Sofia is in eighth place in the ranking of the best European cities for young graduates to move to. According to one of the six criteria evaluated – rental housing, the capital ranks first among all 32 cities in the survey.
The ranking is by the website Digitalinformationworld.com and uses data about the cities from Numbeo, Eurostat and Eurobarometer. The final evaluation is based on the scores in six different indicators: Rent, Cost of Living, Economy, Presence of other international graduates, Sports & fitness opportunities and Entertainment & culture.
The ranking places Sofia among other attractive cities for young people such as Manchester, Berlin, Stockholm, Vienna and others. Glasgow, Prague and Munich ranked top three.
For another year, Sofia’s Vitosha Blvd. has climbed in the ranking of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. In the 31st annual survey, Sofia’s shopping street climbed to 47th place out of a total of 65 markets in the final ranking. This is one position higher than in last year’s edition.
For the last year, the lease prices in the Sofia boulevard have increased by 12% and the monthly rent currently amounts to an average of €56 per square meter.
Main Streets across the World by consultancy Cushman & Wakefield, with Forton as a partner in Bulgaria, explores a total of 448 commercial destinations worldwide. Again, the main shopping streets in Hong Kong, New York and London are the most expensive. Paris, Milan, Barcelona and Vienna occupy the top positions among European cities. Among the eastern European capitals, the highest prices for retail space are paid in Prague, at €235 /m2 in monthly rent and 18th position in the ranking.
Sofia is the number one fintech destination in terms of price performance in the fDi Fintech Locations of the Future 2019/20 ranking.
The survey included 52 locations ranked in five categories: Economic Potential, Foreign Direct Investment, Innovation and Attractiveness, Connectivity and Cost Effectiveness.
The top three fintech destinations in the overall ranking are London, Singapore and Belfast.
Bulgaria is down two positions – to 61st from 59th in the World Bank’s ranking Doing Business 2020.
The report of the financial institution assesses the economies of the countries according to business environment reforms, poverty levels, regulatory efficiency, entrepreneurship promotion, start-up and entrepreneurial environment, innovation, access to credit and investment.
New Zealand again tops the charts, followed by Singapore
This year’s PropTech StartUp & Scaleup Europe Awards, is the 2nd edition of the European initiative that gives visibility and support to the most promising start-ups and scale-ups in the field of innovation and disruptive transformation in the real estate sector.
PropTech Startup & Scale-up Europe Awards 2019 were officially launched on October 10th, 2019 at the Committee of the Regions (EU) in Brussels and are supported and promoted by the European Commission & Finnova Foundation, by the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Committee of the Regions, the Vice-President of the Economic and Social Committee and members from the European Parliament.
This second edition of the PropTech Startups and Scale-ups Europe will be composed of 2 main divisions: Startups and Scale-ups.
Definition of ‘scale-up’ for this purpose: if you meet at least 2 of these 3 conditions: (1) created 5 years ago, or more, (2) turnover of more than 2 million, (3) are active in 3 geographical markets.
October 10th, 2019
Launching and grand opening of the applications:
January 1st, 2020
Closing of the applications
February 1st to March 30th, 2020
Judging by Jury Members
May 4th, 2020
Semi-finals: the best 25 PropTech Startups and best 25 PropTech Scale-ups of Europe come and pitch in live in Brussels during 1 day
The best 5 PropTech Startups and the best 5 PropTech Scale-Ups do a live pitch event at MIPIM PropTech
Finance & Invest, Design & Build, Market & Transact, Manage & Operate, Live & Work
50 judges (captains of industry: C-level, board members, Head of Innovation) will rate the startups and scale-ups.
The Jury members representing Bulgaria in the Competition are as follows:
Value of €10,000 of facilitation services
European Exposure and recognition
Access to funding and investors through the European commission
50 best startups will be invited to Brussels On May 4th for a live-pitch session.
