Over the past two years, interesting and important events have happened in Burgas and the region. New IT companies enter the local market, open offices and hire qualified employees. New businesses are being established, entrepreneurial activity is been growing and many companies are been stimulating projects related to initiatives of their teams. Leading, of course, is the information and communication technology sector, and the increased activity is due not only to the good local economy but also to a successful non-governmental organization – ICT Cluster – Burgas, which brings together over 30 international and Bulgarian organizations in the field of digital business and technologies.

At the core of the Cluster is the striving to develop a favourable business environment, enhancing the qualifications of employees and students, as well as effective interaction with local and state administration. Established after a long discussion and analysis process, exactly on October 4, 2016 – the birthday of the famous Bulgarian, John Atanasov, the creator of the modern computer, ICT Cluster – Burgas, continues to accumulate successful projects and visions for the future of business in Burgas and Bulgaria. Yet for years but rich in innovative initiatives, ICT Cluster – Burgas is rapidly gaining recognition at the national level. At the beginning of 2018, the cluster has become a co-founder of the Federation for the Digital Future of Bulgaria, and Petko Georgiev has been also elected as co-chair of the Federation, which unites the largest ICT clusters in the country.

Petko Georgiev is initiator and manager of Cluster “Information and Communication Technologies – Burgas”. He has been working in the field of information technology for nearly 10 years, he is a young entrepreneur, a municipal councillor and a public figure. Part of the Cluster’s successful initiatives is providing free training for students and students, attracting some of the largest companies in the Burgas branch and creating modern business and conference conditions in the region. His dream is to turn Burgas into an attractive IT centre with the help of his partners and colleagues. His mission is: To turn Burgas into the new “silicon valley” of the attractive IT centres in Bulgaria.

Thanks to the ICT Cluster – Burgas, in the seaside town, a number of IT companies have opened offices or expanded their business. Much of them, such as Sutherland, Scale Focus, BULPROS, GenSoft, ICB and 2 Plus Bulgaria, are also its founders and members. Among the successful initiatives of the Cluster have been the creation of the first Viber stickers for Burgas, downloaded and used by more than 100,000 users for the first two months after their launch, a VR application for the historical landmarks of Burgas, showing the urban environment through a fascinating virtual reality BULEVART – The creative network of the senses which gathers business and artists in Burgas to create art together and as close as possible to the people. Here are some of the interesting projects and initiatives that are coming in Burgas, thanks to the Cluster.

Effective support for entrepreneurship – a large-scale project to support people who want to develop their own businesses in Burgas and Southeastern Bulgaria, which is being implemented in partnership with the PRoWay Communication Agency. It is funded by the Operational Program “Human Resources Development” and provides exceptional efforts to find, motivate, train and provide individual consultations to future entrepreneurs. An information campaign and meetings with potential entrepreneurs are currently underway, a modern entrepreneurial training program with key lecturers will be launched, and in the final phase of the project – each entrepreneur will work individually to create an effective business plan and start a business.

Innovative Labor Portal – ITO.BG is a project supported by the ICT Cluster and is about to be finalized, ITO.BG allows young IT specialists from Burgas to work remotely for leading German companies without leaving their hometown. The ambition of the portal creators is to broaden the geographic reach of companies and experts from Burgas to work for companies around the world.

ICT Cluster – Burgas starts to work actively with BESCO – the Bulgarian Startup Association for its development in the South-East region and to stimulate the successful entrepreneurial culture. The logical partnership between the two organizations creates many opportunities and opens up new horizons for the Bulgarian entrepreneurs.

Motivated that successful entrepreneurship is a matter of both spirit and conditions – ICT Cluster – Burgas is also the basis for the first Burgas project for a co-workspace, which will be home to entrepreneurs in a few months, providing them with state-of-the-art high-tech solutions and a creative communication environment. At a central and key location in Burgas, CoWorking Space is being built a few meters from the seashore, which will impress even the most discerning digital nomads looking for their small office or shared workplace.

The development of innovative clusters is the next ambition of ICT Cluster – Burgas, for which several funding opportunities are currently been opened, both from the Bulgarian Operational Programs and at the international and corporate level. Participation with experts in discussions in working groups and during public events, as well as in the promotion of this initiative among companies and organizations in Bulgaria is an important part of the Cluster’s strategic plans.

Supporting digital transformation in the region through Digital Innovation Hubs is the latest development in the ICT Cluster Burgas. It aims to accelerate the implementation of Industry 4.0’s concept, principles and tools, as well as the use of modern digital solutions by companies and organizations for the development of digital culture. A Talent Lab will be built with a Resource Center to meet the needs of the business.

According to Petko Georgiev in Burgas, there are young people with potential and opportunities. That’s what motivated him over the years to create and develop with the help of his team and partners, attractive conditions and environment for people who have fresh ideas for initiatives and projects for their own business. ” From personal experience I can say that the people in Burgas are active, they are looking for opportunities of successful work and business here in the city and do not stop to study and increase their skills. And in this connection, IT business is one of the best opportunities for a realization which is been to offered to us today”, he says.

Source: ENTERPRISE Magazine