SOFIA’s PLACE – the exhibition zone dedicated to Sofia at Webit.Festival Europe 2019 – welcomed hundreds of guests for a third consecutive year. Our team organized a special two-day program of ‘Sofia’s Place’ with focus on international partnerships and access to financing and mentorship.
The program included 20 speakers from 5 countries, over 13 presentations, and a one-hour accelerator. You can find the whole two-day program here.
Invest Sofia: Promoting Investments in Sofia
Sofia Investment Agency is the first regional instrument for economic development in Bulgaria. We work on activities and initiatives related to the 9 priority industries of the city, as well as on projects addressing the digitalization of Sofia.
A major part of our work is dedicated to helping businesses in Sofia find international partners and go global. For this purpose, we establish cooperation programs with other cities and develop initiatives for fostering the relationship with the Bulgarian diaspora abroad. We have handled over 170 inquiries from investors interested in setting up their business in Sofia.
Click here to download the presentation of Sofia Investment Agency.
Accelerator Startup Sofia
The Municipal Guarantee Fund for SMEs (MGFSME) and Sofia Investment Agency presented their joint pilot program for innovative start-ups and social entrepreneurs “Accelerator Startup Sofia”. The project is implemented in partnership with “Program Europe” of Sofia Municipality.
The thirteen finalists of the Accelerator presented their projects in front of the guests of “Sofia’s Place’. MGFSME also introduced their guarantee instruments in support of the development of small and medium businesses in Sofia. The presentation is available for download here.
One-hour acceleration program for startups with Source Institute
More than 20 startups joined the one-hour accelerator of Salim Virani, founder of the international institute for entrepreneurship education Source Institute. The participating entrepreneurs took part in several practical exercises based on four important issues that business founders face: reducing risk, researching monetizable customer needs, product launch & iteration, and management by the metrics
Opportunities for cooperation with Vienna, Amsterdam and Göteborg
Guest lecturers from Vienna Business Agency, Technordic & Business Region Göteborg, Sweden and The Next Web Amsterdam presented their activities in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation as well as the opportunities for cooperation and support programs that would facilitate the expansion of Sofia-based companies in these markets.
Funds and organizations supporting the business in Sofia
The European Investment Fund (EIF), the Fund of Funds, the Sustainable Cities Fund, Sofia Tech Park, the Bulgarian Startup Association BESCO, Founder Institute and the CEO Angels Club provided an overview of the start-up ecosystem and funding opportunities in Sofia and the region.
Download the presentations > >
Success Stories from Sofia
Sofia Development Association and Green Sofia presented the computer games developed during the first edition of the Hack & Design Challenge, as well as the winners of the 2019 Datathon (Data Science Hackathon), dedicated to the modelling of the static air polluting factors in Sofia
During the “Smart City” panel, the team of Theoremus presented the role of data and the importance of its collection and analysis for Sofia’s urban development and its transformation into a smart city.
The team of educational center Technokrati demonstrated a small clean energy hydrogen fuel cell car, explained the mechanism behind the fuel cells and harvested hydrogen in real time.
Webit’s youngest presenters – at ‘SOFIA’s PLACE’
Our youngest presenters – Yavor Mihailov from Sofia High School of Mathematics and Mihail Georgiev, a first-year university student, – also took part in the “Smart City” panel and presented their developments for smart city solutions, 3D mapping and urban environment object recognition.
Take a look at the presentations:
‘SOFIA’s PLACE’ welcomed the team of Maria’s World Foundation – a social project supported by the Municipality of Sofia, aimed at improving the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, as well as helping their personal realization by providing access to quality services and suitable employment.
This year, hosts in the SOFIA’s PLACE tent were Sofia Investment Agency, Sofia Development Association, Sofia Tourism Administration, Green Sofia, Sofia Municipal Guarantee Fund for SMEs and Sofia Urban Mobility Centre. We were all united by the mission to develop the potential of our city to the full extent. Find the best moments from the two-day program in our SOFIA’s PLACE gallery.
We thank all the presenters, visitors and partners who were part of the two-day program of ‘SOFIA’s PLACE’.
For additional information about the presented programs and instruments in support of Sofia’s companies, please contact the Investment & Business Development Department of Sofia Investment Agency.