CESA Nominations Are Now Open


CESA (Central European Startup Awards) National Finale will be held for a 5th consecutive year in Bulgaria! This year it is The Bulgarian Startup Association (BESCO) hosting the event (BESCO).


The nominations are now open.
Nominate yourself or a startup / ecosystem player in one or more of the following categories:

⭐️Startup of the Year

⭐️Best Newcomer

⭐️Founder of the Year

⭐️Best Social Impact Startup

⭐️Investor of the Year

⭐️Best Fintech Startup

⭐️Best Coworking Space

⭐️Best Accelerator/Incubator Program

⭐️Ecosystem Hero of the Year

⭐️Best Virtual Teamwork solution


Nominations are open until August 31 at the following link: 



You can nominate anyone, including yourself. The finalists will be announced on 12 October and will take part in the National Finale – CESA Bulgaria. It will be held in Sofia in the middle of November. The winners will participate in the Regional Finals for Central- and Eastern Europe at the beginning of December with the finalists from Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.


The European Innovation Council Equity Fund for High-Impact Innovation Is Now an Official Entity

The EIC Fund, which will provide equity from €0.5m to €15m to breakthrough innovation companies selected for EIC Accelerator blended finance support (grant and equity), has become an official entity. This is the first time the European Commission will make such direct equity investments in companies, with ownership stakes expected to be in general from 10% to 25% in start-up companies. The European Investment Bank, as advisors of the EIC Fund on behalf of the European Commission, will manage the ownership stakes of the European Commission.

The EIC Fund fills the funding gap at the start-up stage where the EU venture capital market underperforms compared to the global venture capital market.


Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

“The EIC Fund – the first of its kind – will help our most innovative start-ups and SMEs rapidly bring their innovative products to European and global markets, while growing their companies and talent within the EU. Currently, so much economic growth and jobs potential are lost because these companies are seen as too high-risk for the private venture capital market.”

From 2021, the EIC Fund will be financed by the EIC to be established under Horizon Europe – the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme (2021-2027). Depending on the demand and quality of proposals, it is expected that at least one third of the EIC budget, currently proposed at €10bn, will be in the form of equity managed by the EIC Fund. Furthermore, the EIC Fund will increase financing for high-impact innovation by crowding-in private investment, co-investing with venture capital funds, national promotional banks, corporate venture funds and other private investors.

In addition to equity funding, EIC Accelerator-supported companies receive grant funding of up to €2.5 million and have access to mentoring, business coaching and matchmaking with investors, corporates and likeminded entrepreneurs.

For more information on how can you get involved, a list of the companies in EIC Accelerator programme and facts about the EIC Fund, please follow the link https://ec.europa.eu/research/eic/index.cfm?pg=investing


Source: Official Statement by the European Commission 


Upcoming Events in Sofia


The fifteenth edition of the annual Strategic Infrastructure and Investment Conference 2020 will focus on the priorities, strategies and financing models in Bulgaria and Southeast European countries, as well as on the current state of large-scale transport, energy and environmental infrastructure projects.





Urban Tech just launched a series of monthly online webinar events dedicated to urban tech solutions that help cities shorten the road to recovery from the COVID19 crisis. 

Experts from Sofia Municipality were invited to take part in the Smart cities – urban tech solutions to shorten the road to recovery webinar to be held on July 9, 15:00 – 15:45 BST / 16:00 – 16:45 CEST. 

In the upcoming meeting together with Manchester-UK represented by MIDAS Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency, we are going to discuss:

  • Practical examples of tech solutions that have been introduced to help respond to the challenges caused by pandemics.
  • How are cities equipped to cope with COVID-19 and what lessons can we learn from each other to future-proof?
  • Has enough attention been paid to implementing solutions?
  • How can innovation and technology help overcome obstacles to recovery?
  • How to plan a post-pandemic-resistant city – obstacles versus opportunities.

Register now!



ELECTRONICA 2020 will continue the discussion on the state and prospects for the development of Bulgarian electronics research, education, and industry in the globalized international economy and considering Bulgaria’s EU membership. During the event, papers discussing theoretical and applied electronics submitted by Bulgarian and foreign specialists will be presented. Bulgarian and foreign companies are planned to participate in ELECTRONICA 2020, incl. in the round table and the expo part to be organized.


– Biometrical Engineering
– Circuits and Systems
– Education and Learning technologies
– Instrumentation and Measurement
– Industrial Electronics
– Information and Communication Technologies
– Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics
– Power Electronics
– Mechatronic Systems
– Advanced Materials



Global Azure Bulgaria 2020 is the Bulgarian edition of Global Windows Azure – a global community event for the public cloud platform Windows Azure. The sixth local edition of the event will take place on August 29, 2020 at Sofia Tech Park.

The event will be focused on technical sessions in several tracks. In addition to this great learning


Sofia City News

The five outdoor swimming pools with water slides and the SPA area of Vazrazhdane Park in Sofia are already open for visitors. The complex has mineral pools and fountains for pouring mineral water. You can view all offered services of the Aqua Zone on its official website

Sofia Municipality invested BGN 9.5 million of municipal funds and a low-interest loan under the Regions in Growth Operational Programme through the Sustainable Cities Fund so that Vazrazhdane Park could include an aqua park and an indoor pool for Sofia’s citizens of all ages.


Ten new Siemens metro trains have been purchased for Line 3 of the Sofia metro and 10 new trams have been provided to replace old ones and renew Sofia’s public transport. The procedure for the delivery of 30 new Skoda Solaris trolleys with a rechargeable battery system has been completed as well. The procedures for another 25 new trams and 30 electric buses are currently under evaluation. The funding for the new vehicles comes from the Environment Operational Programme as part of the activities of the Sofia Municipality to improve air quality.


Sofia Municipality’s “Vacation” Programme organizes for another year in a row sports and opendoor activities with free access for children and young people. Games and sports opportunities will be available throughout the whole summer. You can find detailed information about the “Vacation” Programme of Sofia Municipality here .

Regional administrations also join the Programme with a variety of activities. The schedule is published here.