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Choosing a coworking space in Sofia: 6 factors to consider





 

Launching or establishing your business in Bulgaria is easier and cheaper than in many other European countries. However, finding an office that meets your needs and preferences is often challenging. This is particularly true for companies in the dynamic tech sector where the ability to adapt and change gear can be a matter of life and death.

 

If you’re looking for an office that offers everything you need to run and scale your business at affordable and flexible terms without the hustle of having to take care of it, you may want to consider renting an office in a coworking space.

 

To make your entrepreneurial and/or managerial life easier, below we present six factors you should consider when choosing a coworking space for your tech startup, scaleup, or mature company in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital and largest city.

 

6 factors to consider when choosing a coworking space in Sofia

 

Choosing the right coworking space for your tech business might seem like a daunting task at first. In reality, however, it shouldn’t be so difficult, provided you know what to look for.

 

Here are the six key factors you would do well to keep in mind during the search process:

 

Office capacity and capital improvements

  • Does the coworking space offer private offices of various sizes?

  • Are all offices move-in ready, or is there room for customization?

  • Are the offices equipped with suitable workstations? How much do upgrades cost?

  • How clean and safe are the offices and the shared areas?

 

Contract terms and operational expenses

  • What membership plans can you choose from?

  • How easy is it to upgrade/downgrade in response to financial, market, or other changes?

  • Is it possible to try the premises for free before you can make a decision?

  • How many months’ rent does the deposit payment amount to?

  • What is the cancellation notice period?

 

Infrastructure and security

  • How fast and secure is the internet connection? What Internet options are available? Are they included in the membership plan, or are they offered on demand?

  • How secure are the physical and the digital infrastructure? Who can access the facilities, when, and how? Is there video surveillance? Are there UPS devices in the offices and/or the shared areas?

 

Amenities and business services

  • What kind of private and shared areas are available in the coworking space?

  • What additional services can members choose from? Is company address registration available? Can members entrust the coworking space team with handling their mail and welcoming their guests? Do members have free access to refreshments such as water, coffee, and tea? Are the additional business services delivered by the coworking space operator, or by partner organizations?

  • Is the coworking space dog-friendly?

  • Do members get external discounts on products and services?

 

Community and networking

  • Does the coworking space accept anybody, or does it accept only members with a specific profile (e.g., IT specialists, tech teams, creatives, freelancers, digital nomads)?

  • What examples are there of current and/or former community members that have thrived nationally/internationally in recent years? In what ways has the coworking space helped them on their path to success?

  • Does the coworking space operator maintain close ties with tech startups and established companies, venture capital funds, startup accelerators, state agencies, and public and/or private universities in Sofia and beyond?

  • Are there enough opportunities for networking and exchanges of ideas and experience, both in formal and in casual settings?

  • What kind of public and private events, if any, are organized onsite? Does the coworking space assist members with event organization and management?

 

Accessibility and transportation

  • Is the coworking space easily accessible, both by public and by personal transport? Is the Sofia airport close?

  • Which metro/bus/tram lines stop near the coworking space?

  • Is there a parking lot onsite or nearby? If yes, is it included in the membership plan, or do members have to pay an extra fee if they want to use it? If there is no parking onsite, are there free public parking lots and/or paid parking zones near the coworking space?

  • Are state and municipal institutions, such as the revenue office of Sofia Municipality and Sofia Investment Agency, easily accessible?

  • Are there onsite bike racks and showers?

  • Are the premises accessible to people with reduced mobility?

 

The coworking space in Sofia that ticks all the right boxes

 

Now that you know what factors to consider when choosing a coworking space for your tech business in Sofia, you’re ready to start your search.

 

We’re here to make this part of the process as easy as possible by letting you in on a little secret: there’s no need to look for a state-of-art coworking space that may be the perfect home for your tech business in Sofia because we already know one such place – Campus X.

 

Campus X is an end-to-end ecosystem that brings together local and international tech startups, scaleups, and mature companies, and connects them to talent, capital, and fellow entrepreneurs.

 

Technology and innovation are in the DNA of Campus X. After all, it was founded by Boyko Iaramov, Vassil Terziev, and Svetozar Georgiev – three of the co-founders of the Bulgarian software company Telerik, which was acquired by Progress for USD 262.5 million in 2014 (the biggest software exit in Bulgaria to date). In addition, they have contributed to the development of the local startup scene as investors and mentors, while former Telerik employees have either started their own businesses or joined other leading companies in Bulgaria.

 

Among Campus X’s former and current members are the business spend-management solutions provider Payhawk (the first Bulgarian unicorn), the world’s first cargo drone airline Dronamics, the programming and digital training provider Telerik Academy, the workplace management system provider OfficeRnD, the digital agency Americaneagle.com, the digital transformation consulting company Digital Lights, the cloud consulting and integrating company Cloud Office, the healthtech startup FindMeCure, the Bulgarian branch of the audiobook and e-book subscription company Storytel, and the early-stage venture capital (VC) fund Eleven.

