At an official meeting today a Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between Sofia Municipal Privatization and Investment Agency (Invest Sofia) and Atlas Agro Science. The signing was attended by Alexandra Velikova, Manager of the agrotech company, and Ph.D. Maria Hristova from Invest Sofia.
The purpose of our cooperation will be in the area of environmental protection initiatives, circular economy, and initiatives aimed at investors who want to establish or expand their business in Sofia. Our organizations will promote the city as a business friendly place to invest by helping entrepreneurs turn their plans into implemented projects through various “soft measures” that serve as incentivising instruments.
Atlas Agro Science is a growing company in the field of ecology and environmental protection, the use of recycled products and the implementation of waste raw materials in production to reduce pollution. The company not only relies on the principle of circular economy, but also successfully manages to realize zero-waste products. The company’s business is based on the belief that facing today’s needs lies in offering a useful and innovative product without jeopardizing the future of the next generations. Atlas Agro Science develops innovative solutions for the digestion of waste sludge and its processing through waste-free technology into multi-component products for the agribusiness and floriculture industries.
One of the company’s many partners on the road to a green future is the Sofia Municipality. Thanks to the joint work between the city administration and the agro-tech company, the so-called “green donations” have been made in a number of areas of the municipality, including Bankya, Nadezhda, Vazrazhdane, the New Forest of Sofia and others. There are more green initiatives to come, to which Atlas Agro Science wants to contribute by donating products. Some of them are “My Green School, My Green Kindergarten”, the “Green Sofia” programme, the adoption of the Royal Rosarium in the Borisova Garden and the flower gardens of the National Palace of Culture with a commitment to permanently provide free products.
Our partnerships with sector associations are extremely valuable because they know in detail the trends and challenges of hundreds of companies and their employees. Working with organizations that represent the beat of entire industries helps us elaborate sector strategies and advocate for policies and regulations that affect the smooth growth of companies in priority industries for Sofia’s economy. This is why the Invest Sofia team values our work with AIBEST – Association for innovation, business excellence, services and technology. We share a common goal – to develop Sofia’s strengths and to position the capital and the country as a regional hub for talent, innovation and locally developed high value-added products and services.
Here is how AIBEST sees our joint activity:
“Invest Sofia is among the long-standing and trusted partners of the Association for innovation, business excellence, services and technology (AIBEST). Our organizations have expressed joint support for a variety of initiatives related to our common goals, namely: attracting new business structures to the country; positioning the Bulgarian market as a leading one in the SEE region; creating platforms for collaboration between business, government and local authorities; developing Sofia and the country as attractive business destinations.
During all the years of cooperation with Invest Sofia, we have always received their readiness to provide support with proactive, timely response and great suggestions to build on new ideas.”
Natalia Shikova – Georgieva, Executive Director of AIBEST.
Sofia is a regional talent hub and this is among the city’s biggest advantages in attracting investors. That is why partnerships with local HR companies are extremely valuable to us. Their expertise gives us a clear view of the current state of the labor market and helps us give quality advice to investor inquiries about opportunities in different sectors. The HR companies we work with also see added value in our joint activities. Here is what Dimitar Galabov, Country Head Bulgaria at Sutherland says:
“I am pleased to share my positive experience from the mutual work with the team of the Sofia Investment Agency. Over the years we have partnered in various ways, mainly providing guidance and support for various international companies who have approached the agency for help on setting businesses or expand footprint in Bulgaria or exchanging market research and benchmark data around the industry we operate. The level of expertise and the professional approach of the Sofia Investment Agency team of professionals has been remarkable and I have always enjoyed working with them. I am confident to share that the agency does a great job in promoting Bulgaria and its huge potential to foreign investors and goes extra mile in delivering outstanding services. The mutual collaboration of the agency with partners like Sutherland is also very rewarding as it allows both – the local businesses and the prospect new entrant companies meet, discuss, calibrate, and exchange experience that is beneficial for both sides. Keep up the great work!”
Country Head Bulgaria
We are extremely grateful to all HR companies we work with on projects related to the establishment of new companies in the city or their further expansion in Sofia. The expertise of the human resource experts helps us to explore opportunities in the sectors with the greatest potential in the city’s economy and to deliver quality advice to investor inquiries. The Invest Sofia team is grateful to Adecco for their partnership in our city programme for integrated investor services Sofia IS, as well as for their positive feedback on our joint activities. Here’s what they shared about our partnership:
“I would like to express my high appreciation to the Invest Sofia team for their professionalism and energy they work with, boosting the development of our capital city. They are innovative and proactive experts, who collaborate excellently with the business, aiming to improve the investment environment and corporate ecosystem in Sofia metropolitan area. Thank you once again for your commitment and for your great impact on our mutual mission!”
