Bulgaria to become Balkans’ tech capital and Europe’s next big thing


Many articles are suggesting how Bulgaria may be Europe’s next big thing, or how Bulgaria is striving to become Balkans’ tech capital. Maybe Bulgaria already is the tech capital in the Balkans, and has become Europe’s next big thing for some time now.

According to an article published by Venture Beat last year, “Bulgaria has the highest average reputation among top users in the world.” According to the analysis, Bulgaria has a top user’s score of 57.21 per capita with 40 users that have a reputation of 5,000 or higher. “If you are top user in Bulgaria, chances are you a total Stack Overflow rockstar.”

Bulgaria, as one of the most developed countries in the Balkans and in Europe, for a relatively long time has been known for its strategic geographic location. Being an agricultural country with a predominantly rural population in 1980s, Bulgaria has managed to transform into an industrial economy with a well-developed energy sector and ICT sector.

“Bulgaria is striving to catch up with central Europe, where economies based on low-cost manufacturing and exports are shifting to innovative and creative industries. A generation of westernised engineers and programmers with a global outlook now underpins the country’s emergence as the technology capital of the Balkans. Computer science and engineering graduates are no longer migrating in droves to the US and Germany. Local companies employ about 40,000 software engineers while the IT sector contributes more than 3 per cent of the country’s output, compared with less than 1 per cent four years ago,” according to a recent article published on Financial Times.

Many Bulgarian cities such as Sofia, Ruse, and Plovdiv, have been transformed into tech hubs, providing great nearshoring opportunities for IT companies in Europe willing to invest in countries like Bulgaria due to lack of IT professionals and developers in their respective countries.

Innovation has been part of Bulgaria’s ICT flourishing period long enough to attract attention not only from Western European Countries, but also globally.

According to the president of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev, Bulgaria can become an ‘engine’ and a regional information and communications technology hub in Europe. “We see ICT clusters as an important part of the development of the Bulgarian economy,” said Plevneliev during a meeting with the European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip in April 2015.

As with anything good comes something bad, “some entrepreneurs worry that a looming skills shortage risks undermining Bulgaria’s regional IT hub hopes.” Roddy Dervishev, founder of Sibiz said in an interview with the Financial Times that “Universities don’t have the resources to teach cutting-edge skills so we’re going to face a situation where demand outstrips supply.”

We have yet to see how much more Bulgaria is going to develop in the coming years, and how many more investors are going to decide to make the decision of investing in Bulgaria’s main cities and in its IT sector.


Image Source: Operation World

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