Now open until January 1st
The HiReach Startup Lab is an Accelerator Program for innovative transportation solutions that address transport poverty in Europe. HiReach supports startups that improve the accessibility of urban and rural areas and are adapted to the needs of vulnerable citizens.
Good accessibility helps the European economy to thrive, promotes inclusion and fosters wellbeing. Transport poverty is not only a social problem, but also a market opportunity for new mobility solutions to reduce time and cost, or even trigger new mobility needs.
The program offers start-ups who create mobility solutions for vulnerable groups a unique opportunity to prototype their solution with the support of a dedicated host/mentor company, professional business coaching and visibility/pitch opportunities, and financial support up to 20.000 Euro. The top 5-10 startups will showcase at the ITS European Conference in Lisbon in May 2020m and pitch at the final showcase event in Brussels in September 2020.
You can apply for HiReach until January 8th 2020 here.
This info package provides you with everything you need to know about the program. If you have further questions, please contact Sylvia Pavlova, PrEXCELerator Bulgaria at email@example.com.
PrEXCELerator Bulgaria is Communication Partner of Impact Hub Vienna for Bulgaria on the HiReach program.
HiReach supports innovative transportation startups that can improve mobility in urban, peripheral, rural, remote and deprived areas, while addressing the needs of vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly, women, people with reduced mobility, migrants, minorities, as well as people with low income and the unemployed.
HiReach support projects that are in concept stage or with a product prototype or MVP, incorporated or not yet incorporated, tackling a mobility-related problem through an innovative solution including but not limited to: informal ride-sharing and vanpooling services, community transport services, innovative ride-hailing mobility services, on-demand flexible public transport, smart vehicles, smart cities, open-source software, parking, logistics, customized mobility, accessibility, navigation information, data & IoT, smart infrastructures, service design, passenger experience, environment, safety and security in mobility.
Bulgaria ranks 45th among 140 countries as a destination for tourism and travel according to the World Economic Forum. The country is third in the CEE region after Poland and Slovenia.
Bulgaria performs very well in Health and Hygiene, ICT Readiness, Environmental Sustainability and Tourism Infrastructure and lags behind in Security, Air Transport Infrastructure and Land and Port Infrastructure.
Three European countries – Spain, France and Germany – are at the top of the ranking.
Bulgaria climbs two places in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of the World Economic Forum. Thus, the country ranks 49th among 141 economies in the world.
The Global Index is based on the scores in 103 indicators organised in 12 categories. Bulgaria’s performance in most indicators has improved, and there is a decrease only in healthcare and product markets among the 12 main categories.
Bulgaria also climbed in another ranking – the Enabling Digitalization Index of the Euler Hermès commercial credit insurance company. The country advanced 11 positions compared to the previous year and now ranks 47th among 115 countries.
The Index focuses on the conditions for business development through digitalization or, respectively, on the risks of possible delays.
Bulgaria has good scores in the Regulation and Connectivity categories and is ahead of Serbia, Romania, Turkey, Croatia and Montenegro in the region, and behind the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary. The 2019 leader is again the United States, followed by Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For the first time, China is in the Top 10 in the Index.
A survey among the members of the Franco-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that 46% of the French companies in Bulgaria are planning to invest in buildings, machinery, equipment and facilities in 2019. Regarding new hires, about 70% said they have plans for employing more people, but also that human capital is the biggest challenge for the French business in Bulgaria. In view of the difficulties in finding skilled personnel, 65% of the companies stated plans to invest in staff training.
According to the survey, 61% of French entrepreneurs expect the economic situation to remain unchanged next year, 28% expect improvement, and 9% expect a deterioration.
More than 75% of the participants in the survey find our country a very attractive or a rather attractive destination for investment, and half rate the economic situation as good or very good.
According to French entrepreneurs, access to skilled workers can be improved by reducing regional disparities – for example, by increasing labour mobility between smaller cities with a high unemployment rate and larger cities, where the rate is around 2-3%.
According to the data of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), French investments in Bulgaria amounted to EUR 1.16 billion at the end of 2018 and France is ranked 13th in terms of capital investment in Bulgaria.
