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Sofia: top tech city in 2021 (and 5 reasons why)

Did you know that Bulgaria’s capital Sofia ranks among the top tech cities in the latest reports?

According to the Cities of Future 2020/21 report, Sofia ranks 20th among 80 locations. Bulgaria's capital emerges as a hotspot for innovative companies from all over the world. Here’re five reasons why:

Campus X, Sofia - high-class office spaces & amazing coworking community

1.Thriving tech industry

When asked why they expanded their business to Bulgaria, our members bunq reply without hesitation:

“Bulgaria has the needed talent in terms of language and IT skills, as well as the right mindset that matches our values of getting things done.”

bunq is one of many international companies that have expanded their operations in Sofia. Global leaders like SAP Labs, VMWare, IBM, CISCO, Uber, and others also operate large R&D centers in Sofia employing thousands of highly qualified professionals.

In fact, IT is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Bulgaria, and specifically the country’s capital Sofia. Sofia Invest's report from 2020 states that Bulgaria's capital is a regional ICT center with over 50 000 people employed in the sector.

Furthermore, Sofia ranks 2nd among the top 10 fastest growing tech centers in Europe as far as the annual growth of active members of the ecosystem is concerned. And 90% of all technology companies in Bulgaria operate in Sofia.

3 additional reasons why Sofia is a top IT destination

1. Bulgaria is the EU country with the highest share of women in ICT (31.2%)

2. Most employees in the IT sector in Sofia work in Programming (25.80%), followed by IT Consultancy (9.89%), and Data Processing, Hosting, and related activities (7.71%).

3. Bulgaria has the highest number of fintech companies in South-East Europe (over 70, most of them located in Sofia).

2.Top-notch IT and language skills

Telerik Academy, Sofia - high-quality tech talent
Telerik Academy, Sofia - high-quality tech talent

Seeking leading professionals to power your IT company? You’ll find them in Bulgaria, which has emerged as a regional talent hub in the SEE in recent years.

Most local graduates hold a higher degree of education and have a high level of foreign language proficiency, according to the National Statistical Institute and Sofia Invest's latest report.

Moreover, new University and private tech-ed programs have emerged to respond to the growing IT business demands in the country. In fact, over 30 private software academies offer short to mid-term educational programs (6 to 30 months). Courses range from programming and computer graphics to IT project management and sales. The programs are often developed in collaboration with local IT companies, tailor-made to their specific labor demands and the number of graduates exceeds several thousand.

Campus X is proud to be home to Telerik Academy – the first Bulgarian private tech-ed organization, which partners with the entire tech industry and leads the way in tech education.

“We believe that investing in the right new talent and upskilling existing talent is paramount for the growth and success of every business,” comments Telerik Academy’s CEO Alexandra Mechkova.

3. Cost-effectiveness and favorable taxes

It may not come as a big surprise that Sofia ranks 3rd in cost-effectiveness among the main European cities in 2020. Moreover, Bulgaria’s capital ranked 3d in the list of top cost-effective fintech destinations.

These findings are supported by the favorable business tax and fee rates in the country:

  • 10% corporate tax & personal income tax

  • 20% value-added tax (VAT)

  • 18.92% employer social security contribution

4. World-class digital infrastructure

If you look for enterprise-grade IT services and infrastructure, it’s worthwhile to note that Bulgaria has one of the highest Internet speeds in Europe with average connection rates of 24 MBPS for downloading and 21 MBPS for uploading. 96% of households in Bulgaria have fixed broadband coverage and 75% of them have ultrafast broadband coverage compared to 97% and 60% in the EU.

As for Bulgaria’s power sector, the country has been a net exporter of electricity in the last 10+ years and has a supply mix, including nuclear, hydro, thermal-based, and renewable energy generation. And most importantly, the price of the service for industrial use is among the lowest in the EU.

Campus X, Sofia - offices for rent, enterprise-grade IT services & infrastructure
Campus X, Sofia - enterprise-grade IT services & infrastructure

IT services are business-critical

Let’s face it: flawless network access is key for business continuity. With 1,500+ workspaces available at Campus X, we’ve set on a mission to provide flawless and uninterrupted services to all our members. As our award-winning IT Manager Sergei Biliarski explains:

Campus X’s award-winning network infrastructure by Cisco Meraki is designed with redundancy in its core. Two high-speed fiber routers connect us to the Internet using separate physical paths so that even if emergency street construction work cuts off the wrong pipe, we’re safe.

Read more about the IT and power redundancy we have secured at Campus X and how they power businesses success.

5. Easy to set up a company

Let’s wrap it up with the essentials of how to establish a business in Bulgaria.

It’s easier than in many other places around the world. For example, there’s no limitation on the share participation of foreign legal entities and individuals, as Bulgaria’s Commercial Act states. The two most popular forms of business associations in the country are the limited liability company (OOD) and the joint-stock company (AD). Here’s some practical information on the subject.

More than an office space. All you need in one place

Convinced that Sofia is the right place for your company? We've got you covered. Campus X is a leading integrated ecosystem for companies and talent in southeast Europe, which offers much more than flexible and move-in-ready office spaces, tailored to your demands,

We take care of everything so that you can focus on your business. From fully serviced modular workspaces, which evolve with your needs through a powerful community of leading companies and partners to the highest standard of safety measures during COVID-19.

Campus X, Sofia. More than an office space for rent, all you need in one place.
Campus X, Sofia. More than an office space for rent, all you need in one place.

Search our offices in real-time. With just a few clicks, you can explore our beautiful workspaces and download a quote with pricing and the scope of services.

We’ve already welcomed a number of international companies, including our friends and members bunq, Wipro, and American Eagle.

“Campus X really gave us the flexibility we are looking for in terms of more than an office space but also a community and services that enabled us to set up our first international office but also grow and scale-up fast,” says bunq’s HR & Recruitment Officer Kristiana Hadjlarska.


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