On February 4, 2019, Sofia Municipality launched a call for project proposals within a pilot programme for innovative, start-up and social entrepreneurs, Accelerator Start-up Sofia. The project proposals will be submitted from February 4, 2019 to 17:00 hours on February 28, 2019, only electronically on the website www.evropa-so.bg under the heading Apply here. The Guidelines and the Application Form, as well as the Methodology for Evaluation and Ranking of Projects, are published on the website www.evropa-so.bg.
The Accelerator Start-up Sofia Programme aims to facilitate accelerated access to funding for innovative, start-up and social entrepreneurs on the territory of Sofia Municipality by supporting them in developing and presenting well-substantiated proposals to potential investors and funding organizations, by increasing their capacity for efficient interaction with the banking sector and encouraging them to develop and promote innovative high value-added products and services.
Accelerator Start-up Sofia is implemented in pursuance of the main objectives and the flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy and of the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialization (ISSS) of Sofia and is a joint platform for action among the Municipal Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises at Sofia Municipality (MGFSME), the Sofia Municipal Privatization and Investment Agency (SMPIA) and the Europe Programme of Sofia Municipality.
The pilot edition will be carried out in two integrated stages operating in parallel for a period of up to four months - financing in the form of a competition-based grant programme totalling BGN 100 000 (one hundred thousand), implemented by MGFSME and the Europe Programme, and mentoring (consultancy) programme, implemented by SMPIA.
Accelerator Start-up Sofia will provide support for projects that demonstrate, develop and/ or improve an innovative product (commodity or service) or process falling within the scope of the main thematic priorities of ISSS of Sofia.
Support will be provided also for establishing new and expanding the activities of already existing social enterprises in connection with employment through psychological support and motivation of persons from vulnerable groups and creation of suitable conditions for their professional integration in the sphere of the social economy.
The Programme will provide mentoring, communication and institutional support to innovative, start-up and social entrepreneurs through educational and consulting activities and providing access to network of contacts, shared workspace and environment. Beneficiaries will be prepared for the next stages in their development to attract successfully partners and strategic investors.
The implementation of the pilot stage will use the experience of the Europe Programme to provide financial support for innovative and digital initiatives of non-governmental organizations as well as the experience of the Sofia Development Association in support of innovation and digital technologies.