Starting-Up in Sofia, Bulgaria
Although Bulgaria’s economic boom hit a wall in 2009, the tech sector is growing and is the main focus of the country’s start-up activity. A financially friendly environment, already flowing investment and highly skilled people have placed capital city Sofia a hub for young people that want to start a business. Today it’s hailed as a great city to startup.
Sofia’s ecosystem is vibrant, inclusive and supportive and the local talent pool is well-educated thanks to Bulgaria’s tradition of technical schooling. The local ecosystem is recognised as being a hugely tight-knit community, in the IT industry for example there is a real spirit of collaboration. Instead of competing against each other companies are open to exchanging clients, contacts and knowledge. Due to the size of the local market Bulgarian startups tend to focus on the global market, not the local one which gives an interesting perspective.
The new Sofia Investment Agency aims to make the city “one of the coolest places in Europe to start a new business. Sofia Tech Park was created specially to support start-ups. The main goal of the €50 million technology park is to link local businesses and universities and support them to foster innovation. Through various projects they hope to boost the development of research, innovation and technological capabilities of Bulgaria.
Sofia is one of the oldest cities of Europe and the grey communist-era cityscape is beautified by golden Orthodox domes, leafy parks and the grandeur of the surrounding mountains. It has a unique mix of East meets Western Europe and there are plenty of lively bars and restaurants. The low cost of living and low overheads mean the city can provide all the necessary facilities and support at very affordable rates, when compared with other European cities.
Would you consider relocating to Sofia for a career in tech? Check out our roles here.