The Chamber added that two French companies have submitted bid papers for Sofia Airport, stating they are ready to invest nearly EUR 1 billion. This would double the total amount of French investment in the country since 1990.
Other French investments in Bulgaria include the establishment and expansion of the plant of the aircraft company Latécoère; the expansion of the Soufflet malt plant; the acquisition of Unify by Atos, which tripled the number of employees in Sofia, and the Sofia office was named the best workplace among all Atos offices worldwide. The automotive sector is represented by Monea and Montupet; the aircraft industry by Latécoère, Technofy, Dassault Systèmes; energy and renewable energy sources – by Akuo energie.
For more details on the study, check out the interview with Stéphane Delahaye, president of the Franco-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Vesela Todorova-Mosettig, director of the Franco-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on Bloomberg TV Bulgaria.
RELOGIA | Trialogues 2019 – an exclusive annual international Art+Sci+Tech event in Bulgaria and Europe, comes with its first edition HUMAN DIMENSION.
RELOGIA is designed as a scalable interdisciplinary research & communication platform. It acts as an integrative and creative instrument of the pillars of Culture – Art, Science and Technology – brought together in a variety of aspects by researchers, professionals and artists. Its purpose is to develop integrative interdisciplinary methodologies to serve the dynamic multifaceted context we live in today – with scientific, educational, social and cultural impacts.
The event program includes three modules: Conference, Exhibition and Workshops – where leading experts from across Europe and the world will present and discuss innovative synergies between Art+Sci+Tech via examples of their applications in research, education and culture.
The event is under the honourable Presidency of the Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria and is co-organized by Re: Foundation for Art & Science Research and the National Academy of Arts.
RELOGIA_Trialogues 2019| Edition 01 Human Dimension
FREE REGISTRATION at http://relogia.net/registration-attendees/
Registration is free and open until November 15, 2019.
Venue: National Palace of Culture, Sofia
The Future of Retail
05.11.2019, Sofia Event Centre
Retail in Detail 2019 is now The Future of Retail. The conference is focusing on the challenges and innovations that are shaping the industry.
With a fourteen-year track-record, the Retail in Detail forum, is also a platform that is connecting and supporting the entire retail ecosystem.
The event aims at identifying the new trends that have reached the Bulgarian market and focus on how they will change the business environment in the coming years. All these modifications will surely test the conventional way of doing business and open the door to new opportunities and partnerships.
The Future of Retail Forum is the local gathering point for the major and most active players on the Bulgarian market and a place to exchange valuable experience, best practices and new ideas.
Interfood & Drink
6-9.11.2019, Inter Expo Centre
Interfood & Drink is a showcase for all kinds of food processing and packaging machines, materials, systems and products in one place. The exhibition provides the opportunity to meet senior buyers and decision makers from all facets of the industry and get informed about the latest technologies of the market.
Interfood & Drink will take place for 4 days in Inter Expo Center, Sofia.
Business mission of Austrian Food Companies with B2B Meetings
07.11.2019, Inter Expo Centre
The Austrian Embassy – Commercial section organizes a Business mission of Austrian Food Companies with B2B Meetings at Inter Expo Center in Sofia (Administrative part), 2nd floor, “Vihren” Hall on November 7th, 2019.
The Austrian companies are looking for sales representatives and end customers for their products.
If you would like to participate, please contact the organizers.
Austrian Show Case Mining industry and Metallurgy
12.11.2019, Holiday Inn Hotel
The Austrian Embassy-Commercial section with the support of the Bulgarian Mining Chamber and the Bulgarian Metallurgy Association are organizing an Austrian Showcase Mining industry and metallurgy in Holiday Inn Hotel on 12. November 2019, 14:00 – 18:00 o’clock. The representatives of Austrian companies with extensive experience and know-how in the industries will present their products and solutions in Sofia.
Follow the link for the list of participating Austrian companies and contact the organizers to confirm your presence.
