The pilot edition of Sofia Municipality’s Accelerator Startup Sofia completed with two days of an intense mentoring program for the 13 companies in the accelerator.
The program for support of innovative companies and social entrepreneurs is jointly implemented by the Municipal SME Guarantee Fund, the Europe Program of the municipality and the Sofia Investment Agency.
We are pleased to have attracted experts from LAUNCHub, BrightCap, EY Bulgaria, Dimitrova, Staykova and Partners, Out2Bound, 356Labs, The DOTS, Vangavis, Trending Topics Bulgaria, UNWE and the Fund of Funds into the mentoring program. Their participation made it possible to cover topics that the startups themselves identified as areas they needed guidance in: business planning, management styles, sales, design and presentation, digital marketing, fundraising, financing tools, foreign markets entry, working with institutions, contacts with media and partners.
We believe that, the experts provided not only inspiration and ideas for further development opportunities during the two days, but also practical guidelines for specific actions and tools with which the entrepreneurs will be able accelerate the realisation of their ideas.
The start-up companies in the program develop products and services in areas such as 3D printing, consumer experience, marketing and advertising, health care, education and others. We remain in contact with the entrepreneurs and ready to share our knowledge and contacts network in support of the business in Sofia even after the end of the program.
Congratulations to all companies and mentors at Accelerator Startup Sofia.
Sofia is developing and is an example of success that the city government can be proud of. This is what Thorsten Geißler, head of the Bulgarian office of the Conrad Adenauer Foundation, said in a forum of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in the presence of Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova.
Mr Geißler also pointed out that German investors had invested BGN 6.8 billion in Bulgaria, which makes Germany the second biggest foreign investor in the country.
Mayor Yordanka Fandakova said that since the establishment of the municipal Sofia Investment Agency, Sofia has had a proactive policy to attract investment in business development and has been inviting companies to invest in a sustainable ecosystem for the city. Our priorities are high-tech and clean manufacturing, said Mayor Fandakova. The available specialists, good infrastructure and tax policy make Sofia a preferred place for foreign investment, Yordanka Fandakova added during the forum.
We present Sofia and the conditions that the city offers. We have invited 12 hotel chains because we would like to develop our city as a tourist destination, especially for congress tourism, Ms Fandakova pointed out. The good traditions in engineering education helped the rapid development of start-up projects. A total 95% of startups in Bulgaria are based in Sofia and the ecosystem is fully built with venture capital funds, accelerators and incubators, and developed companies are already investing in R&D centres.
More than 70 companies from over 40 countries have come to explore Sofia as a place to invest, said Vladimir Danailov, director of Sofia Investment Agency. The environment and infrastructure have evolved, the business climate has improved, and investors also take into account the quality of life in a city before making any investments, Mr Danailov said.
In a few days, Sofia will participate in Expo Real in Germany, and in addition to its own booth, there will be a special panel dedicated to Bulgaria, to which many investors have been invited. Our city also hosts more than 30 international events.
Sofia Investment Agency is pleased to announce that CEO Mr. Vladimir Danailov was invited to speak at BIOTECH ATELIER – the one-of-a-kind event in the biotechnology field in Bulgaria that will be held on the 25th of September 2019 at the John Atanasov Innovation Forum, Sofia Tech Park. Vladimir Danailov will join the panel discussion “Access to Funding for Startups and Mature BioTech Companies in Bulgaria”.
BIOTECH ATELIER 2.0 will bring together international experts with experience in the areas of: advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs), artificial Intelligence and machine learning in medicine, the MEGA project, personalized medicine, biomarkers and biobanking, medical practice data (RWD / RWE), clinical trials, patient advocacy, access to funding and more.
The purpose of the initiative, organised by Prescriptia and the Bulgarian Association for Personalized Medicine (BAPEMED), is to once again bring together leading Bulgarian and international experts focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, catalyzing the growth and development of the Bulgarian and Southeastern European biotechnological ecosystem. The founders of BIOTECH ATELIER are convinced in the potential of life sciences and biotechnology, and believe that the key to successful development of the environment is in the international collaboration between science and industry. Both sides will have the opportunity for a direct dialogue on the day of the event.
This year, the Biotech Atelier will also organize 2 additional events – Intellectual Property and Technological Transfer on September 24th, organised with the British Embassy, and Computer Validation in the GMP Regulatory Standard, organised by Pharmalex Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Association of Qualified Persons on October 2nd and 3rd.
You are welcome to become part of this ambitious event, dedicated to the biotechnological business and science innovation in the region.
As a partner of Sofia investment Agency, you can get a discount on your registration fee for the BIOTECH ATELIER 2.0. To receive your discount, please use this code: BIO20SILVER.
To register for the event, please visit its website: biotech-atelier.com
For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Mr Miladin Ivanov, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, mob.: +359 896 51 02 63.
