It’s great that you want to start your company in Bulgaria! Or that you want to get to know the startup community better. Or you’re simply on holidays and you’re looking to meet some new people from the area. That’s just as great. To do so, though, you would probably need to know who’s there, what they do, and where you can find them. So we thought a list of the most prominent startup events, organisations, and coworking hubs in not just one but three cities – Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna – could only make things easier. Here they come! In case we’ve missed something, make sure to hitus up!
Sofia University Photo credit: © Plamen Agov • studiolemontree.com, License: WikiCommons
Start It Smart was founded in 2009 with the goal to connect people with ideas, businesses, accelerators and successful entrepreneurs. Since then, its team have been organising networking events, lectures, discussions, and pitching competitions.
StartUP Foundation also aims to support the startup ecosystem by organising events with hand-picked guest speakers from fields spanning IT, sales, marketing, and more.
BNC Sofia, or the Business & Networking Club Sofia, offers monthly networking meet-ups, business seminars and trainings, and various opportunities for participants to raise awareness of their projects. Their next big event is in mid-September.
Still to come!
Sofia Tech Park is a project by the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism, which, once completed, will aim to accelerate innovation and communication technology in the country. A startup city within the bigger city.
Open Coffee Sofia is a meet-up created with the goal to encourage entrepreneurs, developers and investors to get together, network and collaborate.
HackFMI is a three-day hackathon starting on a Friday evening and ending the following Sunday. It includes idea pitching, coding and eventually, prototype creation. The goal is to have a hackathon every semester, giving students a regular opportunity to participate.
StartUP Conference is a two-day event by the StartUP Foundation that brings together entrepreneurs, investors and experts for presentations, panels and networking.
3Challenge is a tournament by Start It Smart that offers startups the opportunity to develop an idea into a full-functioning company in three steps. Read more here.
DigitalK is an annual one-day conference by the Bulgarian weekly business newspaper Capital. The event offers a platform for entrepreneurs, investors, professionals from the creative industries and marketing experts to talk about technology and the web.
init Lab is Sofia’s hackerspace and the oldest coworking space in the city.
4 Lozenets Str.
The Roof is the coworking space of the Eleven accelerator.
4 Gurko Str.
LAUNCHub, Sofia-based accelerator/seed fund
Eleven, Sofia-based accelerator/seed fund
Varna Photo credit: Kamen Kunchev, Flickr http://bit.ly/173OmpJ
NewBiz Club Varna organises weekly networking events for the local business and entrepreneurial community, just like its branch in Sofia. They take place every Wednesday starting at 18:30. Additionally, the club in Varna hosts seminars and public discussions.
Founder2be is a co-founder matching event, which made its debut in Varna earlier this month. The goal was to bring together people who are looking to find a co-founder or simply join a startup. A second event has not yet been planned, but in the meantime, you can read a recap of their first one here.
Biz2bizi organises investment-entrepreneurial forums that take place every few months. Every event consists of a keynote speech, a panel discussion, and a final part where the audience has the chance to solve a business case. Check their website for the next dates.
Startup Weekend Varna was, in the words of locals, possibly the biggest entrepreneurship the city has ever hosted. It first took place in May this year, and there might be a second one in the pipeline any time soon.
Other useful contact(s)
Galin Zhelyazkov, entrepreneur
Available on LinkedIn.
Plovdiv Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis, Flickr http://bit.ly/13GQtmn
The Centre for Entrepreneurship is part of the Technical University in Plovdiv and aims to inform and educate the community about entrepreneurship as well as to support startups from the region.
Other useful contact(s)
Martin Nankov, co-organiser of Startup Weekend Plovdiv
Available per email.