Association), Todor Gigilev (Founder of DreamX), Nikola Yanev (Marketing Manager at Eleven venture) and others.

Wednesday session

February 15th, 2023 - 7 pm

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Wednesday session

February 22th, 2023 - 7 pm

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Wednesday session

March 1st, 2023 - 7 pm

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Wednesday session

March 8th, 2023 - 7 pm

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Wednesday session

March 15th, 2023 - 7 pm

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Wednesday session

March 22th, 2023 - 7 pm

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DEMO DAY

March 29th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

  • Grand Final Pitch Event
  • Hand-picked Jury from the Start-up Ecosystem
  • Representatives of the ABLE Community, Sponsors & Partners
  • Announcement of the Best-performing Team

Click Here

The Demo Day is the culmination of ABLE Activator. This is when the teams deliver their final pitches in front of a specially selected jury of industry leaders and representatives of the Bulgarian start-up ecosystem with proven success track record.

Each team will have 5 minutes to showcase their product or service, after which we’ll dive into a 5-minute Q&A session aimed to clear any further questions that the members of the Jury may have.  Each project’s  potential, progress and impact will be measured and the Best-performing team for the current edition will be announced.

The day is a celebration of everything that the teams accomplish throughout the program: self-exploration, team formation and the hard work necessary to fuel progress; the achievement of first milestones such as an MVP, first customers or revenue. It’s about the pure grit, drive, and determination that the team goes through in order to create something new and innovative, and, hopefully, something with the right product-market fit to deliver positive impact. 

MODULE 1
Leadership Mindset & Intro to Entrepreneurship

February 3-5th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Leadership & Management Styles
  • Teamwork & Collаboration
  • EQ & Enhanced Self-Understanding
  • Start-up Idea Generation

Click Here

Module 1 of the program is designed to introduce the participants to the broad definition of entrepreneurship. They get to know more about the different types of leadership styles and their key differentiating factors. We use real-life examples, tackle biases and filters that narrow our horizons, and address common misconceptions regarding entrepreneurship. 

MODULE 2
Start-up Immersion

February 10-12th, 2023
9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Aligning Your Idea With The Market Needs
  • Problem Validation Experiments
  • Conducting Customer Interviews
  • Team Formation

Click Here

Module 2 is when the final teams are formed. Participants present project ideas they’ve come up with and, based on their interests and skill-set, group into teams of 4-5 members.

In module 2, we explore the lean methodology behind aligning the team’s idea with the market needs and engage in a series of exercises meant to help the participants gain actionable feedback from potential customers and build a solid foundation for a successful venture.

Here we skip a weekend to take a breather.

February 17-19th, 2023

Click Here
MODULE 3
Value Creation

February 24-26th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Value Proposition
  • Design Thinking
  • Team Synergy
  • Mentor Introduction

Click Here

Module 3 is designed around creating a customer-centric product or service. This is the most intense weekend in the program. We have workshops on Value proposition and Design Thinking where participants learn how to ensure that their product or service is positioned around the customer values and needs by using prototypes to learn, test, and refine concepts.  We also talk about how to define the ideal customers and the best ways to reach them.

Here is when we introduce the mentors who will work individually with each team, and provide guidance  throughout the program.

Here we skip a weekend to take a breather.

March 3-5th, 2023

Click Here
MODULE 4
Business Model, and Go To Market

February 10-12th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Business Modeling
  • Product-market Fit
  • Go-to-Market

Click Here

In Module 4, we start with a Business Modelling workshop and explore the different aspects that we need to take into account in order to introduce a sustainable business model to support the project.

In the Go-to-Market workshop, we talk about the ways participants can utilise their inside and outside resources to deliver their unique value proposition to customers and achieve competitive advantage. With multiple simulations and teamwork assignments, we explore keystone GTM concepts, from defining the bullseye frameworks and unique selling propositions of various companies to examining the degree of product-market fit of each team’s startup ideas. 

Each team gets the chance to deliver their first pitch in front of a hand-picked jury of representatives of the Bulgarian startup ecosystem and get helpful feedback on their progress and how they could improve different aspects of their projects. Throughout the program, there will be a total of 4 pitching sessions in front of a jury, plus a Grand rehearsal and the consequent final Demo Day.  