07/10/2019 | 13:00 – 13:45 | Hall A1, Stand 250
More about the panel: exporeal-konferenz.de/events
We will be presenting investment opportunities in Sofia in the construction and real estate sector at Expo Real 2019. Expo Real, the largest B2B trade real estate fair in Europe will take place in Munich on October 7 – 9. We will provide up-to-date information about office space, retail space, logistics and industrial areas and the general economic and investment environment in the city.
As part of the discussion, the Chief Executive Officer of Sofia Investment Agency, Vladimir Danailov, will present the macroeconomic and development trends in Sofia.
07-09/10/2019 | Hall A1, Stand 442
This year, the Bulgarian stand at Expo Real will be even bigger – 120 m². Ten Bulgarian companies will present their projects within the exhibition. For the second consecutive year, Sofia Investment Agency has been involved as an institutional partner in the presentation of Sofia at the invitation of the Association of Commercial Building Owners in Bulgaria (ACBO).
In 2018, Bulgaria and Sofia were present at Expo Real for the first time in the history of the fair. Thus, Sofia became the first city to represent Bulgaria at an event at Messe München and the adjacent International Congress Center, where dozens of international forums, including EXPO REAL are held throughout the year.
The EXPO REAL event for real estate and investment projects in Munich is the largest B2B trade show in Europe. It takes place every year in October in Munich. This year, 2 095 exhibitors from 41 countries will be present at 64 000 m2. The participants in EXPO REAL reflect the entire spectrum of real estate businesses: investors and financiers, designers and project managers, consultants and intermediaries, corporate property managers, architects and representatives of cities and economic regions.
You can find more information about the exhibition at the following links:
Sofia Investment Agency and Kambourov & Partners Law Firm are jointly organising the ‘Residing & Doing Business in Bulgaria’ seminar to take place on September 18th, 2019, at Polygrafia Conference Center. Our teams will meet with representatives of foreign embassies and consulates in Bulgaria, advisory companies, investors and investment funds.
Practical answers will be given to questions under three main topics:
The joint event is designed to provide expert answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by foreign persons willing to reside in Bulgaria successfully and for a long term.
For detailed information on how you can establish your daily life and business in Sofia, please refer to our team. We will gladly provide you with all the necessary information.
Sofia Investment Agency is organising the mentor programme at “Accelerator Startup Sofia” of Sofia Municipality on September 11 and 12. The 12 mentors come from the start-up ecosystem, including VC funds, the private and public sectors and academia. The two-day training will cover a wide range of topics like business planning, sales, design and presentation, digital marketing, fundraising, financing tools, entering foreign markets, working with institutions and more.
We thank the mentors who will join the training programme of “Accelerator Startup Sofia”. We are delighted to have attracted experts from LAUNCHub, BrightCap, EY Bulgaria, Dimitrova, Staykova and Partners, Out2Bound, 356Labs, The DOTS, Vangavis, UNWE and Fund of Funds to the initiative. We believe that their experience and guidance will help the successful development of young companies.
See here all mentors and session topics during the two days of the mentoring programme.
“Accelerator Startup Sofia” launched in January 2019. More than 40 innovative startup companies and projects applied and 13 of them received grants of up to BGN 10 000 and access to the mentoring programme in September.
The beneficiaries of the programme develop products and services in areas such as 3D printing, consumer experience, marketing and advertising, health care, education and others.
The initiative is a pilot project of Sofia Municipality and is jointly implemented by Invest Sofia, the Municipal SME Guarantee Fund and Sofia Municipality’s Europe Programme. The programme aims to support innovative, social and start-up companies that develop innovative products, services or processes. Check out the companies and finalists in the first edition of the Accelerator.
Our team presented the business environment in Sofia and current industry data to representatives of the Ningbo city administration. We discussed the priority industries of the capital city with a focus on the developed human capital of Sofia.
The many initiatives with which the agency seeks to support the city’s economy were also a focus topic of the meeting. The guests expressed interest in the City-to-City program, which helps Bulgarian companies to enter foreign markets and facilitates foreign companies to start their business in Sofia.
One of the highlights of the visit was Sofia Tech Park. The guests from the Ningbo City government gained an insight into the operation of the first technology park in Bulgaria. The tech park’s activities to promote direct cooperation between business and academia were of particular interest. The collaboration with PhD students and professors from Bulgarian universities is crucial for stimulating innovation and creating new products. The useful practices in this direction are of interest to Ningbo, as the city is the economic centre of the southern part of the Yangtze River Delta, an engine of social reform in modern China and an important centre in the automotive, creative and other industries where innovation is extremely valuable.
After the meeting ended, the delegation left for Plovdiv to explore Bulgaria’s second largest city.
Over 1,500 Bulgarians with international experience who are looking for professional development opportunities back home will attend Career Hive – the biggest event targeted specifically at Bulgarians with work or educational qualifications abroad.
