Vladimir Danailov, CEO of Sofia Investment Agency, will join the panel discussion ‘Office Space Market 2019’ during the BalREc Conference on November 7th at Sofia Event Center. The conference is organised by Gradat Media Group and is the most popular real estate investment conference platform in Bulgaria and the region, providing the opportunity to the major players on the market to meet and discuss the latest industry trends.
Leading investors, developers, financial institutions, consultants, project managers, law firms and other parties involved in the major projects and deals in the sector will take part in focused panel sessions, emphasizing the current situation and investment environment in the key market segments: office, retail, residential, industrial & logistics, hotels & hospitality, and the growing alternative asset classes.
– The economic environment 2019-2020: forecasts, risks and perspectives
– The big picture: investment environment 2019
– Residential market 2019: demand, supply, price levels, forecasts
– Offices market: projects, drivers and market challenges
– Workspace trends: flexibility is the new normal – a threat or opportunity
– Logistics and industrial space market: potential and perspectives
– Urban and holiday hotels: trends 2019
– Retail space market: the transformation in progress
– Proptech: the digitisation and the real estate market – a talk for tech and innovations
For more information, speakers, programme and registration, please visit www.balrec.bg/en/
The Robotics Strategy Forum – the first specialised technological event for robotics and automation in Sofia and Bulgaria – took place at the Inter Expo Center on October 22. Invest Sofia was a partner of the event. We had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Bulgarian industry, academia, industrial zones and start-ups – the ecosystem of stakeholders in building a comprehensive strategy for the robotics sector in Bulgaria.
“Our economy, manufacturing industries and service providers have long been in a state where they compete on the basis of productivity and quality,” said the CEO of Invest Sofia Mr. Vladimir Danailov in his welcome address to the participants in the forum. “In Bulgaria there are companies that are leaders in their area, including Ocado, Festo and many others. We already have over 15 venture capital funds, we have accelerators and incubators. More than 15% of our start-ups are in the field of deeptech, which includes the AI sector. These factors place us among the leaders in Europe and push forward the industrial automation in our country. Over the last 18 months, more than 70 companies have shown interest in investing in Sofia and Bulgaria, half of them are industrial companies. They are not just considering low production costs. They are already talking about engineering talent, that the ecosystem is evolving, they are talking about how they are able to develop automation and artificial intelligence here. All these factors show that we already have a dynamic environment.”
Highlights of the Robotics and Strategy Forum
In a special panel, the PARA team shared their initiative to create an expert council to work on recommendations in different directions and to draw up a roadmap for the development of the robotics sector in our country.
Visitors had the opportunity to see the robots of Giga Automata, Festo, ABB first-hand in the expo part of the event, and exchange ideas, impressions and enthusiasm during the networking part.
The event started with a survey on the high-tech sector in Bulgaria:
After 18-months of work the Digital Transformation Strategy for Sofia is ready.
The goal is to turn Sofia into a market for innovative products and solutions by strengthening the local ICT and start-up ecosystem and enabling local companies (small and big) to supply digital products to the city.
We are now looking to enlarge the 100-people-strong community of supporters and ambassadors who worked on the Strategy.
Join us for the event ‘The City of Sofia – Market for your Innovative Products and Solutions’ to learn about the vision for digital transformation of Sofia and share your thoughts with us!
We want to turn the city into a market-creator by getting the local start-up community involved in solving local challenges and using the city as a test ground for new digital services.
We want to get organised by establishing an office that will stay in touch with you and keep track of the products you develop, while identifying the needs of the local market and managing the process of digitalisation in the city.
Come and meet:
Vladimir Danailov – CEO
Iskra Yovkova – Investment & Business Development Department
Mark-Aleks Evtimov – Investment & Business Development Department
Tuesday, 5 November 2019 from 18:30-20:00
Puzl CowOrKing, bul. Cherni Vrah 47, floor 4, 1407 Sofia, Bulgaria
There is no entrance fee or need to register.
Factsheet about the Digital Transformation Strategy for Sofia:
For more information, please visit our webpage Digital Sofia.
We are pleased to announce the panel discussion ‘Gothenburg and Sofia: Complementing Ecosystems’ to be held on November 6th from 13.00 h, as part of Web Summit 2019 in Lisbon.
The panel is part of the program at the Sweden Co-lab, E229, Hall 2
We are joining the discussion at the invitation of Business Region Göteborg.
Our Head of Investment and Business Development Department Nadia Soultanova and Erik-Wilhelm Graef Behm, Area & Investment Manager ICT at Business Region Göteborg will talk about the similarities and the differences between the ecosystems of our cities, how do we cooperate to help companies grow and what comes ahead. The panel will be moderated by Niklas Knutsson, Secretary-General at The Swedish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce.
