Amber Technology AD won the Innovative Start-Up Enterprise award for 2017 in the 13th Innovative Enterprise of the Year contest. The company was founded in 2016. It has developed a mattress with original technology for embedding pure Baltic amber that is known for its healthy and balancing effect. The company makes direct sales based entirely on digital marketing. It also develops a range of healthy sleep products. The contest is organized by the Applied Research and Communications Foundation and Enterprise Europe Network - Bulgaria, with the support of the Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs of the European Commission, in partnership with BNT, Economy Magazine and Economic.bg.
Sleeping on Amber sounds
like an exotic wish, but for Teodor Dimitrov and his girlfriend Tatyana
Bakalova, it is a successful business venture. Amber Technology AD started its
first big commercial campaign this summer, and has already won the start-up
enterprise award in the 13th Innovative Enterprise of the Year contest. The success
surprised Teodor Dimitrov, co-founder of the company, who jumped in the
unfamiliar waters of the mattress business about a year ago. "I am a
graduate of Business Administration and Political Science. Before we started developing
this product, I did not really know anything about mattresses, "he
explains with a smile.
Amber Technology is a result of a surprising focal point of two completely different problems: a health problem and a consumer problem. Teodor suffered from insomnia and a thyroid disease and found that amber had beneficial effect on his condition. In search of the Mattress with a capital "M", on which he could have the sweetest dreams, he decided to find an easier way for consumers to shop for healthy sleep products. “There was a lot of talk about how one could improve the quality of their lives by eating, training, but no one paid attention to sleep. If you do not sleep well, it is all lost, whatever you do. I had this problem, and I noticed that many people complained about uncomfortable mattresses. We did some research on how the industry worked - how much is spent for distributors, shops, and finally, everything came down to the idea of "lie down on this mattress for 5 minutes and choose". This is why we decided to make a mattress with embedded amber, and sell it only on-line with a 100-day trial period, "says Teodor Dimitrov.
The co-founders of the company learned from scratch how a mattress was made. They started with their own resources and with the support of a business angel from the industry. They found Bulgarian manufacturers of all the items of the product, except for the amber powder. It arrived from the Baltic republics and was of the highest quality with no heavy metal impurities.
The company also decided to experiment with the sales model. "The biggest challenge is to show people that it is not so scary, but is actually easier, more convenient and safer to buy a mattress on-line. I often receive feedback from people who have paid a large amount for a mattress, but in a month, they find out that it is not that comfortable. Therefore, we offer 100-night trial period. When someone returns a mattress, all materials, except for the fabric and the amber, are recycled. Our aim is the percentage of returned products to be 2-5%, "explains Teodor.
It took Amber Technology one year to prepare its first on-line sales campaign. However, it was this summer that the company offered costumers "may be the 100th mattress that we created after many checks." The company has the potential to assemble its products in its own baseр but is using subcontractors for now. "We have tried a great many different versions of the product until we finally came to a variant that is great. Every detail of the mattress - from the spring to the zipper - was produced in Bulgaria. Amber foam is produced in only one place in the city of Ruse, "Teodor explains.
Still, the first product was sold off-line. "The first mattress was sold at an exhibition for chocolate and sweets. We let the kids jump on it, and the whole mattress was covered in mud. Then a friend came and suggested: "I need a new mattress, I want this one. You have to just wash it, don’t you?" I told him "Yes," and he bought it at a discount, "Teodor says.
Teodor and Tatyana have amber dreams and want to sell in South Korea and the United States. They have already given amber nights to a customer in Germany. Amber Technology also works on baby products on demand, and is researching for franchise opportunities. Teodor has filed applications for patent protection (under the terms of the Patent Cooperation Treaty) and EU brand. His future is amber.