Mini-corns are rising in the East


The CEE region continues produce champions in the European tech startup scene.

So far, more than 10 unicorns have sprung out of the CEE region, with a combined value of €30 billion. Most came out Romania and Poland, with a promising batch of stars rising across the whole CEE region. Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece come next.

With a strong workforce, not influenced by migration and a positive attitude among professionals, Eastern Europe established itself as a powerful tech ecosystem in the last years. Eastern Europe is rising in the tech ecosystem and is no wonder UK startups are flocking to these countries. According to Wired, before early-stage startups would fight to be part of London’s buzz, they are now turning to Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania as cheaper, less risky locations to make their mark.

In the top 20 fastest-growing tech hubs in Europe by year-on-year growth of attendees to tech-related Meetup you will find a surprising number of cities from the East. Katowice (Poland) has a 101% year-on-year growth and ranks 4 in the overall top. It is closely followed by Sofia (Bulgaria) with a 77% growth and Lviv with a 57% rise.

Bulgaria is catching up with central Europe, where economies based on low-cost manufacturing and exports are shifting to innovative and creative industries. A generation of westernised engineers and programmers with a global outlook now underpins the country’s emergence as the technology capital of the Balkans.

Computer science and engineering graduates are no longer migrating in droves to the US and Germany. Local companies employ about 40,000 software engineers while the IT sector contributes more than 3 per cent of the country’s output, compared with less than 1 per cent four years ago.

Neo Ventures has made an investment in Bulgaria, following the experience of 20+ investments made there by Neo’s founders. It has never been easier to launch a satellite into space. But EnduroSat wants to make it even easier by making CubeSats more affordable thanks to a unique platform.

“Funding is still going to be a challenge for later-stage companies but international venture capital funds are showing more interest,” says Pavel Ezekiev, a partner at Neveq, quoted by the Financial Times,




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