Bulgarian ICT Watch 2019, 29 May, International Business School, Universum hall, 7 Vincent van Gogh Str., Sofia

The event

Seventh Annual Round Table

„Bulgarian ICT Watch“


The IT Sector Between Successful Export and The Lack of IT Professionals

May 29, 2019

Organizers: ICT Media and Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BASSCOM)

The BULGARIAN ICT WATCH round table is a project of ICT Media and BASSCOM which aims at helping and facilitating the dialogue and partnership opportunities between the State and ICT businesses regarding high-tech exports. Representatives of the State, Branch Associations, ICT companies and consultants traditionally take part and discuss the challenges facing the IT industry in IT products and services export, the role of State institutions in promoting this process and the opportunities for exporting ICT products to specific target markets for the Bulgarian ICT companies in 2018. This year the BULGARIAN ICT WATCH round table will expand its focus in order to look for solutions for the main challenge the industry is facing nowadays - the shortage of highly qualified ICT specialists. Practices for attracting both foreign and Bulgarian specialists will be discussed and special attention will be paid to methods for retaining talented specialists in Bulgaria, convincing those living and working abroad to come back, and to educating ICT specialist on a local level.

Over the years the conference has been held with the traditional support of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria, Invest Bulgaria Agency (IBA), Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies (BAIT), Bulgarian Outsourcing Association (BOA).
How the event was held in 2018


  • Lachezar Borisov

    Lachezar Borisov Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria

    Lachezar Borisov was born in 1978 in the town of Samokov. He successfully completed "Konstantin Fotinov" high school with Mathematics as major subject. He graduated at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE) where he obtained a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Macroeconomics with flying colours. Borisov completed the second speciality of "Accounting and Finance" at the Institute for Postgraduate Studies of UNWE. He took specialization studies in Sustainable Development at the Venice International University and the Regional Environmental Center in Budapest as well as in Accounting and Auditing Regulation at the World Bank. He completed a training in Entrepreneurship and Risk Capital at the American University and successfully accomplished courses in "project Management" (WIFI, Austria), "Stimulation of Foreign Direct Investment" (JICA, Japan), "Stock Exchange Currency Trading and Banks" (CITIGROUP and CITIBANK), etc. Currently Borisov is conducting doctoral studies at the University of Finance, Business and Entrepreneurship. He has scientific publications in the field of anti-monopoly legislation and market economy models, the country’s balance of payments and bank efficiency in mergers and acquisitions. Lachezar Borisov established himself as a government official during the years as chief expert at the Ministry of Economy after participation in a competition for this position in 2002. From 2006 to present he has served as head of different departments, including "Restructuring and Capital Markets" and "Management and Restructuring of State Participation". During this period he has also been head of the departments "Investment Projects, International Programmes and Marketing" and "Strategic Analysis and Forecasts". Borisov is currently a member of the Management Board of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources Fund. He has acquired extensive experience in the field of corporate management including through participation in the management bodies of numerous private and state-owned companies in the fields of industry, energy and financial management. Lachezar Borisov has been awarded many prizes and certificates for his work at the Ministry of Economy as well as at competitions in mathematics and brokerage.
  • Stamen Yanev

    Stamen Yanev Executive Director of InvestBulgaria Agency

    Stamen Yanev has been the Executive Director of InvestBulgaria Agency since January 2015. He was an attorney-at-law, specialized in the area of mergers and acquisitions, as well as in the field of investments. His professional career developed through some of the big international consulting companies. He received a Master's Degree in Law from the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" with Cum Laude. Yanev specialized European and English Law at the University of Cambridge, and European Law at the ASSER College Europe (Netherlands), the University College London (England), the European University Institute (Italy).
  • Dr. Boyko Takov

    Dr. Boyko Takov Executive Director, The Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency

    Dr. Boyko Takov is Executive Director of The Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, appointed by an Order of the Minister of Economy, Mr. Emil Karanikolov, dated November 12, 2018. Dr. Takov has a proven executive management track record and over 12 years of experience in business management. He spent four years at The Executive Agency "State Property of the Ministry of Defense", where he served in various expert positions. From 2008 to 2012 he was CEO and member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian subsidiary company of a leading South Korean energy company. Over the years, he had been at executive and management positions in some of the most advanced areas of business and investment, where project and finance management in agriculture, energy and infrastructure was only part of his biography. He earned his doctorate in Economics, Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technical University in Sofia and his Master’s degree in Marketing and Economics at the University of National and World Economy, Sofia.
  • Stanislava Manolova

    Stanislava Manolova Head of the Commercial and Economic Office in London City

    Stanislava Manolova, Commercial Attache at the Commercial and Economic Department at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in London, since October 2018. She is a bachelor graduate from the University of Buckingham, with a degree in Economics, Masters graduate in "Banking and international finances" and "Project management". She has professional specialisation in "Business, International Relations and Political Economics" from LSE. Stanislava has worked at General Directorate ‘Operational Programme Innovations and Competitiveness’ at the Ministry of Economy in Bulgaria for two years.
  • Stoyan Mihaylov

