Bulgarian startups are developing solutions according to the latest global technological trends, with 47% of them offering world-class innovation, which is 18% more than last year. This is one of the main findings of the InnovationShip 2019 survey presented yesterday at the Digital Trajectories conference. InnovationShip is run by the open digital network EDIT of the MOVE.BG Foundation for the fourth consecutive year and analyzes innovative start-up, micro, small and medium-sized businesses in Bulgaria.
Another major trend in the report is the emergence of a new wave of deep tech startups, with 32% developing artificial intelligence and machine learning, 28% developing big data analytics, and one in five innovative companies developing blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Sasha Bezuhanova, founder of MOVE.BG and initiator of the EDIT Open Digital Development Network, shared at the conference yesterday: “Bulgarian digital innovators are developing advanced tech and business solutions in line with the big trends in the global economy. The InnovationShip 2019 survey proves the next level of maturity of the Bulgarian startup ecosystem and reaffirms the role of Bulgaria as a key center of gravity for innovation in the region. ”said Ms. Bezuhanova and added:
“Those positive dynamics can be further strengthened if public authorities create a special policy in supporting infrastructure for startups and SMEs. Modernization of the university programs in line with the technological and societal development trends can expand the potential of the innovators of tomorrow significantly. The study confirms those needs. ”
STARTUPS ON A MISSION
For the second year in a row, the InnovationShip survey, honoring the relevance of sustainable development and social entrepreneurship, examines the importance of social impact for companies in the Bulgarian digital ecosystem. 57% of participants in the survey share that having a social impact is a major focus of their organization.
Among the major challenges facing Bulgarian innovative digital enterprises is timely access to finance (36%) and qualified experts (33%), as well as lack of institutional support (31%), as well as easy access to administrative services (25%).
For the next year, MOVE.BG and the organizations from the EDIT Open Network have made their recommendations for improving the environment, based on their annual InnovationShip 2019 survey, including improving the legal framework for startups, reducing administrative burdens and encouraging investment .
The full InnovationShip 2019 report can be downloaded for free from the EDIT website.
This year’s survey included 233 innovative micro, small, medium and startup companies. The analysis of the data was carried out by the Center for Modeling of Socio-Economic Systems at St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. InnovationShip 2019 was held in partnership with over 30 organizations for innovative development and non-formal digital education, venture funds, co-working spaces, digital hubs and for the second year was supported by the Bulgarian Development Bank.
MOVE.BG is a think and do tank and a platform for value creators. MOVE.BG is looking for innovative solutions for social transformation, working for sustainable development, affirming a culture of constructive dialog, participating leadership, and shared values. Since its establishment in 2013 MOVE.BG has partnered with over 60 Bulgarian and foreign organizations and has worked with more than 2,200 volunteers. The founders of MOVE.BG launched EDIT- a program which aims to support digital innovation as a driving factor in the local economy.
EDIT stands for Economic Development via Innovation and Technology and was initiated in 2016 by the MOVE.BG Foundation in partnership with a broad coalition of startup ecosystem stakeholders in Bulgaria. EDIT was created to address the needs of the micro, small and startup businesses in the information technolovgy industry forming the fastest growing and most innovative economic sector of Bulgaria. EDIT conducts the annual national survey measuring economic data of Bulgaria’s top digital and innovative businesses. EDITs program includes variety of activities such as online trainings, topical researches, reports, policy recommendation papers, conferences, and field work across the country in support of the innovative economy in Bulgaria.