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
Bulgaria ranks 37th among 162 countries and territories in this year’s Economic Freedom Index by Fraser Institute (in comparison, Bulgaria was 46th in 2018). This is Bulgaria’s highest position in the Index and our country had the same rank in 2009. Between 2009 and 2015, there was a drop in the country’s ranking, and since 2015 Bulgaria has been climbing the charts every year.
In terms of individual categories, the best performance was in the following indicators: freedom to trade internationally, stable currency, credit market regulations, starting a business. Again, the lowest performance is in the regulations and administrative requirements for doing business and the legal system and property rights indicators.
Among the European countries, Bulgaria ranks behind Romania, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany, but performs better than France, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Belgium.
This year, the Coface TOP 500 ranking of the largest companies in Central and Eastern Europe includes a record 20 Bulgarian companies – three more than last year. Thus, Bulgaria ranks 7th in terms of the number of companies in the CEE Top 500.
The total 2018 revenues of Bulgarian companies in the ranking reached EUR 21.585 billion and the net profit – EUR 195 million.
According to the data, the total revenues of the 500 largest companies in the region increased by as much as 9.6% to EUR 698 billion. 78.8% of the companies recorded an increase in revenue compared to the previous year.
Poland, Hungary and Romania have the biggest number of companies in Coface TOP 500.
Bulgaria ranks 11th in the Expat Insider rankings of InterNations – a social network of the world’s largest expat community with over 3.5 million members. The company surveyed 20,000 respondents about the life and work of expats in 64 destinations worldwide
Our country has been included in the ranking only for a second consecutive year, climbing 10 positions compared to the 2018 Index, when it was ranked 21st.
The survey includes information on emigrants’ satisfaction with the quality of life and cost of living, accommodation, working life and family life.
Foreigners who live and work in our country value their personal
The construction of a new large-scale office project – Park Lane Office Center – has started. The building is located in one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods in Sofia – Hladilnika.
The project is in close proximity to the largest shopping mall in Sofia – Paradise Center, Vitosha Metro Station and important arterial roads such as Cherni Vrah Blvd. and Nikola Vaptsarov Blvd. connecting to the central part of the capital, and to the Southern Arc of the Sofia Ring Road leading to the periphery of the city. In recent years, the area has developed as one of the emerging office zones in Sofia with a large number of IT, BPO, trade and financial companies.
The Park Lane Office Center will comprise 11 floors, with a total built-up area of 34,900 sq. m, of which 23,500 sq. m will be offices and retail spaces, and 11,400 sq. m of underground space.
The building is designed to meet all modern requirements for a Class A office environment and is expected to be completed in mid-2021.
The new Vazrazhdane Aqua Park is expected to be put into operation in early November. The indoor pool, part of the facility, will have six corridors with a depth of 1.8 m in the deep end and 1.35 m in the shallow end. Five more outdoor pools will function in the water park along with a launch pad for the water slides.
The next stages of work include the construction of an irrigation system and the planting of 600 trees. There will also be a special corner for citizens to fill mineral water.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the road section from the Tsarigradsko Shosse junction to Mladost junction will be held soon. The 6-kilometer stretch will be two-way with three lanes each way, two local lanes and sidewalks. The intersection with the larger thoroughfares in the area will be implemented through four road junctions. In addition, three pedestrian overpasses and bridges will be constructed. The project includes the reconstruction of water supply, sewerage and gas distribution networks, as well as the relocation of engineering facilities, telecommunications, etc.
The construction of the section will remove the transit traffic from the capital and improve the traffic flow along Trans-European Corridor No. V. The section is of great importance as it connects the Struma and Trakiya Motorways and brings the transit traffic from the
The Sofia Founder Institute just published the first version of the Sofia Startup Ecosystem Canvas to help entrepreneurs in Sofia find the resources they need, and to bring attention to some partner organizations. The Canvas contains a list of over 300 accelerators, incubators, investors, and more to help entrepreneurs build businesses in Sofia.
We are glad to announce that Sofia Investment Agency is also part of the Startup Ecosystem Canvas. The Agency lists among the governmental resources in support of entrepreneurs at the launch stage of their projects.
The project is still in a work-in-progress stage. If you have comments please contribute to the collaborative Google Doc, and Founder Institute will include all the collected input into the next update.
Founder Institute is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator. It helps entrepreneurs to traction and receive funding through a support network of startup experts and investors. Leaders of the world’s fastest-growing companies have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, transition from employee to entrepreneur, and more.
Based in Silicon Valley and with chapters across 180+ cities and 65+ countries, the Founder Institute’s mission is to empower talented and motivated people to build impactful technology-enabled companies worldwide.
HackConf is among Bulgaria’s premier software development conferences. Organized “by developers, for developers”, it covers a wide range of software development topics, regardless of the tech stack.
The 5th edition of the event will include a full day of workshops on 11th of October, and two parallel tracks of talks during both conference days – 12th and 13th of October.
Sofia Motor Show
Sofia Motor Show is the most prestigious automotive forum in the country. It will present the latest trends in the industry to the many fans of cars and to all visitors whose business is related to the automotive industry,
A number of exhibits will be shown in Bulgaria, and some of the most impressive motorcycles will be seen among the exhibits. It will be able to touch up to 50 car premieres and innovations.
Building Innovation Forum 2019
Building Innovation Forum 2019 will provide a platform for leading professionals in the design and implementation of large-scale building projects to share important trends and good practices in industry-relevant topics.
Main accents of the upcoming edition will be:
The Next Big Thing
How the global business will react to the economic forecasts? What measures Bulgarian business will take? What are the consequences of the trade war? How technological changes, new 5G network and cybersecurity are shaping industries of the future?
These and many more topics will be discussed by top experts during the 4th edition of the business conference The Next Big Thing organized by Bloomberg TV Bulgaria. The event will take place on October 17th, 2019 in Sofia, hall 6, National Palace of Culture.
DevReach has long established itself as one of the premier developer conferences in Central and Eastern Europe. Having just celebrated 10 year anniversary last year, it is time to take DevReach to new heights and advance the cause of learning the latest in software
The Bulgarian Fintech Association just published the first comprehensive report about the Fintech sector in the country. The research was conducted in cooperation with SEE News and provides extensive information about each of the elements in the industry – overview of the fintech ecosystem, market analysis of the companies, and the regulatory landscape in Bulgaria.
According to the report, the estimated number of Bulgarian Fintech companies is 65, which is higher than in any other SEE countries. The key findings of the report are indicative of the vitality of the Fintech landscape in the country. On average, a Bulgarian Fintech company is six years old as of April 2019. However, more than half of the companies were established after 2015, thus reflecting the key role of startups in the fintech ecosystem. In the last three years the total operating revenue of the fintech sector has more than doubled, maintaining a steady increase of approximately 33.5% on an annual basis.
Sofia is the heart of the Bulgarian fintech ecosystem with 54 of the identified Fintech companies being headquartered there. The city is one of the fastest growing destinations in SEE and is becoming the fintech centre of the CEE region as well.
The fintech enterprises cover a wide variety of fintech segments such as: Blockchain/Crypto; Capital Markets; Insurance (Insurtech); Lending; Payments/Billing; Personal Finance. Payments and billing solutions are the most preferred development field for the Bulgarian fintech companies with nearly 1/3 of them operating in the segment.
Download the full Report for free from the website of the Bulgarian Fintech Association here.