Monika Krasteva, Senior Key Account & Business Development Manager at Adecco
Cities are not just about economics and business opportunities. Cities are people, quality of life, and urban well-being. We believe that our beautiful city must develop all aspects of the urban environment to attract the most important capital – human capital. That is why we work with partners who contribute to different aspects of city life. We are pleased to share the feedback of Dr. Plamen Mitev, Manager of Medical Centre “Child’s Health” and Dr. Dimitar Mitev, Manager of Zdrave Hospital, with whom we worked on the construction of the Children’s Medical Complex in Ovcha Kupel in Sofia. For the project, Invest Sofia awarded a “Class B” certificate for an investment project of municipal importance.
“Our partnership with Sofia Investment Agency is a great example of symbiosis between business and community. We are grateful to the entire team for their constant support and appreciate the administrative and social assistance they have provided us from the very beginning. Their role has been key to the successful implementation of our project – the construction of a new children’s medical complex.
Driven by the idea that the need for specialized children’s health facilities, psychological and speech therapy care has been proven over time comprehensively and multifaceted by various institutions, led us to turn for support to Sofia Municipality and Invest Sofia. To date, we are proud to say that together we have realized the first municipal investment of class B. We are confident that with joint efforts we will be able to create a new medical complex that will offer comprehensive, quality and modern medical care to our children“.
Green Card for administrative services is among the main instruments that Invest Sofia has been developing over the last year. It is yet another tool that helps us in fulfilling our mission – supporting the development of our city, improving the business environment and attracting investors. Atos Bulgaria has been among the first companies to receive Green Card. It is part of a multinational company and a leading provider of cyber security services in Europe. “It is important for us as an international company to have the support of Invest Sofia in order to participate in more initiatives led by Sofia Municipality, through which we can attract young and trained personnel. Our partnership boosts our efforts to create the right conditions for the career development and young people in the country.” Atos Bulgaria declares its readiness, together with other international companies, to support Invest Sofia and Sofia Municipality in initiatives that aim to improve and increase career opportunities for young talents in the city.
Since the establishment of Invest Sofia as the Sofia Municipality’s investment development department, our team has placed biotech and life sciences among the priority industries for the city. Our partnerships with companies in the sector help us to be aware of the needs of the environment and look for new ways to strengthen the ecosystem. It is gratifying to see that our efforts are appreciated.
‘I am pretty happy to co-operate with Invest Sofia. The record with my contacts there is excellent, I have virtually no problems to get support of every idea, which contributes to better doing business in Sofia. They are digital, friendly and competent. Some of my projects were substantially speeded-up with the support of Invest Sofia.’ sais Dimitar B. Georgiev MD, PhD, Founder and CEO at Paralax Life Sciences.
On behalf of our partners from the global entrepreneurship platform WorldStartup we are delighted to invite all startup companies to apply for the upcoming range of programs and trainings, scheduled to begin after the summer break. Startup companies from Invest Sofia’s business network are encouraged to apply for the courses at discounted rates. Deadline to sign up is 25th of August.
The Market Readiness Training is a 3.5-month training to help startups define, find and interact with their potential customers. The training is divided into three parts: customer development, marketing & sales and conversation practice. It is a proven format that has already helped hundreds of startups successfully enter the market.
The Funding Readiness Training is a 3-month training co-created with EY and other partners. The training dives deeper into financial, legal and impact aspects. There optional tracks preparing the startups for meeting with investors, running a crowdfunding campaign, securing
grants/subsidies, and preparing for bootstrapping.
The regular price per training is 3500 euro. Partners of Invest Sofia get a 1000 euro discount. Do not miss out the opportunity and supply no later than 25th of August.
WorldStartup is a global entrepreneurship platform on a mission to accelerate the global transition to more sustainable and equitable societies by supporting purpose-driven innovators create long-standing impactful ventures. Since its inception in 2015, it has become one of the most active venture support organisations in the Netherlands. Starting off as the first accelerator in The Hague and as a pioneer in focusing on the SDGs, which allowed WorldStartup to become part of the B Corp community in 2019, WorldStartup has moved from acceleration programs to a more ambitious approach. Through its Hackathons, Altitude, Next Valley, Funding Support, Frank & the Backs and Outside inc. among others, these are some of the numbers we have achieved: more than 75 impact-driven ventures in its portfolio, 67% of them coming from an international background and 84% of those supported still being active. Companies from WorldStartup’s portfolio have raised over 4.5 mln euros of capital investment after their support programs.
Sofia Tech Park has launched a new programme to support innovators, entrepreneurs and researchers – the South East European Innovators Programme (SEEIP). The initiative will start in October. Applications will be reviewed twice – in September and March next year. Companies and teams can apply throughout the year via the website: https://seeip.eu/.
