Enterprise Europe Network at the BCCI provides full assistance for the overall organization, registration and attendance of the upcoming events described below. If you need additional information, you can contact the organization at the contact details listed below:
European Innovation and Information Center
Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Phone: +359 2/ 8117 525 / 515/ 505/ 417
Bilateral business meetings at KAVALAEXPO 2018, Greece
The international exhibition KAVALAEXPO 2018 aims to support business and improve the economic environment in the region. Traditionally, the event is attended by more than 120 exhibitors and 10,000 visitors from Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria and other Balkan countries. The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry can help you to take part at the event as exhibitors and/or participants in B2B meetings with potential partners.
The exhibition will be held from 05.10.2018 to 09.10.2018 in Kavala, Greece.
Business meetings will take place on 06.10.2018 /Saturday/.
The scope of KAVALAEXPO 2018 comprises the following sectors:
Services, trade, clothing and footwear, furniture, household appliances, food and beverage, marble and stone products, building materials, machinery and equipment, wooden constructions, etc.
Deadline for registration: September 10, 2018
Bilateral business meetings in Peru at Alpaca Moda 2018
The meetings will be held on October 22-27 in Arequipa, Peru. The event is among the most important international events related to fashion and trade in authentic Peruvian wool textile products. It aims to present offers for export of Peruvian producers and exporters of textile products made from Peruvian wool-alpaca. The invitation targets international buyers, importers and distributors of textile garments from a number of countries, including those from Europe.
The main product categories and sectors include:
Industrial production of textile products
Woolen technical textile for industrial purposes
Clothes and shoe stores
Coats, cardigans, blankets, sweaters, scarves and accessories (including jewelry)
Other consumer products
Bilateral business meetings are organized by the Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Board – PROMPERU, which is part of the Enterprise Europe Network in the country. The Peruvian organization will bear the costs (air tickets, domestic transport and accommodation) of the selected, preliminary approved participants.
To register, you need to complete the registration form here by selecting the Buyer option.
The deadline is September 30, 2018
Here is the link to the event.
Bilateral business meetings in Izmit at MATCH4INDUSTRY BUSINESS MATCHMAKING EVENT, Turkey
Bilateral business meetings will
Bulgaria remains in the top 20 of the annual ranking for the most attractive outsourcing destinations of the consulting company A.T. Kearney. The index of the consultancy comprises 55 countries and is calculated on the basis of three indicators – financial attractiveness, availability and qualification of staff and business environment.
In 2015, our country was in the top ten but in recent years it has been constantly stepping back, mainly due to increase of taxes, insurance and regulation costs. Nevertheless, in general the business climate remains stable and our country is a competitive destination for outsourcing, retaining its leading position before the Czech Republic, Romania, Germany and the UK. The country’s profile includes large investments in services outsourced by Coca-Cola HVS, Uber and Service Source.
Since the first edition of the index in 2004 the top three positions are held by India, China and Asia Minor.
Puzl CowOrKing, the largest coworking space in Sofia, announced its plans to build Puzl IT Hubs in the big cities of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in the coming years. The first destinations will be Bucharest, Budapest and Prague.
In recent months, Puzl has explored various cities and industrial buildings offering enough space to build new Puzl IT hubs to unite and develop local technology companies of all sizes, research centers, innovation labs, IT schools. The expansion aims to harness the potential of the CEE countries and to enable local companies to succeed globally by building a network of connected Puzl technology centers.
Puzl CowOrKing opened doors in Sofia 5 years ago and today it offers 3 separate spaces in two of the buildings of the former Vitosha factory on Cherni Vrah Blvd and houses some 600 people – a community of people and companies in the field of technology and innovations. Puzl CowOrKing plans to further expand in the capital – with a top floor space that combines a roof-top restaurant, a coworking and event space.
In 2017, Puzl CowOrKing won the “Best Coworking Space” award at the regional final of the Central European Startup Awards. This year Puzl was nominated again in the same category.
