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Betahaus Sofia

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Bulgaria has always been a country with many faces. Throughout the long history of the country there have been many turns and twists, which have shaped the nation that lives there today. They too have many faces and while most of you know it by the diabolical mask the media is trying to promote, we will look into the good face that we are witnessing lately - willingness for change and desire to improve. Newly found companies are increasing and at the end of the day protests are organized and visited by the young and spirited people, all intertwined in a strive for a better future. This vibe that has set upon Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, has pushed us, the people who do business here, to tell you more about the country and why we are eager to see you at our coworking places. Find out more about the places Bulgaria has to offer coworkers.

This guest article is written by Yordan Penev and Angel Spasov, Betahaus Sofia

Why would Bulgaria be a good choice for your startup? Well, there are several reasons we feel are most important, among many others. Firstly, anyone who is aware of the coworking environment around the world knows of the situation Estonia was in a while ago, when the country was booming with startups and investment funds were just waiting for the good ideas to fund them. The European Investment Fund under the name JEREMIE has entered in Bulgaria and is waiting for the same thing. With 21 million Euros to spend, the fund has spread into two divisions for the Bulgarian market: LAUNCHub and Eleven. These two have developed an investment strategy based on seed funding, instead of giving out large sums at once, which increases both the motivation for a further investment and the success rate of the program itself.

If that is not enough, the Bulgarian government has made the environment very attractive with a 10% flat tax rate, which is among the few tax rates from European countries that remained untouched during the crisis. Many times so far, since the introduction of this tax rate in 2008, different governments have come and go but this rate has remained unchanged. This talks about a stability that for the foreseeable future it would remain unchanged and the whole idea of the government that introduced it was to attract Foreign Direct Investments and international businesses.

Last but not least, the Balkan region countries have always taken pride in the fact that the living costs are not so high as other parts of Europe. Since we are taking the entrepreneurial point of view in this article, this seems to be quite a big opportunity to miss out on. The fact is that your startup is situated in the country with one of the lowest cost rates for living and you will still be able to enjoy the European Union benefits of international trade. And now that you know our opinion on the “why” you should come to Bulgaria to do business, let’s see the interesting places the city of Sofia has to offer:

init Lab - Working Reserve 

init – Lab – Working Reserve is a shared working place, created for the members of the first hacker space. The idea is for the people to be closer to everything that is happening – courses, workshops, hackatons and events.

Despite the numerous activities that go on inside “init – Lab” people are able to focus on their work in a more private place, which is open 24/7. The lab was created a month upon the opening of betahaus, but the concept is a bit different than the conventional coworking spaces.

The financing comes only from memberships and donations from the IT field companies. The benefits the place has to offer its members are basic, but very essential for the successful work of every IT specialist – a quiet place, personal desk, stable internet and network backed with an UPS. 

Another very important aspect of the place is the automatic entrance tickets you get for every event that is organized inside the company. With this, people get to update their knowledge on the trends in the field, learn something new in the workshops or even organize something on their own. The place is situated in the heart of the city and it is easily reachable from every point. 

SOHO

SOHO started as a classical desks-for-rent joint, but over the last 2 years has grown into an art coworking space. А meeting point for culture and modern urban colour. Situated in gentrified neighborhood in the very centre of Sofia, in a beautifully renovated house with windows everywhere and lots of sunlight, SOHO even has a secret garden. Sure we have 30 desks, 8 offices and 5 conference rooms, but their space regularly turns into a jazz club, a theatre stage, a gallery, or an arts and crafts bazaar. SOHO’s community is just the right mix of geeks and businessmen on one side, artists and hippies on the other, and dogs (use one of ours or bring your own :) ).

Our bread and butter are flexible, fully equipped workspaces for freelancers, entrepreneurs and creative professionals. Rent a work space or event space and you get all the expected conveniences - coffee, AC, dual Internet connections, a printer that works. But it’s in the unusual things where we try to exceed. Work from a standup desk or a rocking chair in your socks. Take a co-coworker out for shwarma and baclava. Wake up with some coffee from our high-tech espresso machine. Stay for a yoga session after work. All kinds of activities happening “at home”. And while mingling, have started tens of projects collaborating together. 

We know for freelancers and entrepreneurs summertime means taking your laptop to the beach, so we’ve annexed a seaside extension to SOHO - a lovely villa meters from the Black Sea coast, sneakily equipped for hard work. We’ve even made sure you have power and WiFi while lounging in one of the hammocks.

betahaus | Sofia 

Sofia's Betahaus is the first coworking space that was communicated as such even before opening its doors for business in 2012. The company has 1000sqm that combine a café, event space and working space.

The focus of the company is not only the conventional coworking place, but also shared knowledge and networking.  That is why the team relies on numerous events that aim to further develop the coworkers – skill – sharing sessions, meetups, breakfasts are among the few such events.

As mentioned before, Sofia is an emerging market and entrepreneurship is making its first steps here. That is why betahaus Sofia has set upon itself the mission not only to promote the coworking movement in Bulgaria, but to provoke the young people. Provoke them to break from the chains of old thinking, which has developed over the years of communism, that having your own business is rather bad and instead you should find a regular job.

We rely on the growing community we develop to fill a gap in the society of the country that has been growing over the last few years. The gap is between the young people that go abroad to study and work and those who do not have the courage to do that and become lost and alienated in their own country.

So far, such a group of people has been missing, or simply was rather irrelevant in numbers, to come and fill the gap between the two groups. Now, however, this new group of people is pulling young people from all kinds closer.

That is why we believe that the coworking in Sofia has not only professional and financial potential, but is a social mission.

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