MODULE 5
Finance, Sales and Negotiations

March 17-19th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Finance
  • Negotiations
  • Sales

Click Here

In module 5 we focus on the project’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of your product or service. We kick off with a panel dedicated to Finance and the different approaches to price setting. Then we move on to the Negotiations and Sales workshops. The latter provides the participants with insights into the sales process and what makes a great salesman. From connecting and building long-lasting relationships with potential customers to creating and maintaining strategic partnerships, we talk about the drivers which enable a company to position itself and its offering in a meaningful way.

MODULE 6
Welcome to the ABLE Community

April 7-9th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Welcome to the Community Retreat
  • Graduation Ceremony
  • Certificate Giveaway
  • Team Building Activities

Click Here

A weekend of celebrations and a warm welcome to the community. 

MODULE 1
Leadership Mindset & Intro to Entrepreneurship

February 3-5th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Leadership & Management Styles
  • Teamwork & Collаboration
  • EQ & Enhanced Self-Understanding
  • Start-up Idea Generation

Click Here

Module 1 of the program is designed to introduce the participants to the broad definition of entrepreneurship. They get to know more about the different types of leadership styles and their key differentiating factors. We use real-life examples, tackle biases and filters that narrow our horizons, and address common misconceptions regarding entrepreneurship. 

Wednesday session

February 8th, 2023 - 7 pm

Click Here

Apart from them weekend and Friday evening activities, during the course of the program we will hold additional Wednesday events, some of which exclusive only for participants of ABLE Activator. These events are designed to acquaint you with the stories behind the successful companies from the Bulgarian startup ecosystem, expand your network of contacts, and supplement your knowledge and understanding of different topics with regard to leadership and entrepreneurship.

Each Wednesday, we will host a different guest and give you a chance to get to know their stories better in a dedicated Q&A session. Some of our guest speakers have been Daniel Lorer (Маnaging Partner at BrightCap Ventures), Genoveva Christova (Co-founder of Ligna Group), Ned Dervenkov (Vice Chairman of the board of BESCO – The Bulgarian Start-up Association), Todor Gigilev (Founder of DreamX), Nikola Yanev (Marketing Manager at Eleven venture) and others.

MODULE 2
Start-up Immersion

February 10-12th, 2023
9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Aligning Your Idea With The Market Needs
  • Problem Validation Experiments
  • Conducting Customer Interviews
  • Team Formation

Click Here

Module 2 is when the final teams are formed. Participants present project ideas they’ve come up with and, based on their interests and skill-set, group into teams of 4-5 members.

In module 2, we explore the lean methodology behind aligning the team’s idea with the market needs and engage in a series of exercises meant to help the participants gain actionable feedback from potential customers and build a solid foundation for a successful venture.

Wednesday session

February 15th, 2023 - 7 pm

Click Here

Here we skip a weekend to take a breather.

February 17-19th, 2023

Click Here

Wednesday session

February 22th, 2023 - 7 pm

Click Here
MODULE 3
Value Creation

February 24-26th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Value Proposition
  • Design Thinking
  • Team Synergy
  • Mentor Introduction

Click Here

Module 3 is designed around creating a customer-centric product or service. This is the most intense weekend in the program. We have workshops on Value proposition and Design Thinking where participants learn how to ensure that their product or service is positioned around the customer values and needs by using prototypes to learn, test, and refine concepts.  We also talk about how to define the ideal customers and the best ways to reach them.

Here is when we introduce the mentors who will work individually with each team, and provide guidance  throughout the program.

Wednesday session

March 1st, 2023 - 7 pm

Click Here

Here we skip a weekend to take a breather.

March 3-5th, 2023

Click Here

Wednesday session

March 8th, 2023 - 7 pm

Click Here
MODULE 4
Business Model, and Go To Market

March 10-12th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Business Modeling
  • Product-market Fit
  • Go-to-Market

Click Here

In Module 4, we start with a Business Modelling workshop and explore the different aspects that we need to take into account in order to introduce a sustainable business model to support the project.

In the Go-to-Market workshop, we talk about the ways participants can utilise their inside and outside resources to deliver their unique value proposition to customers and achieve competitive advantage. With multiple simulations and teamwork assignments, we explore keystone GTM concepts, from defining the bullseye frameworks and unique selling propositions of various companies to examining the degree of product-market fit of each team’s startup ideas. 

Each team gets the chance to deliver their first pitch in front of a hand-picked jury of representatives of the Bulgarian startup ecosystem and get helpful feedback on their progress and how they could improve different aspects of their projects. Throughout the program, there will be a total of 4 pitching sessions in front of a jury, plus a Grand rehearsal and the consequent final Demo Day.  

