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Innovation Accelerator at the Cluster Sofia Knowledge City

Innovation Accelerator at the Cluster Sofia Knowledge City

On March 5, 2021, an agreement was signed for the establishment of an Innovation Accelerator at the Cluster Sofia Knowledge CityThe agreement is currently tripartite, between the cluster and two of its most committed members:

  • Center for Entrepreneurship and Management Development - Bulgaria (CEED)
  • Knowledge, Innovation and Strategy Management Club - KISMC (Academy of Innovation Management).

The agreement aims at organizing preconditions for the transformation of the mentoring program, created under the MediaMotorEurope Project (MME) into an accelerator for training, support, and financing deeptech start-ups and scale-ups and their projects and products of the digital transformation of the business and the smart cities. The accelerator will officially start operating in mid-2021. Currently, the initiative is in the process of coordination, gathering more stakeholders, and smoothing the business model. The initial funding has been provided and a project manager has been appointed.

What will distinguish this accelerator from many others similar in the country and Europe?

  1. First of all, this is his focus and accent. It is a cluster accelerator, necessary to achieve the goals of the association and helping to accelerate the "maturation" of the innovation ecosystem in the city. In this respect, it is close to the so-called corporate innovation accelerators operating on the principle of open innovation. The emphasis is on breakthrough technologies related to the digital transformation of businesses and cities.
  2. Secondly, we have created a strong and reactive international network of professional mentors from Bulgaria, the Netherlands, England, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, and Norway. The mistakes that typical financial accelerators use to make will logically be reduced by these mentors who, in addition to having rich and diverse business experience, have other qualities that are not dominated by the desire for quick and big profits at the expense of the entrepreneur.
  3. Third, the accelerator will be built on an already established network of four Innovation Hubs in Sofia, Thessaloniki, Brussels, and Bergen, driven by the common goal of becoming distribution counters for their regions, providing services to high-tech companies from the creative and media industries in Europe. The partner network has the potential to expand, which will enrich the access to a common resource of knowledge and good practices in technological entrepreneurship.
  4. Fourth, but not least, the cluster has created a capacity to attract investments, based on a model, different from widely used ones. According to this model, the accelerator will select and invite investors to invest in innovative projects that are already successfully proved. The money will follow the innovation. The accelerator itself will also have a fund that is now under being raised through our network of partners and mentors.


Cluster Sofia Knowledge City (CSKC) is an association of enterprises from knowledge-intensive industries, universities, R&D organizations related to the chain of production and supply of technologies, products, and services. It is a tool for joint actions of the business, education, and science with urban and public institutions to generate and effectively use knowledge, know-how, and scientific infrastructure for the benefit of the city. The main goal and policy of the cluster are to stimulate the development of the market for smart technologies and to attract talents necessary for the digital transformation of businesses and cities.

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