Plovdiv might be the oldest European living city, but in recent years it has quickly developed into a leading tech startup hub—not only in Europe, but the world at large. This attractive city located on the picturesque Balkan peninsula is fast becoming the destination of choice for digital nomads and young entrepreneurs.
But what exactly makes this city an ideal hub for tech innovation? Here are 9 reasons why Plovdiv may soon be giving Silicon Valley a run for its money.
9. A rising workforce of young, highly-skilled professionals.
The city plays host to numerous events held by young, energetic professionals with novel ideas and ambitious endeavors. Plovdiv offers young professionals and entrepreneurs an unsurpassed quality of living for the cost: a plethora of good restaurants and cafes, fast internet connections, modern apartments, and more.
8. A rapidly expanding IT industry.
Plovdiv’s fast growing IT industry is growing at an accelerated rate, a trend that has attracted foreign tech investors in developing the local tech startup community. The city’s business process outsourcing (BPO) space is currently over 5,000 employees strong.
7. Low cost of real estate and apartment/office rentals.
Due to the low cost of renting an apartment or office space in the city, firms from Sofia and Varna are increasingly setting up shop in Plovdiv. And with some of Europe’s lowest real estate prices, apartments and housing continue to be a more affordable option when compared with nearby cities.
6. An abundance of professional events and networking opportunities.
Unlike other big European cities, Plovdiv’s tight-knit community makes it easier to meet key people and make lasting professional connections in the business arena. A plethora of events like the renowned International Fair Plovdiv, Kapanafest, and others provide a constant influx of global exposure and exchange.
5. Resources and funding from European Union.
Thanks to European funding, the development of future projects and tech startups in the city is on an accelerated path. The EU recently named Plovdiv the 2019 European Capital of Culture in Bulgaria.
4. The fastest internet connection speeds in the world.
Bulgaria is famous for its high-speed internet—the country ranks 3rd in Europe in this department. Despite this, the cost of monthly internet service is relatively low and within reason.
3. The presence of innovative tech firms from abroad.
Foreign companies such as American sensor manufacturer Sensata Technologies have invested in Plovdiv’s future as a tech hub, and have provided the city’s professionals with a wide range of career opportunities.
2. A growing global reputation as a manufacturing powerhouse.
Because its low tax rates, Plovdiv has become a high-tech manufacturing hub—especially when it comes to the automotive industry. Nearly 100 foreign enterprises have employed over 33, 000 people to produce components for over 20 auto companies: Peugeot, BMW, and Mercedes, to name a few.
1. A wide range of institutions of higher learning.
Plovdiv has 9 universities, the largest being the Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv. Other include the Medical University of Plovdiv and the University of Food Technology.
In short, the constant influx of highly skilled and ambitious entrepreneurs coupled with foreign investors seeking new talent continued to transform Plovdiv into a formidable hub of tech innovation. Be sure to keep this dynamic city and its tech startups on your radar in the coming months and years.