The Bulgarian Fintech Sector has own Association, which is quickly spreading its network of partners and members. The Bulgarian Fintech Association aims at providing a common ground for the fintech businesses in Bulgaria and developing the industry.
The Association was founded by prominent professionals in the area, who desire to establish a strong network of fintech companies with shared values. Founding members are Paynetics – an e-money payment institution providing acquiring and issuing services, Penkov, Markov and Partners – one of the largest law companies in Bulgaria and Kaloyan Ratchev of Vangavis, an innovation company with strong expertise in the fintech industry. Chairman of the Association is Mr. Valeri Valtchev – serial entrepreneur and investor, who has devoted the past few years to creating innovative fintech startups able to compete on a global scale. Guergana Stoitchkova is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Association.
In Bulgaria, Fintech has become a very trending word with the emergence of a number of innovative new companies in the areas of payments, financial services, security. According to a Unicredit report, Bulgaria ranks first in the CEE by number of fintech companies. While many fintech companies are striving to provide an alternative to bank services, banks are showing increasing interest in the fintech solutions and are constantly seeking ways to implement financial innovations in their structures. Interest in the field is shown from all sides: from investors, financial institutions, regulators, governmental bodies.
The mission of the Bulgarian Fintech Association is to create a platform bringing together all parties in Bulgaria with interest in Financial Technologies and to provide a common ground for communication, knowledge transfer and exchange of ideas. The Bulgarian Fintech Association aims at becoming the face of the Fintech in Bulgaria and to represent the shared values of its members before regulators, investors, financial institutions, foreign associations, partners and any other party.
Among the Association’s goals are to strengthen Bulgaria’s position as a FinTech center in the region, to incentivize entrepreneurship in the field of financial technologies and digital innovations, to raise the issue of integrating innovative financial technologies into the traditional financial industry and to increase public awareness of this sector and the most notable innovations within it.
The Association will hold a kickoff event in the autumn open to everyone who would like to learn more about its future plans or is interested in becoming a member. In the
For one year, the assets managed by local and foreign investment funds operating in Bulgaria grew by 21.2% (BGN 657.2 million) and reached a total of BGN 3.762 billion at the end of June, according to the latest statistics of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB). By comparison, they amounted to BGN 3.105 billion a year ago. The quarterly investment growth was 2.8% (BGN 102.5 million).
As a percentage of GDP, the total amount of assets of local and foreign investment funds at the end of the second quarter reached 3.6%, compared to 3.1% of GDP a year ago and 3.5% at the end of the first quarter of 2018. Special purpose vehicles (SPV) with real estate securitization are not included in the investment funds, BNB said.
Compared to the first three months, investments went up by BGN 17.9 million (2.5%) in Bulgaria and by BGN 11.5 million (5%) in the other EU countries.
For one year, the investment funds increased by 78 and totaled 1055 by 30 June, which was a decrease of 14 funds on a quarterly basis. Foreign investment funds grew by 62 to 924, while local funds rose by only 16 per year reaching a total of 131, according to preliminary data from the BNB. In the last three months, 15 foreign and one Bulgarian investment fund have withdrawn.
You can find the complete BNB statistics in the document here.
Bulgaria is 11-th in the world in share of greenfield foreign direct investment, according to the latest edition of Greenfield FDI Performance Index 2017. The term “greenfield investment” is used for projects where a company enters a new market and starts business from scratch.
The Greenfield FDI Performance Index annual survey is conducted by fDi Intelligence, the Financial Times Data Analysis Department, which fDi Magazine is part of. The index comprises data for 92 countries and takes up the ratio of green investments to the size of the economy of each country (its GDP).
Bulgaria ranks 11th in the world and fifth among the countries of Emerging Europe with a score of 5.11, which shows that Bulgaria is attracting five times more green investments than expected, given its economy. The last year’s leader – Serbia – is placed 2nd in the list with 11.60. Luxembourg tops the list of Western European countries with 4.38 followed by Ireland and Finland. Spain takes up the 50th place and France drops out of TOP 50.