SEEIP is a technology programme that will take participating teams through the stages of incubation, acceleration and technology transfer and accompany them from product/service definition to finding investors and international market outlets. There is no limit to the field of application of the developments. More details about the programme can be found on the Sofia Tech Park website here.
Young entrepreneurs with a start-up or already developed business can access the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs cross-border exchange programme. The initiative offers on-the-job training in a small or medium-sized enterprise abroad with a funded stay from 1 to 6 months. Among the benefits for the participants are the opportunity to improve the business plan, acquire know-how, access new markets and partners abroad, insight into different cultural and organizational attitudes and the way of doing business in another EU country. Participating Bulgarian companies can in turn host a young entrepreneur from another country, benefit from innovative views, new skills and knowledge about business and foreign markets, improved company growth potential through establishing business contacts with partners from another European country, etc. The application process is fully online via the programme website: https://www.erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu/
The Fund of Funds will provide additional resources totalling BGN 84.5 million to the Recovery Programme financial instruments. The funds will be directed to the partner banks that provide financial support under these instruments to the end users – small and medium enterprises. The resource is expected to be available in the second half of September after the formal process of awarding it to the partner banks is completed. With the resource added by the banks, companies from all over the country will be able to benefit from support amounting to nearly BGN 210 million. The funds will be available until the end of 2023. For a list of partner banks to look to for growth funding, see the Fund’s website here.
On 11-12 September 2023, Commercial Space Days 2023, an event dedicated to ideas, collaboration and knowledge transfer in space technology, will take place at the
Cluster initiatives are a strong tool for regional development, economic growth, competitiveness, and innovation. That is why we see the strengthening of clusters in our country as an extremely important task in which we strive to be an active party. We are delighted to receive recognition for our role in this process. Thank you Health and Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria for your appreciation.
Invest Sofia is a trustful partner of the Cluster ecosystem. The experienced team have made a meaningful contribution to our projects and supported all the activities, aim to position Bulgaria as a Life Sciences destination! Thanks to their effort and support a first BioCenter in Bulgaria will be created in order to promote and deliver more innovation on a market.
Chair of Health & Life Sciences Cluster Bulgaria
It’s wonderful we managed to attract such strong local companies with expertise in various fields to the Sofia IS city initiative for comprehensive free services to investor inquiries. Why are we deeply confident in the strength of the partnership between the city and local businesses? Because we share the same opinion on the benefits of the programme. Here is the feedback we received from Aleksandar Georgiev, Managing Director at Easy Consult:
I’m glad to see the positive impact of Invest Sofia’s programme on attracting new investments and fostering a vibrant business environment in the city. On behalf of Easy Consult, I want to express our appreciation for the valuable work that your motivated team has been
Easy Consult has had the privilege of witnessing the dedication and commitment of the Invest Sofia team in action. Your continuous efforts and attention to detail in promoting Sofia as an attractive center for entrepreneurship and business have not gone unnoticed. The collaborative
initiatives under the programme have undoubtedly contributed to the city’s growing reputation as a prime destination for investors.
We believe that a strong business environment requires not only capital but also a skilled workforce. The opportunities created by Invest Sofia through the Sofia IS program align perfectly with our mission at Easy Consult. Your work directly contributes to the development of the job market and the overall economic growth of the region.
We are excited to be part of the Sofia IS program and look forward to continuing our close partnership. Together, we can leverage the potential of Sofia as a thriving hub for businesses, attracting top talent and creating a positive impact on the city’s economic landscape.
Thank you for your dedication, and we’re confident that the future holds even greater accomplishments for Sofia with our collective efforts.
Thank you for the high evaluation of our joint activity under the Sofia IS city initiative! Indeed, a city’s greatest potential is its talent pool. Potential that we have the chance to develop along with strong network partners with proven expertise like Easy Consult.
For the second year now, the Invest Sofia team has successfully worked with independent local and international companies to assist investors in the city under our SofiaIS programme. We are highly motivated by the positive feedback that our business partners give to our activities. Here’s what the consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Forton had to say about our work together:
Yavor Kostov, Managing Partner: We at C&W Forton are extremely glad to have the possibility to work with Sofia Investment Agency. Their motivated team members have shown us repeatedly a great amount of dedication and love for their job. Thanks to their continuous efforts, attention to detail and hard work, Sofia is becoming an even more attractive place for new investments. We are excited to be part of the programme SofiaIS and we are sure that the more time we devote together to it, the greater the impact will be on Bulgaria.
A great recognition for our team. When companies in the city view our activities in this way, it means our efforts are in the right direction. We appreciate C&W Forton’s willingness to partner closely with all our activities addressed to new investors in the city. It is a declaration of their willingness to develop together the potential of Sofia as an attractive center for entrepreneurship and successful business.