Wednesday session

March 15th, 2023 - 7 pm

Click Here
MODULE 5
Finance, Sales and Negotiations

March 17-19th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Finance
  • Negotiations
  • Sales

Click Here

In module 5 we focus on the project’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of your product or service. We kick off with a panel dedicated to Finance and the different approaches to price setting. Then we move on to the Negotiations and Sales workshops. The latter provides the participants with insights into the sales process and what makes a great salesman. From connecting and building long-lasting relationships with potential customers to creating and maintaining strategic partnerships, we talk about the drivers which enable a company to position itself and its offering in a meaningful way.

Wednesday session

March 22th, 2023 - 7 pm

Click Here
DEMO DAY

March 29th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

  • Grand Final Pitch Event
  • Hand-picked Jury from the Start-up Ecosystem
  • Representatives of the ABLE Community, Sponsors & Partners
  • Announcement of the Best-performing Team

Click Here

The Demo Day is the culmination of ABLE Activator. This is when the teams deliver their final pitches in front of a specially selected jury of industry leaders and representatives of the Bulgarian start-up ecosystem with proven success track record.

Each team will have 5 minutes to showcase their product or service, after which we’ll dive into a 5-minute Q&A session aimed to clear any further questions that the members of the Jury may have.  Each project’s  potential, progress and impact will be measured and the Best-performing team for the current edition will be announced.

The day is a celebration of everything that the teams accomplish throughout the program: self-exploration, team formation and the hard work necessary to fuel progress; the achievement of first milestones such as an MVP, first customers or revenue. It’s about the pure grit, drive, and determination that the team goes through in order to create something new and innovative, and, hopefully, something with the right product-market fit to deliver positive impact. 

MODULE 6
Welcome to the ABLE Community

April 7-9th, 2023 - 9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

TOPICS COVERED:

  • Welcome to the Community Retreat
  • Graduation Ceremony
  • Certificate Giveaway
  • Team Building Activities

Click Here

A weekend of celebrations and a warm welcome to the community. 

PROGRAM MODULES

Module 1

February 3-5th, 2023

9 am Friday – 6 pm Sunday

3 full days

Location outside of Sofia

Leadership & Management Styles

Teamwork & Collаboration

EQ & Enhanced Self-Understanding

Start-up Idea Generation

Leadership Mindset & Intro to Entrepreneurship 

Module 1 of the program is designed to introduce the participants to the broad definition of entrepreneurship. They get to know more about the different types of leadership styles and their key differentiating factors. We use real-life examples, tackle biases and filters that narrow our horizons, and address common misconceptions regarding entrepreneurship. 

Module 2

February 10-12th, 2023

7 pm Friday – 8 pm Sunday 

2 full days

Location: Sofia

Aligning Your Idea With The Market Needs

Problem Validation Experiments

Conducting Customer Interviews

Team Formation

Start-up Immersion 

Module 2 is when the final teams are formed. Participants present project ideas they’ve come up with and, based on their interests and skill-set, group into teams of 4-5 members.

In module 2, we explore the lean methodology behind aligning the team’s idea with the market needs and engage in a series of exercises meant to help the participants gain actionable feedback from potential customers and build a solid foundation for a successful venture.

Here we skip a weekend to take a breather.

Module 3

February 24-26th, 2023

9 am Friday – 8 pm Sunday

3 full days

Location outside of Sofia

Value Proposition

Design Thinking

Team Synergy

Mentor Introduction

Value Creation 

Module 3 is designed around creating a customer-centric product or service. This is the most intense weekend in the program. We have workshops on Value proposition and Design Thinking where participants learn how to ensure that their product or service is positioned around the customer values and needs by using prototypes to learn, test, and refine concepts.  We also talk about how to define the ideal customers and the best ways to reach them.

Here is when we introduce the mentors who will work individually with each team, and provide guidance  throughout the program.

Here we skip a weekend to take a breather.

Module 4

March 10-12th, 2023

7 pm Friday – 8 pm Sunday 

2 full days

Location: Sofia

Business Modeling

Product-market Fit

Go-to-Market

Business Model, and Go To Market

In Module 4, we start with a Business Modelling workshop and explore the different aspects that we need to take into account in order to introduce a sustainable business model to support the project.