The full index is available here.
The first 20 electric buses and 82 natural gas buses that are expected to arrive in Sofia by the end of the year have already been produced. In 2019, another 60 new articulated natural gas buses will be purchased. Thus, in 2019, 90% of city transport buses will be renewed and the average age of the fleet will be 6-7 years. By contrast, in 2012, when Sofia Municipality launched its public transport modernization program, the average age of the buses was over 20 years.
The delivery of the new metro trains for the third line of Sofia metro has been launched. The new trains are manufactured by Siemens and are equipped with all modern conveniences for the passengers, as well as with automatic control – automatic starting, automatic braking with an accuracy of up to 20 cm, automatic speed control and road profile. In addition, the stations of the third line will have partition walls for additional passenger safety.
A new system of 22 measuring devices will monitor the air pollution levels in Sofia. The devices will cover the entire territory of the capital and are planned to be operational in 2019. Currently, a public procurement procedure for the implementation of the project is underway with funds from “Effective Use of New AIRTHINGS Technologies for Clean Ambient Air” financed by the Balkan – Mediterranean Program (2014-2020) of the EU.
At present, air quality control is monitored by the national control system, managed by the Executive Environment Agency (EEA), as well as two other networks created by civic initiatives, such as airtube.info and airbg.info, which bring together data from many independent stations to measure fine particulate levels. The desire of Sofia Municipality to have its own system is driven by the fact that the sensors of the EEA do not fully cover the territory of the city and the private networks operate with data from different sensors and the results cannot be considered official.
In addition to the sensors, an Open Data System will also be developed and maintained under the project, to visualize and store all data on ambient air quality. They will be provided to external developers to create different types of applications and services.
Sofia is a leading partner in the AIRTHINGS project as of the end of 2017. Other partners are administrations, educational institutions and NGOs from the cities
Bulgarian American Credit Bank (BACB) and Sofia Municipality announced the launch of a joint program to finance innovative start-ups. The special guarantee scheme of the Municipal Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises is already open for application.
The priority areas of the program are innovations in the field of information and communication technologies, as well as new technologies in the creative and reactive industries.
Start-up companies willing to participate in the program, established no more than 3 years ago and based on the territory of Sofia Municipality, are eligible to apply.
Female entrepreneurs with a Bachelor’s degree in one of the fields of the project, businesses with social and environmental impact, as well as businesses that create new jobs, will be given priority in the program. Guarantees of up to 50% will be secured by the program, as the maximum guarantee amount of the Municipal Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises is BGN 30 000. The guarantee commitment lasts for a period of up to 60 months.
The State Fund of Funds chose the managers of the first two funds to finance start-ups with public resources. A total of BGN 64.7 million of startup capital is provided to the Bulgarian-Italian joint venture AD – Ventures, where Cleantech Bulgaria is a leading partner, and to Next Tech Ventures. The funds are to be used for equity investment in start-ups and for boosting the growth of already established innovative companies.
The new funds were created as a result of the partnership between a public financial instrument – the Seed/Acceleration and Start-up Fund (SASF) co-financed under the ‘Innovation and Competitiveness’ Operational Program on one hand, and the selected private sector partners on the other. Under the terms of the SASF, fund managers will need to add their own funds, as well as to attract private co-investors to the deals.
AD – Ventures joint venture will manage a fund with an initial capital of EUR 14 million and has proposed a total of 215 enterprises for initial investment. Next Tech Ventures will work with already established startups at an acceleration stage and will invest a total of EUR 19.1 million in them. It has proposed a list of 45 enterprises that can be supported under this scheme.
Some 200 startups are expected to be supported within the initial 5-year period for which the funds are created.