Join us and learn how Sweden’s second largest city, and an important hub with leading expertise in fields like embedded systems, microwave technology, gaming and digital visualisation cooperates with Sofia, one of the fastest growing ICT ecosystems in CEE. We will share success stories, good practices that help the two ecosystems complement each other, and next steps.
A big thank you to Business Region Göteborg and Business Sweden for this opportunity.
Web Summit in Lisbon is arguably the hottest tech conference in the world and the biggest in Europe. The Summit is a highlight on the event calendar of tech professionals, enthusiasts and visioners from around the world. The biggest names in tech will arrive in Lisbon this November to share vision and expertise with over 70,000 visitors from all over the globe.
If you happen to be around, let’s meet up!
Contact us to make an appointment:
Nadia Soultanova, Head of Investment and Business Development, Sofia Investment Agency
Erik-Wilhelm Graef Behm, Area & Investment Manager ICT, Business Region Göteborg ICT
The seventh edition of the DA FEST international digital art festival will take place between 22 and 26 October, 2019 in Sofia. The festival is organized by the National Academy of Arts and the DA Lab Foundation.
Sofia Investment Agency will join the Festival as an institutional and communication partner.
The Festival’s program brings together distinguished artists and young authors from the international art scene. Many of the foreign participants are coming to Bulgaria for the first time, giving the audience a unique opportunity to get acquainted with their art.
DA FEST’s programme will include exhibitions, audio-visual, theatrical and VR performances, video art screenings, lectures and presentations, creative workshops, concerts presenting a variety of activities and creative practices in the field of digital arts.
The selection of DA FEST includes 60 artists from different countries and disciplines presenting different practices from digital video and photography, interactive performance and installation, audio-visual performance, virtual reality, streaming, 3D mapping, network art, sound-art, biotechnologies, robotics and generative systems and other interdisciplinary formats.
Venelin Shurelov and Galina Dimitrova-Dimova are the curators of the Festival.
The world-renowned performance artist STELARC (Australia) is the highlight of the Festival’s program. STELARC is a pioneer in the arts created with biotechnology, robotics and digital media. He is visiting Bulgaria for the first time and will participate in a number of program events.
The audience will be able to see the unique performances of Miwa Matreyek (USA), also for the first time in Bulgaria. Her performances create a magical reality in which she becomes a silhouette and a shadow interacting with animated images.
The exhibitions at DA FEST will take place at five locations: the Gallery of the Art Academy, Goethe-Institute Gallery, Credo Bonum Gallery, Serdika Gallery and the gallery space of the Triangular Tower of Sofia at the Regional History Museum.
The program also includes: Ken Rinaldo (USA), James Auger & Jimmy Loizeau (UK/France), Gerhard Funk (Austria) Anna Vasof (Czech Republic/ Austria), Karla Tobar Abarca (Ecuador/ France) Sara Bonaventura (Italy), Michaela Lakova (Bulgaria/ Netherlands), Georgi Georgiev (Bulgaria/Germany), Kamen Stoyanov (Bulgaria/ Austria), Maximilian Pramatarov (Bulgaria/ Austria), Pravdolyub Ivanov, Melformator (Petko Tanchev and Atanas Dichev), Iliyana Kancheva, Mario Stoynov, Momchil Aleksiev, Hristo Kolev, Pepa Parisheva, Yana Vasileva, Gergana Lazarova-Runkel, Daniela Nikolchova and others.
DA FEST will also present a program of audio-visual concerts and performances. Participants include: The Science, SoundCamp (UK), mimionix & Quantum space, Saturated Pixels, Zero One, Ivan Shopov
Sofia Investment Agency presented the economic development and investment climate in Sofia during the ‘Future Today’ event, organized by the Automotive Cluster Bulgaria on September 26-27 as part of the Green Ict deVElopment (GIVE) project.
Representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises, clusters and organizations from six countries – Albania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Northern Macedonia, Romania and Serbia – joined the event and presented the development of the Automotive, ICT and Smart Green Technologies sectors in their respective countries.
Among the main topics discussed during the event were:
During the B2B meetings, part of the two-day program of ‘The Future Today’, the participants presented their activities and products, exchanged experiences and good practices related to the international development of the three sectors, and discussed the possibilities for future joint initiatives.
We thank the organizers from the Automotive Cluster Bulgaria for the invitation.
We are happy to announce that the City-to-City Agreement between Vienna and Sofia was prolonged for another year. On a special event celebrating one year of partnership between the two cities, Mr. Vladimir Danailov, CEO of the Sofia Investment Agency, and Mr. Gerhard Hirczi, CEO of the Vienna Business Agency, signed the new Agreement for cooperation focused on networking, knowledge-exchange and business support to companies that want to start operations in the partner capital.