In the Go-to-Market workshop, we talk about the ways participants can utilise their inside and outside resources to deliver their unique value proposition to customers and achieve competitive advantage. With multiple simulations and teamwork assignments, we explore keystone GTM concepts, from defining the bullseye frameworks and unique selling propositions of various companies to examining the degree of product-market fit of each team’s startup ideas. 

Each team gets the chance to deliver their first pitch in front of a hand-picked jury of representatives of the Bulgarian startup ecosystem and get useful feedback on their progress, and how they could improve different aspects of their projects. Throughout the program, there will be a total of 4 pitching sessions in front of a jury, plus a Grand rehearsal and the consequent final Demo Day.  

 

Module 5

March 17-19th, 2023

7 pm Friday – 8 pm Sunday 

2 full days

Location: Sofia

Finance

Negotiations

Sales

Finance, Sales and Negotiations

In module 5 we focus on the project’s overall game plan for reaching prospective consumers and turning them into customers of your product or service. We kick off with a panel dedicated to Finance and the different approaches to price setting. Then we move on to the Negotiations and Sales workshops. The latter provides the participants with insights into the sales process and what makes a great salesman. From connecting and building long-lasting relationships with potential customers to creating and maintaining strategic partnerships, we talk about the drivers which enable a company to position itself and its offering in a meaningful way.

We skip another weekend to take a breather.
On the following Tuesday and Wednesday is when we will have the Grand rehearsal and the pearl of the program - the final Demo Day.

Demo Day

March 29th, 2023

Wednesday, 7 pm

Location: Sofia

Grand Final Pitch Event

Hand-picked Jury from the Start-up Ecosystem

Representatives of the ABLE Community, Sponsors & Partners

Announcement of the Best-performing Team

Demo Day

The Demo Day is the culmination of ABLE Activator. This is when the teams deliver their final pitches in front of a specially selected jury of industry leaders and representatives of the Bulgarian start-up ecosystem with proven success track record.

Each team will have 5 minutes to showcase their product or service, after which we’ll dive into a 5-minute Q&A session aimed to clear any further questions that the members of the Jury may have.  Each project’s  potential, progress and impact will be measured and the Best-performing team for the current edition will be announced.

The day is a celebration of everything that the teams accomplish throughout the program: self-exploration, team formation and the hard work necessary to fuel progress; the achievement of first milestones such as an MVP, first customers or revenue. It’s about the pure grit, drive, and determination that the team goes through in order to create something new and innovative, and, hopefully, something with the right product-market fit to deliver positive impact. 

Module 6

April 7-9th, 2023

7 pm Friday – 8 pm Sunday 

3 full days

Location outside of Sofia

Welcome to the Community Retreat

Graduation Ceremony

Certificate Giveaway

Team Building Activities

Welcome to the ABLE Community

A weekend of celebrations and a warm welcome to the community. 

Wednesday sessions

Apart from them weekend and Friday evening activities, during the course of the program we will hold additional Wednesday events, some of which exclusive only for participants of ABLE Activator. These events are designed to acquaint you with the stories behind the successful companies from the Bulgarian startup ecosystem, expand your network of contacts, and supplement your knowledge and understanding on different topics with regard to leadership and entrepreneurship.

Each Wednesday, we will host a different guest and give you the chance to get to know their stories better in a dedicated  Q&A session. Some of our guest speakers have been Daniel Lorer (Маnaging Partner at BrightCap Ventures), Genoveva Christova (Co-founder of Ligna Group),  Ned Dervenkov (Vice Chairman of the board of BESCO – The Bulgarian Start-up Association), Todor Gigilev (Founder of DreamX), Nikola Yanev (Marketing Manager at Eleven venture) and others.

Scholarships

ABLE Activator aims to promote entrepreneurial culture and the adoption of leadership skills early in the career path amongst university students of all backgrounds and fields of study.  

We believe that students need to be encouraged  to pursue their passions, and be given the toolset to build and develop meaningful and impactful projects as early in their professional life as possible. For this reason we provide scholarships for the most prominent students.  If you want to be considered for a scholarship, please indicate so in the specified field in the application form. 

Participation fee

The signup fee is 590 BGN (for students) and 790 BGN (for young professionals). The fee mainly covers accommodation and catering expenses for the weekends outside of Sofia. 
 
However, there are more costs embedded in the program which we cover through active fundraising and partnerships, including renting spaces, providing lunches, snacks and beverages for the coffee breaks, materials and many more. Furthermore, all our lectors, mentors and organizational team are donating their time, experience and expertise to deliver a high quality program. Therefore,  your strong commitment and dedication are appreciated in return.
 