SECOND WORKSHOP UNDER THE DIGITAL CITIES CHALLENGE PROJECT / PHASE 2
September 10, 2018
In September, Sofia Investment Agency will organize the Paths of Digital Transformation Workshop as part of the European Commission’s Digital Cities Challenge project. The workshop is part of Sofia’s participation in the Digital Cities Challenge project /Phase 2: Formulation of a Strategy for the Digital Transformation and Industrial Modernization of Sofia.
The discussion is open for new participants and will be devoted to the roadmap development and the identification of preliminary investment priorities for Sofia’s digital transformation.
If you want to learn more about the project and to book your attendance, please contact Nadia Soultanova, Head of ‘Investment and Business Development’ at Sofia Investment Agency by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEXT BLOCK CONFERENCE: EVOLUTION OF MONEY
September 14, 2018
After a hugely successful first edition in Kyiv, Ukraine, NEXT BLOCK is now coming to Sofia, Bulgaria, on September 14, 2018.
✔ 400+ attendees
✔ 25+ top speakers
✔ Exceptional networking
✔ 20mln+ media reach
✔ 500k+ social media reach
✔ Live online streaming
The event will include engaging panel discussions, fireside chats and presentations; ICO pitch session; exhibition zone where Blockchain ventures, ICOs, and other exhibitors will present latest products, and side events and parties: VIP pre-party dinner with speakers and investors only, followed up with an after-party and more.
For more information please visit the website of the event.
ANIVENTURE COMIC CON 2018
September 15-16, 2018
Aniventure is an annual two-day festival for traditional and modern Japanese culture. It brings together fans of Japanese animation – anime, manga comics, console and computer games, martial arts, cosplay and provides a platform for young talents in the field of art, the production of costumes and accessories, theater, video editing and effects.
This year Aniventure Comic Con will be held on September 15-16, 2018 at Inter Expo Center.
September 15-16, 2018
HackConf is Bulgaria’s premier “by developers, for developers“ motivational and knowledge sharing event. Topics include all walks of software development, regardless of technology stack.
HackConf 2018 lectures will be held in English. The conference will include 2 days fully packed with high-class software development talks and 1 day of interesting and hands on workshops.
Join the event on September 15-16th in the Sofia Tech Park | Innovation Forum John Atanasoff. Special workshops start Friday, September 14.
More about the vent is available
Sofia ranks 94th with an average score of 3.78 / 10 among the 100 smartest and best future prepared cities in the Smart Cities 2017 index. The index measures the extent of implementation of technologies for smart urban management – systems for pollution control, traffic, energy use, etc. The ranking analyzes and evaluates a total of 500 cities around the world. Sofia is the only Bulgarian city in TOP 100.
Smart Cities 2017 was developed by the IT company Easy Park Group, which offers digital parking services in Europe and is engaged in tracking urban parking data. The ambition of the company is to support the development of better, safer, healthier, more efficient and smarter cities of the future.
Easy Park Group has analyzed 500 cities around the world and ranked them in 7 major categories and 19 subcategories, which, according to the study, best define the concept of a “smart city”. Furthermore, an expert assessment of the development of the cities has been provided by over 20 000 journalists in the field of technology and urban planning.
Here are the scores of Sofia by categories:
The top ten cities are Copenhagen, Singapore, Stockholm, Zurich, Boston, Tokyo, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Melbourne. London is positioned 17th (with 7.18), Vienna 32nd (with 6.84), and neighbors Bucharest and Athens – 87th (4.00) and 91st (3.90) respectively.
Another ranking also places Sofia among the smartest cities – the fifth edition of the Cities in Motion Index 2018 of IESE Business School in Barcelona. The ranking positions Sofia on the 101st place among a total of 165 cities in 80 countries. The score is made up of 9 indicators: human capital, social equality, economy, environment, governance, urban planning, international cooperation and transport connectivity.
The leaders in the IESE ranking are again New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Seoul. Geographically, Europe performs best with 12 cities ranked in the top 25 positions, followed by North America with 6 cities, Asia – with 4 (all in the top 10), and Oceania – with 3.
