Sofia Tech Park organizes a program to support innovators and startups

Sofia Tech Park organizes a program to support innovators and startups

Sofia Tech Park organizes a program, which will support innovators and startup companies all over the country. The basic guidelines of the future program were presented yesterday during the conference Investum Supersonic, organized by The  Science and Technology Park  and was held in The Innovation Forum “John Atanasoff”. The event brought together leading investors, entrepreneurs and people with innovative ideas and thinking, thus setting the main platform for expression, support and encouragement of enterprising Bulgarians with innovative projects for products and services.

The member of the Management board of STP Natanail Stefanov explained in front of the participants that the program of Sofia Tech Park will be focused on applied science and commercialization of research developments. He announced that the initiative will be implemented in partnership with Source Institute, which is leading international organization for entrepreneurial education. Source Institute has developed programs for University of Oxford, London Business School, Royal academy for engineering as well as some of the world’s leading accelerators such as Techstars, Seedcamp and 500 Startups. The purpose of the program for innovators is to attract innovative people from Bulgaria and the Balkan region. The main activities will be presented to scientific community on a tour through the country. The program will provide a wide range of opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs such as mentoring, trainings, forums, workshops and networking to present their ideas and exchange experiences. “The program is aimed for the people”, said Stefanov. For more information, please write to incubator@sofiatech.bg

During the conference the first informal meeting of the Anonymous Innovators Club was held to enable inventors and innovators from all over the country to be seen and supported so that they could pass through their ideas to a next level of development and make them a successful venture.

Inventors and startups shared their own problems and obstacles on their way to developing their projects and received valuable advices from mentors, including global leading experts – Rob Newell, Laurent Sinai Sinelnikoff, Victor Schiller, Goergi Gunchev, Salim Virani. “Sofia Municipality supports innovative start-ups through the Municipal Investment Agency as well as with its accelerator “Start-up Sofia”, highlighted the Deputy Mayor of Sofia, Yoanna Hristova, during her speech at the forum. The Municipal Laboratory of Innovation “Sofia Lab” works with young people and students. Hristova pointed out that the Municipal Guarantee Fund for Support of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises has already consulted over 10 startups and has exported its office in the Sofia Tech Park’ Incubator. She stated that Municipality of Sofia has signed two memorandums of agreements with London and Vienna and is working in cooperation with other cities on the digitalization.

“Bulgaria is one of the leading countries for its development of the start-up ecosystem, which had started 10 years ago with the launch of the Jeremy program,  funding   21 million euros investment in start-up companies “ , said Smilena Kostova, advisor to the Minister of Economy  Emil Karanikolov. She pointed out that an important factor for the development of the innovation ecosystem in our country is Sofia Tech Park, being in progress of becoming a location for e regional and national researches and innovative companies. Kostova pointed out that the policy for the promotion of innovative ideas was implemented by the Ministry of Economy with the support of financial instruments such as: Fund for Accelerating and Initial Financing, Venture Capital Fund with funds from Operation Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” as well as the Jeremy initiative. The Ministry of Economy is also supporting some legislative initiatives, working with the Bulgarian Start-up Association – BESCO, aimed to improve the conditions for starting a business in Bulgaria.

Investum Supersonic’s partners from“Gargarage” held a start-up demo day of the companies from their pre-acceleration program, which presented their projects to the audience of the forum. Five of the winners received awards, including the Sofia Tech Park Special Prize – consultations from the experts of Sofia Tech Park in various areas of the entrepreneurship and the development of the innovative ideas. Eleven leading investors from the country set outan overview of the current investment climate in Bulgaria, the start-up business projects that are being sought for support and the opportunities provided by the local business to  start-ups.

The main partners of the event were: the Bulgarian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) , the Source Institute, the Bulgarian Start-up Association – BESCO and Able Activator. The co – organizer of the conference was the company Impact Enterprise, which deals with technological business solutions and helps Bulgarian companies to enter into the North American market. The conference is sponsored by Hyundai, Forton, Raiffeisen Bank, Sciantwith media support  of “24-hour”, Economic.bg, Bloomberg TV, Investor.bg, Darik Radio, Profit.bg, Novini.bg, Neftelimov.com, Media Bricks.

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