There is also a staggered payment option, which allows for you to pay the participation fee in 2 instalments – the 1st one before the beginning of the program, and the 2nd one a month into the program. 

The Ideal Candidates

We want to enable top achievers develop their full potential, chase after their dreams and turn their ideas into working projects.

The program is open to university students

and young professionals

above 20 and under 35 years of age.

Problem Solvers

Proactive solution-hunters on the lookout for new and creative ways to resolve an issue.

Challenge Seekers

Embrace difficulties with an open mindset and aim to bring value through creativity and innovation.

Determined Self-starters

Those who aspire to be entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs, and bring impactful ideas to life.

Problem Solvers​

Proactive solution-hunters on the lookout for new and creative ways to resolve an issue.​

Challenge Seekers

Embrace difficulties with an open mindset and aim to bring value through creativity and innovation.​

Determined Self-starters

Those who aspire to be entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs, and bring impactful ideas to life.​

ARE YOU READY TO ACTIVATE?

FAQ

We plan to conduct the program in an entirely offline environment. 

The core trainings of the program take place outside the standard working hours. With the exception of Module 1 and 3 which are 3-day long (including Fridays), Modules 2, 4, 5 and 6 each start with a session on Friday evening (7-9 pm) and continue throughout the weekend.

In addition to these sessions, we host additional events each Wednesday, which are designed to acquaint you with the stories behind the successful companies from the Bulgarian startup ecosystem, expand your network of contacts, and supplement your knowledge and understanding on different topics regarding leadership and entrepreneurship. The Wednesday sessions aren’t mandatory, but we strongly advise you to attend, as they are packed practical content and exercises which you can greatly benefit from.

Your presence at the core trainings of ABLE Activator is required as the program is very intense and missing any of the Friday or weekend sessions will greatly impact your progress. Any applicant unable to attend more than 1 module is advised to postpone their participation for a following edition of the program. If you have any other specific questions regarding attendance, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through the contact form on the website.

Not necessarily. The aim of ABLE Activator is to develop each participant’s entrepreneurial mindset, enhance their leadership potential, and teach the methodology behind developing a successful venture. In module 2 all the participants will group into teams of 5, based on which start-up idea they choose to pursue. Those ideas will be generated by you, the participants in the program, and are not preselected by us.

In a special session during module 3 all the teams will pitch their ideas to each mentor after which, based on the project specifics and the experience and expertise of the mentors, the best team-mentor fit will be decided. All the mentors that we work with are successful professionals with solid entrepreneurial background and will help you with insights and advice, and guide you along the way of developing your idea.

Demo Day is the culmination of ABLE Activator. It is the final event where you and your team will pitch the project you’ve been working on over the past 2 months in front of our partners, distinguished guests and, of course, a handpicked jury of representatives from the start-up ecosystem. Each project will be evaluated by specific criteria and at the end of the event the best-performing team will be announced.

If you’re a student or a professional under 35 years of age, you can apply by filling in the application form here. In addition to providing some basic details, you will also need to prepare an essay – a motivational letter describing why you’re the best candidate for the program and how it would benefit your personal and professional development.

The application process is divided into 2 parts: a written application (for more information you can refer to the above section) and an oral interview.

We will send you further instructions for each step of the application process via email. We work with an independent team for the evaluation of your written applications and only the top 50 candidates will be invited for an oral interview.

The participation fee for ABLE Activator is designed to be 820 BGN. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past year has been full of challenges, and has led our way of life to change dramatically. The changes we have witnessed proved that the entrepreneurial spirit that people possess makes them ready to face any obstacles that appear before them. Our continuous effort is to support the proactive self-starters, who aim to bring positive change in the world and for this reason, we’ve decided to reduce the tuition fee to 590 BGN for the early bird submissions.

There is also a staggered payment option, which allows for you to pay the participation fee in 2 installments – the 1st one before the beginning of the program, and the 2nd one a month into the program.

We offer full and partial scholarships for the top-performing students and young professionals with limited incomes. We’ve included a section on scholarships in the application form.

There is also a staggered payment option which allows for the participation pee to be paid in 2 separate installments.

We encourage all applicants to reapply for the program, if they don’t get selected for the current edition of ABLE Activator. It wouldn’t be precedent for a candidate to not pass the selection process the first time, but be chosen as an Activator for a following edition of the program.