‘Unlike the function of many memorandums, this one is not just a piece of decoration to ornament our offices, it’s a working paper’, Gerhard Hirczi said right before signing the new agreement.
The City-to-City Agreement targets companies from various sectors, such as Financial technologies, ICT, Creative Industries, Biotechnology and Life Sciences, and others. For the last twelve months, our business agencies managed to organise several networking events that create business opportunities and facilitate the internationalisation and expansion of Bulgarian and Austrian companies in our partner cities.
The first success story under the City-to-City Agreement is the Bulgarian Evrotrust Technology, which entered the Austrian market with its innovative and unique mobile application for remote electronic identification and remote signing of documents with a qualified e-signature.
Sofia is the first Eastern European city with which the Austrian capital partners on such level.
It has been a great first year of cooperation between our cities and we hope to make the next one even better!
We would like to thank Missia23 for being such a wonderful host and celebrating our first anniversary with us.
Sofia-based companies from all sectors interested in internationalization opportunities aiming at business expansion may contact the Investment and Business Development Department at Sofia Investment Agency.
Previous Sofia-Vienna City-to-City networking events:
Eleven Sofia-based Fintech and Biotech companies in “25 Hours in Vienna”
The Invest Sofia team presented the investment opportunities and development trends in the construction and real estate sector in Sofia during the first ever panel dedicated to Bulgaria at Expo Real.
Expo Real, the largest B2B trade real estate fair in Europe, took place in Munich on October 7 – 9. Invest Sofia is involved as an institutional partner presenting Sofia for the second consecutive year at the invitation of the Association of Commercial Building Owners in Bulgaria (ACBO).
During the panel, we provided up-to-date information about the office spaces, retail spaces, logistics and industrial areas, investment opportunities and the general economic and investment environment in the city. More than 100 representatives of international companies, investment funds, hotel chains and high-tech industry companies joined the discussion at Hall A1 right next to the Bulgarian Booth at Messe Munchen.
AHK Bulgarien (German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce) is the official representative of Messe München in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria has been present at Expo Real since 2012. In 2018, Sofia was present as a city for the first time in the history of Messe München and the adjacent International Congress Center, where dozens of international forums, including EXPO REAL, are being held throughout the year. This year, the Bulgarian stand at Expo Real was even bigger – 120 m². Eleven Bulgarian companies presented their projects within the exhibition.
Expo Real 2019 welcomed over 45 000 participants from 72 countries. During the fair, our team participated in a series of meetings with stakeholders from various countries.
As a next step, we plan to invite an international delegation of key stakeholders interested in real estate and construction investment opportunities to Sofia.
The Energy and City Cyber Security Bulgaria 2019 Forum, part of the European Cybersecurity Month, took place on October 4th at the Sofia Military Academy. The event was organized by the Education and Innovations Energy Cyber Security Platform*, the European Commission in Bulgaria and the National Committee of Bulgaria to the World Energy Council.
The event was opened by the Head of the Military Academy “G. S. Rakovski” Major-General Dr. Grudi Angelov, the Mayor of Sofia Municipality Mrs. Yordanka Fandakova, the Minister of Energy Mrs. Temenuzhka Petkova and the Deputy Chairman of the Energy Committee at the 44th National Assembly Mr. Dimitar Boychev. Mrs. Maria Gabriel, ЕU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, joined the Forum with a special video address.
The main goal of the event was to present the cyber security policies related to the energy sector and the development of smart cities and to discuss the challenges facing the Bulgarian energy and Bulgarian cities related to their digital transition
The main aim of the event was to present the cybersecurity policies related to the energy sector and the smart cities development, and to start a discussion on the challenges faced by the Bulgarian energy sector and the Bulgarian cities during their digital transition.
In this regard, the topic of digital transformation in cities was particularly relevant. As part of the panel on urban aspects, the Invest Sofia team presented their work on the topic of digitalization and gave an overview of Sofia’s Digital Transformation Strategy.
The Sofia Digital Transformation Strategy was developed as a result of Sofia’s participation in the Digital Cities Challenge project. Sofia Investment Agency started work on the subject at the beginning of 2018. The Strategy was developed with the advisory support and methodology of the European Commission, as well as with the involvement of over 100 stakeholders from the ecosystem.
The Sofia Digital Transformation Strategy focuses on four priority areas: e-government, utilities, transport, and ICT startup ecosystem. The mission of the strategy is to define an action plan and actions that strengthen the business ecosystem of the ICT sector located in Sofia and to:
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.