The event will take place on September 4, 2019 at Inter Expo Center and will be held under the patronage of the President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev.
The organizers, Tuk-Tam, are building upon their solid foundation of 11 years of experience in organizing career focused events, starting this new initiative. Career Hive is the ideological continuation to the emblematic “Career in Bulgaria. Why not?” event which the NGO co-organized from 2008 to 2018.
Over 90 leading companies will attend, seeking to engage with Bulgarian professionals who are looking for career development back home. There will also be a varied seminar program with 12 sessions and over 20 speakers and leaders from the business, NGO and the public sectors. Besides the expected (yet important) HR consultations, job offers and on-the-spot interviews, this year the Career Hive will give companies the opportunity to remotely talk to candidates who are currently not in Bulgaria.
Career Hive 2019 also marks the beginning of Tuk-Tam’s efforts to encourage both companies and candidates alike to be a part of a more sustainable ecosystem. It is on a journey to becoming a zero-waste event, already reducing its impact on the environment.
For any additional information, don’t hesitate to contact the organizers directly at email@example.com
Representatives of Sofia Municipality, French municipal institutions and mayors from French cities discussed opportunities for cooperation in the areas of economy, ecology, mobility, culture and improvement of the urban environment. The French delegation visited Bulgaria at the initiative of the National Federation of Local public enterprises (LPEs) in France.
“It is important for all of us to exchange good practices with colleagues from Europe. The challenges are similar, there are different solutions and ideas from which we can learn,” Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova said at the opening of the working meeting.
In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest from investors to our city. The very good standard of living in Sofia makes it an attractive destination,” said Vladimir Danailov, CEO of the Sofia Investment Agency. “French investments in Bulgaria for the period 1996-2018 amounted to 1.68 billion euros involving sectors such as manufacturing, finance, trade, agriculture, etc. Bulgarian exports to France exceed imports, with food, machine parts and clothing taking leading positions in exports,” he added.
The French delegation was presented with the activities of the main municipal agencies and organisations, the opportunities for investment in the capital city, policies in the area of the environment and improvement of air quality, the development of public transport and the improvement of the urban environment.
“The problems and tasks facing our cities are the same – developing the economy, culture and environmental challenges,” said Jean-Léonce Dupont, honorary president of LPEs.
The representatives of the organisation, which unites more than 1,300 entreprises and associations from all over the country, were interested in the methods of managing the municipal companies in Sofia, the development of the urban transport and the alternative ways of transport, as well as in the national policies in the area of protection of cultural monuments.
The topic of markets and the cultural activities that have been taking place there in recent years as a part of Sofia Municipality’s policy for developing new spaces for culture attracted a great interest as well.
The French guests who came from all major regions of the country also visited Sofia’s waste processing plant and the Sofia metro.
Sofia Investment Agency attended the European Cities Conference for Digitalisation organised by Vienna Municipality on 18th and 19th June. At the invitation of Vienna Municipality and together with other European еxperts, representatives of civil society and business our team took part in a discussion about what European city councils will look like in 2030.
Our Chief Executive, Mr. Vladimir Danailov presented the challenges, the experience gained and the results so far from Sofia’s participation in the European Commission’s Digital Cities Challenge Program. He also took part in a panel discussion on the topic E-government and European Municipalities.
The focus of the two-day conference was the issues arising from the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in urban services, eGovernment opportunities for city services, open data, and how digitalization could be used for society and citizens.
— Eurocomm-PR Виена-София (@EurocommPR_SOF) June 19, 2019
On the first day of the conference, AI was examined as a determining factor for the future of city administrations and the tension between humans and technical innovations, social criteria, and democratic processes. Vienna presented two municipal initiatives – the Vienna Manifesto on Digital Humanism and the program “Wien gibt Raum” (“Vienna provides space”) – a digital “One-Stop-Shop” that makes proceedings for the use of public space easier and faster for both citizens and enterprises.
The conference participants agreed that society must retain ultimate control over the development of AI and that human-centric rules for the data collection are needed. Europe could take on a pioneering role in this regard by its data protection basic regulation (DSGVO), for example in comparison with China or the USA.
The Digitalisation conference in Vienna was part of the annual series of events – the European conferences of cities (ECC), that are organised by Eurocomm PR on behalf of the city of Vienna. For the events, Vienna welcomes experts from the urban institutions from Central and Southeastern Europe. Our team is honored to have been invited to participate in the discussion on current issues of municipal administration and services of general interest.
SeeNews just published its new study titled Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem in Bulgaria, created in collaboration with the international innovation company Vangavis.
The Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem in Bulgaria is the first comprehensive report, covering the growing AI sector in Bulgaria.
Key points from the report:
According to the report, Bulgaria’s AI startup ecosystem is still at an early stage of its development but has gained a significant momentum in the past few years, as around one-third of all companies researched for the report were established in the 2016-2018 period.
The report is available for free download at https://reports.seenews.com.