Sofia, Bulgaria — The tech capital of the Balkans.

Sofia, Bulgaria has been dubbed the tech capital of the Balkans. It is a flourishing city and an ideal location for outsourcing centres and providing jobs for IT graduates.

Æternity Ventures

Today I’m visiting Sofia Tech Park where hundreds of attendees have flocked to take part in the Starfleet incubator programme which is addressing different issues in society through the utilization of blockchain technology.

Earlier this year — Æternity, a “blockchain 3.0” platform for scalable smart contracts interfacing with real world data, founded by “Godfather of Ethereum” Yanislav Malahov, announced the launch of Æternity Starfleet, a series of incubator and accelerator programs to support the global blockchain ecosystem by building a network of innovators, investors and industry enthusiasts.

Æternity Starfleet is working in partnership with Software University (SoftUni), an organization based in Sofia, Bulgaria, focused on software development education and networking.

The 10 start ups competing for a cash prize are listed below:

  • Tip me — Using blockchain to bring transparency to the tipping industry by giving 100% of tips directly to the people it belongs to: the people behind the product. (Based in Berlin, Germany)
  • AMPnet: A blockchain platform for trading electricity. AMPnet provides every new or existing electric cooperative with a full set of tools to manage payments, invoicing, smart metering, demand side management, crowdinvesting and community governance. AMPnet is an integrated hardware and software suite comprised of web applications, iOS & Android apps, blockchain payments and governance platform and an open source smart meter hardware specification. They provide a simple turnkey solution — reducing onboarding complexity and operating costs. (Zagreb, Croatia)
  • The Noble Company: A marketplace for talent acquisition on the blockchain, it uses a referral system for recruitment, allowing everyone to become a recruiter and be rewarded from their network. (Sofia, Bulgaria)
  • TraDEXsocial: A frictionless way to introduce people to crypto, where you can mine cryptocurrency on any smart device and copy the most profitable traders multiplying your earnings without the prior need of relevant knowledge. (Sofia, Bulgaria)
  • UTU: Trust infrastructure for the sharing economy. UTU’s Trust API seamlessly serves up personalized recommendations for trusted service providers on sharing platforms to drive your conversion, satisfaction, retention, and viral acquisition. (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • RideSafe: Micro-insurance platform for motorcycle riders. RideSafe is a first time insuretech mobile based application offering real time health solutions to the public motorbike sector in the event of an accident. There are over 1.5m public motorbike riders in Kenya alone, RideSafe’s goal is to reach to all the boda boda riders in east and Central Africa, later expanding to the whole of Africa and the world at large. (Nairobi,Kenya)
  • YAIR Berlin: A platform for trading and experiencing art. YAIR takes the value of art and secures it with blockchain technology, making it available to a global community of collectors, traders and enthusiasts.It works with great artists to produce digital artworks. Each artwork exists exclusively, embodied as a limited supply of crypto-tokens. Each token unlocks access to experience the artwork and is an equity percentage of the artwork itself. (Berlin,Germany)
  • Data2Honey: The decentralised IOT data marketplace. The Data2Honey project stores data in personal Data Vaults, giving data providers the chance to be their own data landlords. (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
  • Tribe Creation Platform: The decentralized music crowdfunding platform, making labels a thing of the past through a platform that is owned by artists, fans and investors alike. (Vienna, Austria)
  • Bee Smart Technologies: The blockchain based pollination marketplace, Bee Smart Technologies use advanced technologies, centered around the reestablishment of a caring relationship with nature. Starting by saving the honeybees, they strive to expand their portfolio of innovative products and services and deliver a measurable impact to all farmers in the broader agricultural sector. They are committed to applying an ethical approach in creating the Smart Grid of Nature. (Sofia, Bulgaria)