Eastern European Gaming Summit
19-20.11.2019, Inter Expo Centre
The Eastern European Gaming Summit (EEGS) is the annual gaming conference focused on the latest regulatory and technological
The public transport park in Sofia will increase with 137 new electric trams, buses and trolleybuses. The investment amounts to BGN 261.4 million, of which BGN 218 million are provided by the Environment Operational Program 2014-2020.
The use of modern environmentally friendly urban transport is expected to reduce the amount of fine particulate matter by 4.81 tonnes per year.
A total of 25 new low-floor articulated trams will be driving on existing tramlines. Outdated vehicles will be replaced by 30 new low-floor articulated trolleybuses and 82 new electric buses. The new electric buses will cover existing bus lines as well as newly opened lines with a connecting function to the metro and tram system networks.
The stations “Blvd. Bulgaria” and “Krasno Selo” of the third metro line are complete. Trains and track management systems are being tested. Passengers will travel on 20 new trains manufactured by Siemens.
Line 3 features a new generation of automation, traffic safety and management systems. At the stations, there are automatic safety fences with a height of 1.6 m. They are made of glass and are synchronised with the doors of the trains.
Two airlines are starting to operate new flights from Sofia Airport.
The Austrian low-cost airline Lauda will fly between Sofia and Vienna 5 days a week. As of spring 2020, there will be flights from Burgas to Vienna as well.
The German airline Eurowings launches two destinations from Sofia – to Stuttgart and Dusseldorf. Both services offer connections to other airports in Europe to which Eurowings carries passengers, as well as long-haul flights.
The development plan for the transformation of the newly discovered Neolithic settlement Slatina into an archaeological park is ready. The project envisages the park to have a protective cover and a visitor centre.
The early Neolithic settlement of Slatina dates back from around 6100 – 5500 BC. It is among the most ancient in the Balkans and unveils interesting facts about the first inhabitants who lived on the territory of present-day Sofia.
The application procedure for projects for the creation and development of regional innovation centres is under way until 20 January 2020. The call is under the Innovation and Competitiveness 2014-2020 Operational Program, Priority Axis 1: Technological Development and Innovation.
The procedure is aimed at projects focused on creating a working partnership between business and science for the benefit of the regional economy. The purpose of the procedure is to build and develop modern research and innovation infrastructure for conducting open-type applied research, contributing to the accelerated economic and social development of the Bulgarian regions.
Questions and requests for clarification on the Application Conditions are accepted up to three weeks before the deadline for submission of project proposals in the order indicated here.
You will find the necessary documents and details of the application conditions here.
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and UniCredit Bulbank have signed a guarantee agreement to provide loans to start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with reduced collateral requirements and no guarantee fee. Bulgarian companies will receive BGN 210 million for investments and working capital.
The guarantee scheme will have a duration of three years and 50% of the credit risk of the loans will be guaranteed under the COSME program.
The program focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within a wide range of economic activities and start-ups in the early stages of development and in need of financing through a convertible loan.
The Fund of Funds has selected an intermediary for the first Mezzanine Fund, aimed entirely at Bulgaria. The financing will support Bulgarian SMEs in an advanced stage of development and with a plan for expansion and improvement of the business, including for entering new markets.
The fund manager for the Mezzanine /Growth Fund will be Bulgarian Mezzanine Partners DZZD, which will manage BGN 75.3 million in public funds and additional private funding of at least BGN 28.5 million.
The amount of investments in each enterprise will range between BGN 4.9 million and BGN 13.7 million. The instrument’s investment period will run until the end of 2023.
The size of the outsourcing sector in Bulgaria amounts to EUR 2.4 billion for 2018. This fact is identified by the data in the Annual Report of the AISBEST for the development of the outsourcing industry in the country. Last year, outsourcing contributed 5.2% to Bulgaria’s GDP compared to 4.8% in 2017. The outsourcing industry’s results for 2018 are better than expected- the operating revenue grew at 19.5% surpassing the 15.8%, predicted by last year’s report. If the positive trend persists, the industry’s revenue is expected to double to EUR 4.8 billion and contribute up to 9.2% of the country’s GDP by 2022.