Acronis Enters the Bulgarian Market after the Acquisition of T-Soft
The Singapore-based Acronis, an international leader in cyber security and hybrid cloud solutions, has established its presence in Sofia following the acquisition of the Bulgarian company T-Soft. The two companies have been successfully collaborating since 2012, which motivated Acronis to further explore the investment opportunities for the establishment of its own unit of the company in Sofia.
Acronis has the ambition to gradually create one of the largest engineering offices in the technology sector in Bulgaria. The company starts operations with T-Soft’s team of 25 specialists and plans to expand its staff to 300 people in the next three years. The planned investment in the amount of EUR 43 million aims to develop a key R&D center in Europe with activities that are fully focused on cyber security. The company has already announced 20 job openings for qualified personnel in Sofia.
The establishment of an R&D center in Sofia is part of Acronis’ plans to gain stable positions in Europe. After exploring a number of countries in the region for three years, including Poland, Romania, Serbia, etc., the team of Acronis chose Bulgaria due to the firm’s successful long-term partnership with T-Soft, the presence of qualified experts and the country’s membership in the European Union.
We are happy that the team of the Investment Analysis Department of Sofia Investment Agency was a partner in the process of establishing the Acronis Development Center in Sofia. The Sofia-based T-Soft contacted us for assistance in the process of negotiating the acquisition of the company. By the end of the establishment of Acronis we have provided the following services:
‘Acronis needs more engineers to develop innovative technologies to meet the growing need for cyber security.
As many local companies have expressed an interest in the Nordic markets, we are sharing an invitation to join the INNOTECH SUMMIT | DESTINATION NORDICS.
The Summit, which will be held 23-24 October in Stockholm, has been developed to create partnerships between emerging European regions, partners and vendors with Nordic IT leaders.
With over 40 speakers/thought leaders and over 200 decision-makers representing leading Nordic corporations, Emerging Europe experts, service providers, location representatives and associations, the Summit is targeted at Nordic CEOs, CIOs, CDOs, CTOs, CPOs, Heads of Strategic Sourcing & other IT-enabled business services.
The Nordic IT Association boasts 2,700 members, 98% of them end users/buyers, and together with the Alliance is gathering the very best stakeholders from their respective regions.
Amongst the confirmed speakers from the Nordic region are Peter Mikkelsen – VP & Founder of the Nordic Blockchain Association, Alexander Reay – President, Nordic IT Sourcing Association, Anders Lagerqvist – Digital Strategist, Swedish Land Registry, Mika Hakosalo – from the Grow Smarter Project, City of Stockholm and Hans Christian Boos – Managing Director, Arago.
Contributors from Emerging Europe include organisations and businesses such as HfS Research, Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, Deloitte, Hungarian Outsourcing Association, German Outsourcing Association, Pro Progressio, BW Business Bridge, NIX Solutions, Invest Lithuania and the City of Poznan.
Bulgarian stakeholders joining the Summit include Sofia Investment Agency, Musala Soft, ICB and Droxic.
With two specific time slots and dedicated matchmakers, delegates will also benefit from high value network opportunities.
Leading Transformation in the Face of Globalisation/ A New Era of IT Sourcing
Technology continues to enable and drive innovation within industries as Enterprises strive for new capabilities in this hyper competitive marketplace. In response, IT outsourcing continues to grow, with major organisations becoming completely dependent on the effective and predictable service delivery of third party partners and vendors. As this shift continues, from cost to value, companies are finding huge benefit from nearshore destinations, offering a wealth of expertise in areas such as IT & engineering, with the added benefits of a close cultural connectivity.
Nordic InnoTech 2018 has been developed to create partnerships between emerging European regions, partners and vendors with Nordic IT leaders. The Summit has an exciting interactive agenda focused on learning, in-depth knowledge of the latest trends, opportunities and threats facing the business world and its leaders during this exciting phase of transformation.
You can find out more about the