 

Campus X welcomed its 1500th member in 2023, just four years after we opened our fourth building, boasting an office space with a combined area of 18,000 m2.

 

Here’s what you can expect from Campus X:

 

Office capacity and capital improvements

  • Fully equipped and serviced private and shared offices for teams of 2 up to 100+ people, as well as for freelancers and remote workers

  • Move-in-ready or customizable offices based on the member’s evolving needs

  • Rigorous cleaning of private offices and shared areas every day from Monday to Friday performed by the industry leader Mundus Services

 

Contract terms and operational expenses

  • Flexible membership plans: a private office starting from EUR 179/person per month (incl. utilities), a dedicated desk in a shared office starting from EUR 169/person per month (incl. utilities), a flexible desk for a monthly fee of EUR 35 and EUR 11 for each day of use (incl. utilities)

  • Free trial period: available upon request

  • Deposit payment: varies depending on the membership plan

  • Cancellation notice: 1 month for month-to-month plans, 3 months for 1-year termed contracts, 6 months for 2-year termed contracts

Infrastructure and security

  • Custom IT services that help members streamline and enhance their business processes

  • Lightning-fast and secure internet connection

  • Access to VPN, private VLAN, SSID, and on-premises and cloud solutions

  • Support for and implementation of Microsoft 365 collaboration technologies, among them Exchange, SharePoint, and Teams

  • Integration of endpoint and device-management solutions (Intune, JAMF)

  • Assistance in meeting ISO, TISAX, and other certification requirements

  • Access to and assistance in the implementation of other IT best practices

  • Secure access 24/7 guaranteed by on-premises specialized patrol and monitoring, video surveillance, a security alarm system, and an access control system

 

Amenities and business services

  • Business-grade printers and scanners

  • UPS system and battery maintenance

  • Access to meeting rooms, phone booths, breakout zones, and event spaces

  • Onsite kitchen, restaurant, gym, parking lots, bike racks, and showers

  • Everyday facility maintenance – heating, ventilation, and air conditioning maintenance, electrical and plumbing maintenance, replacement of chairs and lamps, etc.

  • Company address registration

  • Reception and package handling

  • Access to enterprise-grade administrative, legal, finance, HR, IT, personal assistance, and facility and event management services offered by Campus X and partners such as PwC, Bica, and Telerik Academy, and accessible on demand even after relocation

  • Member discounts on external products and services

  • Dog-friendly

 

Community and networking

  • Ecosystem of collaboration-minded tech businesses, entrepreneurs, talent, and investors

  • Access to carefully curated tech, startup, business, and social events – monthly meetings bringing together the CEOs of Campus X members (Campus X Leadership Meetup) to discuss topics such as ‘How to navigate the economic downturn’ and ‘How and where do founders look for support, mentors, and help?’, workshops, Campus X partners’ events such as the inauguration of the first edition of the 12-week IBM Sofia Accelerator program, social events such as Christmas parties and bazaars, stand-up comedy nights, and wine tasting

  • Prominent former and current community members: Payhawk, Dronamics, OfficeRnD, Telerik Academy, Americaneagle.com, Digital Lights, Cloud Office, FindMeCure, VertoDigital, FITE, Eleven, Storytel Bulgaria, bunq, seneos, Infopulse

 

Accessibility and transportation

  • Accessible by car, metro, bus, and bike

  • Public transport: Alexander Malinov station (metro line 1), Block 43, Mladost 1 (bus lines 76, 88, 213, 305), Block 66, Mladost 1 (bus lines 4, 111, 314)

  • Underground and overground parking lots available

  • Close to the airport and the city center

  • Premises accessible to people with reduced mobility

 

Ready to take the next step?

 

You may be asking yourself: “Why should I consider Bulgaria as a potential destination for my tech business at all? What makes Bulgaria a better place for startups, scaleups, and established companies than the other countries in Southeast Europe?”. Fair point, but we have a fair answer.

 

Euronews Business recently listed Bulgaria as one of five countries that are among the best places to start a business in Europe, along with Ireland, the UK, Sweden, and the Netherlands. According to Euronews Business, Bulgaria is an increasingly attractive regional business hub thanks to a relatively fast company registration process, low administration costs, a corporate tax of just 10%, the availability of highly-skilled labour, and access to potential customers and partners operating in the European Single Market.

 

This assessment mirrors StartupBlink’s analysis in its latest Global Startup Ecosystem Index. The report describes Bulgaria as the leading startup ecosystem in the Balkans, with a growing population of European entrepreneurs and digital nomads, a solid digital infrastructure, a variety of support programmes, top tech professionals, and initiatives like the startup visa, which became a reality to a large extent thanks to the consistent efforts of our partner BESCO – the Bulgarian Entrepreneurial Association.

 

Having said that, we hope the information in this article will help you choose the most suitable coworking space in Sofia for your tech business.

 

If you want to join a supportive community of tech entrepreneurs and innovators and be able to focus on your core business activities in a meticulously maintained coworking space, check out our offices and contact us.

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