The annual analysis is created by SeeNews and includes data about 583 Bulgarian companies dealing with business processes outsourcing (BPO) and IT outsourcing (ITO) in 2018. The ratio between the two outsourcing subsegments is almost offset, with a slight advantage for ITO (only 3 companies more).
The outsourcing sector accounts for 2% of the Bulgarian labor market. More than 73,600 people were employed in the industry at the end of 2018 (over 9% growth in comparison to last year). The number is estimated to exceed 80,000 people by 2022. Meanwhile, the outsourcing industry generates 8.5% of all salary costs in the economy for 2018. This indicates that the salaries in the sector are many times higher than the country’s average. Outsourcing companies also account for 7% of all social security contributions paid in the economy during the year.
The analysis highlights the double growth in the number of Shared Services Centers (SSC) operating in the country as one of the important development trends for the Bulgarian market during last year. More than 1/5 of all employees in the industry are engaged in this subsector. The employment rate in this type of companies has grown up to 25% during last year. Due to the size of SSC and the high quality services provided in Bulgaria for their mother-companies, this subsector also accounts for the largest contribution to the state in terms of paid salaries and benefits in absolute terms.
“We have witnessed significant transformations in the sector since the establishment of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association in 2012. We went from an industry, almost entirely cost-oriented to a sector that creates added value through innovation, technology product development, modern business services and solutions.
Robotics Strategy Forum 2019 is the first of its kind specialized forum on robotics and automation in Bulgaria, which aims to gather all stakeholders and build a comprehensive strategy for the robotics sector in Bulgaria.
The event will be held jointly by the Professional Association of Robotics and Automation (PARA), the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), and the hosts at the Inter Expo Center on October 22nd.
Leading Bulgarian and international experts in the field of robotics, automation, machine learning, simulations, autonomous systems, infrastructure for electric vehicles and many more will join the Forum as speakers.
The panels will be joined by representatives of the government administration, the Bulgarian industry, educational institutions, international strategic investors, consultants, industrial zone managers and start-ups.
For more information about the Forum, please visit the official website of the event.
The event is free of charge, but requires pre-registration here.
The second edition of Sofia Game Night will take place on November 2nd. The event is organized by the Goethe-Institute and Game Dev Summit, with the support of the Elysee German-French Cultural Fund and the French Institute Sofia, with the general partnership of the Stars Group, and the partnership of ESL and Ozone.bg.
More than 35 locations in Sofia will offer visitors an intriguing program, dedicated to the various aspects of games: exhibitions, diverse forms of gaming, workshops, cosplay competition and manga night, tournaments, sensory city trips, concerts, board games and a variety of other events aimed at professionals and amateurs of all ages.
Sofia Game Night is an open initiative. Companies working in the game industry and digital entertainment, independent organizations, game clubs, independent developers, artists etc. are invited to participate.
The organizers will take special care of the youngest visitors of Sofia Game Night – the children’s program this year will include three times more events than in 2018.
The main goal of the organizers is to support and give visibility to the gaming / game development scene and to everybody working in this field in Sofia and Bulgaria: ‘We believe that this branch of the creative industry is not yet well-known to the general public, although in recent years it is developing at an extremely fast pace and has a huge potential for growth and development in the future. We hope that for a second consecutive year Sofia Game Night will become a meeting point for professionals, amateurs and people who get in touch with the exciting world of gaming for the first time; a platform that will give them the opportunity to explore the rich potential of games for both education and entertainment, as well as their ability to reflect important social and political topics.’
For the first time, thanks to the Elysee German-French Fund, Sofia Game Night also takes on the role of event producer and financially supports projects selected following an open invitation, such as events that explore the artistic and social potential of games, international guest appearances and more.
Another highlight of the Sofia Game Night program is the third edition of the Games Made