One of Bulgaria’s “Forbes 30 under 30”, Boris is a tech and social entrepreneur, co-founding and investing in digital innovation, biotech and deep tech startups, including DigiMark, nPloy, Nutrigen, Epix.AI, and Airate.

Shaping the Future: A Conversation with Boris Kolev on Digital Transformation, Education, and Bridging the Skills Gap

“It’s up to us as Partners to think about how we can work and try to shape education in the next few years, because young people are really distracted by AI as it helps them to get knowledge instantly rather than actually investing time to learn and train it.”


In an engaging interview during the Web Summit in Lisbon, Boris Kolev, a senior professional with a rich background in the technology sector, shared with us his journey from an early-age developer to his current role as the Head of Digital Transformation for JA Europe, and stressed the pivotal role of experiential education in shaping the skills of the future.

Boris’s journey began as a developer in the technology sector, and he swiftly transitioned to entrepreneurship, founding his first company at the age of 18. Over the next decade, he managed a software company specialising in mobile development, which ended by being acquired in 2018. Today, as the Head of Digital Transformation for JA Europe, Boris spearheads different technological and strategic initiatives.

JA Europe’s programs aim to inspire young people towards entrepreneurship, sciences, and deep tech and highlight the importance of local-level engagement and the diverse topics covered, from AI to finance and entrepreneurship.

Reshaping Education through Experiential Learning

Boris believes that AI is the largest influencer of the education industry, dynamically changing the daily interactions between students and teachers. While AI offers immediate access to knowledge, Boris notes both positive and negative trends.

To shape the future of education, Boris calls for a proactive approach, urging to focus on experiential educational programs that will inspire and engage students emotionally, and also involve more resources and teacher engagement. This will require reskilling, but as he observes, adults are often less open to change than younger people.

“No one should be afraid of reskilling. This is a normal human process and people should embrace reskilling and find new areas in which they want to develop. There’s a lot of online training in the form of videos and programs, not just in our organisations.”


He believes that addressing this skills gap is crucial for the next generation’s success and calls for collaborative solutions to bridge this educational divide, which is also one of the reasons why JA Europe became part of the EIT Deep Tech Talent Initiative.

“We need to develop programs that cater to the evolving needs of young minds, encouraging them to explore the possibilities in deep tech, healthcare, and manufacturing.”