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Are you Ready to Taste an Ice Cream Made of Wine?

Ice cream made of wine is one of the products that Sofija Daceva, founder of Matryoshka, developed. Sofija is now ready to offer her product to European markets, and Swiss EP is here to support her on this journey.

Sofija Daceva is an extraordinary woman: she started two companies, developed two innovative products, and lives in two cities, London and Skopje.

Sofija founded her first company Matryoshka in 2017 as an R&D facility located in Skopje. Her goal was to use innovative technological processes to create new types of food, bringing additional value to her customers and making a positive environmental impact.

With her first product WICE, ice cream made of wine, Sofija gained public interest and tickled the imagination of gourmands and investors worldwide. `With her second product, multifunctional grape pomace additive, Sofija knew she had a product that could fundamentally change the face of the food industry.

Sofija’s innovative products attracted numerous awards, grants, and even investment from the X Factor Accelerator, securing her ability to start and build the business. With an academic background in entrepreneurship gained at Warwick University, Sofija knew what to expect when pursuing her entrepreneurial dream.

Many people associate entrepreneurship with having a business idea. However, I believe that entrepreneurship has much more complexity in it. The key to entrepreneurship is not about having the idea but implementing it and bringing it to life. It is about spotting an opportunity and often taking a high risk to achieve it.

Sofija Daceva, founder and CEO of Matryoshka

With funding problems resolved, Sofija realized she needed advisory and support in the business development process. So in 2020, she met Igor Madžov, Swiss EP’s Investment Facilitator in the Western Balkans, who introduced her to the startup community in North Macedonia and to Swiss EP.

I first learned about the Swiss EP through ‘’Startup Macedonia” and later by my investors from the X Factor Accelerator. Throughout the program, I mainly received mentorship and could attend workshops and events, which helped me improve the market entry strategy for my business. I also had the opportunity to have 1:1 sessions with valuable experts who helped me solve some crucial obstacles that my company had. Considering that I was building my manufacturing plant in 2020, just after COVID-19 started, I needed all the help I could get. Therefore, these sessions were the most meaningful to me. They provided me with the ability to learn from experienced individuals and saved me from making mistakes that may have led the business in the wrong direction.

Sofija Daceva, founder and CEO of Matryoshka

Besides working extensively with Igor, Sofija also gained support from experienced Swiss EP experts including Roland Simon, Jane Uzunovski, Mike Morlock, and Mario Steinbuch. She was also a participant in the Expand Macedonia program designed to help local scaling startups expand into German and Japanese markets.

Through the Expand Macedonia program, I had an opportunity to work with Jane, Mike, and Mario, who helped me create a strategy for expansion to the German market. I also had a chance to visit them and work with them in Berlin.

Sofija Daceva, founder and CEO of Matryoshka

So, are you ready to taste ice cream made of wine? Well, ready or not, it's coming. Sofija is ready to take it to the world and she is enjoying every second of the process.

To bring my idea to life, I had to solve problems daily, and I needed to solve them fast because timing is crucial. I still remember the time (back in 2016) when my idea was just a sentence on a piece of paper. And now, when I see how my business has grown and what value my products bring to my clients and the entire society, it makes me feel very proud. So despite all the hard work and sleepless nights, I’d repeat the whole process in a heartbeat.

Sofija Daceva, founder and CEO of Matryoshka