The fifth edition of Innovation Explorer took place in a crowded hall on February 22. Again, it met the expectations to give stage to the ideas of tomorrow and the ambassadors of the future. Organised by Innovation Starter together with Capital, the 2019 release of the technology forum was titled Beyond Ultimate Frontiers of Technology and Humans.
We have come a long way to develop Sofia’s technology industry from an outsourcing centre into a sector that not only provides high-quality products and services, but develops and invents them here, CEO of Sofia Investment Agency Vladimir Danailov said in his opening remarks. Here is an excerpt of his welcome address.
‘Sofia has a great story to tell! My team and I have had the privilege to be telling this story on behalf of the city for the past two years. We are telling it in Europe and the rest of the world. It is a story of Humans and Technology and built up on 3 pillars:
The first: It has never been a better time for entrepreneurship and scaling companies, in and from Bulgaria, than now! We have a vibrant startup ecosystem, 15+ VC funds, incubators and accelerators, access to market. The trust and the image of our business and companies in our 12th year as an EU member are at its greatest level ever. We are turning “made in Bulgaria” into a quality brand and reshaping the image of Bulgaria and Sofia.
The second: We already have a strong technology brand! We have come a long way to develop our technology sector from outsourcing into high-level technology projects done in Sofia. We climbed the ladder of the value chain and our companies are no longer preferred only because of the lower prices – they are preferred because of the high level of excellence they deliver. Moreover, we already invent products and solutions here.
The third, and most inspiring thing: people are coming back to Bulgaria. They are coming back home. The brain drain is starting to reverse. So many bright Bulgarians choose to come back to Sofia after graduation or after spending several years of working abroad. They come back to start a business, to develop a career and to raise their children here. They find challenging and interesting business projects here, a good standard of living and comfortable lifestyle, innovation and business friendly environment.’
Приветствени думи от кмета Йорданка Фандъкова и от главния изпълнителен директор на Столичната агенция за инвестиции…
The conference gathered intriguing speakers such as Robert Bauer, former CIA case officer, the magician Johannes Alinhac (Butzi) and Steven Thomas, US Department of Health Director, among others. All presentations from the conference are available on the website of the event here.