Proposals to Promote Entrepreneurship for over EUR 150 Million are to be Announced
Procedures for more than 150m euros aimed at promoting entrepreneurship are to be announced, Deputy Minister of Economy Alexander Manolev announced during the opening of the first exhibition for launching innovative companies Sofia Startup Expo 2018.
"We have gone a long way in a relatively short time and today we can definitely say that Bulgaria already has a start-up community and a developing ecological system." Today's event is another proof of this, "Manolev said.
"Companies like International Power Supply and Chaos Group have proven that it is possible to be based in Bulgaria and to be number one in the world in your sector," said Deputy Minister of Economy.
In his words, startups like Telerik and Vayant show how you can successfully get into the focus of leading world leaders.
Companies with Bulgarian roots, such as LeanPlum and ChoboLabs, are examples of how you can get significant funding from the Silicon Valley and develop your product from Bulgaria, Manolev said.
He also mentioned the state's support in this process. The Eleven and Launchub investment funds, created with European funding and national funds, have already invested over 20 million euros in 180 start-ups.
Under the Operational Program "Innovation and Competitiveness", 82 start-up contracts amount to over EUR 15 million. Funding is under the innovation development process.
A new procedure is being prepared under the Operational Program, which will be entirely focused on start-ups with a budget of about € 35 million.
Separately, start-up companies will be funded through the Acceleration and Initial Investment Fund, which has a budget of 51.3 million euros, Manolev said.
Together with the "Fund" Funds, a Technology Transfer Fund is also set up, for which EUR 30 million is earmarked. Through it it will be possible to finance even only the research concepts developed in universities and to support their development to the business concept stage. Such a tool has not yet been created in Central and Eastern Europe, Manolev said.
Funding opportunities will also be available under the JEREMIE Initiative, and a new fund manager is now being funded in early-stage BrightCap companies. Its portfolio is EUR 25 million, with EUR 3 million targeting start-ups. It is expected to begin investing in the third quarter of 2018.
Sofia Startup Expo 2018 (SSE) is a showcase for startups and new entrepreneurs who will showcase innovative products, technologies and services for production and everyday life related to creating convenience, efficiency and higher quality of life for people.
As a platform for innovation support, SSE aims to cover all the components needed to start and maintain a start-up innovative business.
Exhibitors and participants have start-ups, representatives of leading corporations, government agencies, incubators, investors, venture capital funds, banks, students and technology companies from the EU and the region.
The ambition of the organizers is for SSE to become the meeting place for technology developers, innovation managers and investors to build partnerships and shape the future.
The motto of the first edition of SSE is "Give Wings to Your Ideas" and takes place at Sofia Tech Park in John Atanassov Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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