    Stoyan Mihaylov Head of the Commercial and Economic Office in Oslo

  • Maria Todorova

    Maria Todorova Director, Vocational Education and Training Directorate

  • Ognian Trajanov

    Ognian Trajanov Chairman of the Managing Board of BAIT, Owner and Executive Director of TechnoLogica

  • Ivaylo Slavov

    Ivaylo Slavov Chairman of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, Founder and CEO of BULPROS

    Ivaylo Slavov is a highly qualified entrepreneur and corporate executive specialized in managing both start-ups and established organizations. He has more than 20 years of international experience in the fields of Information Technology, Financial Services, IT-Outsourcing, Business Process Outsourcing and Human Resources. Ivaylo co-founded BULPROS in April 2010 and for 8 years under his leadership the company grew at a very fast pace and continuously doubled its size, year over year. Currently BULPROS has over 1200 employees working across 18 offices, located in North America and Europe, which are its main target markets. It is recognized as one of the fastest growing technology companies by the latest rankings from Deloitte "Technology Fast 50 in CE" and "Technology Fast 500 in Europe, Middle East, and Africa", Inc. 5000 Europe, Financial Times 1000 Europe etc. In 2017, he was selected as a member of the Board of Directors of AmCham in Bulgaria and co-chairman of its Digital Economy Committee.
  • Stamen Kotchkov

    Stamen Kotchkov Member of the Board of Directors of Bulgarian Association of Software Companies

  • Engineer Polina Kostova

    Engineer Polina Kostova Director, Vocational High School of Electronics "John Atanasov"

  • Tsveti Kyoseva

    Tsveti Kyoseva CEO, Methodia AD

    Tsveti Kyoseva is Methodia’s CEO and a seasoned MBA graduate, Innovations & Business Development practitioner and facilitator, whose 15-year experience includes multiple management positions in renowned international telecom and tech companies. Her love for developing original product strategies takes her to be the lead manager of the first TelCo Innovation Center in Bulgaria in 2009. In the last few years, Tsveti Kyoseva has been actively teaching Innovation Management and Business Development modules in several renowned Master Programs in Bulgaria, while pushing for Methodia’s successful expansion to international markets. In the fall of 2018, she becomes one of the four Bulgarian business women selected to join the renowned EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women TM Europe mentoring program. A passionate mountain hiker, Tsveti always defies her own boundaries to strengthen her inner balance and resilience, which, like she says, gives a whole new perspective on the way one perceives and handles the challenges in the world of business today.
  • Bistra Papazova

    Bistra Papazova CEO, coBuilder International

    Bistra Papazova is the CEO of the Bulgarian company coBuilder International - part of the Norwegian software company Cobuilder. Over the last 5 years, she has been growing the team starting with just 10 employees. Now over 100 employees at coBuilder International work on software products for the digitization of the construction process. With over 15 years of experience in consulting and management in the IT sector, Bistra manages the "REturn" - an initiative by the Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BASSCOM), which aims to aims to attract Bulgarian professionals living abroad, giving them a chance to start again - this time in Bulgaria, becoming part of the rapidly growing IT industry.
  • Denitza Nikolova

    Denitza Nikolova Partner and Project Manager, EU Consult

    Denitsa Nikolova is a project management consultant of EU and other donor-funded programmes. She has Masters degree in "Tourism" from Sofia University and in "International Projects Management" from the University of National and World Economy. She has 15 years experience in developing, managing and advising investment projects and projects in the field of education, employment, public administration capacity building, local and regional development plans, projects and programs development and evaluation, etc. There are more than 100 successful projects in her practice in different areas funded under the EU structural funds and other donor programs. She is Vice President of the European Association for Sustainable Development Education and member of the board of the Bulgarian Association of the Consultants European programs.
  • Momchil Zarev

    Momchil Zarev CTO, Sirma Solutions

    Momchill Zarev is a CTO of Sirma Solutions – a software company specialized in cognitive technologies, including AI applications, services, and platforms in many verticals. Momchill joined Sirma as a software engineer in Sirma AI/Ontotext in 1999 and initially, was involved in the implementation and management of a lot of projects in e-commerce, VoIP. Later he held various positions within the company – team lead, project manager, etc. Since 2001 he has extended his expertise and experience in development of mobile applications, complex software systems, new products and various services in the field of mobile advertising, mobile payment platforms (POS, NFC, RFID, QR), mobile ticketing, mobile banking, loyalty platforms, workforce management, mobile parental control services, LBS, augmented reality, etc. Owing to his tremendous capacity and management skills, in 2008 he was appointed as a Head of Sirma Mobile. Since 2009 he has been a Member of Supervisory Board of Sirma Group Holding, and in 2012 become a member of the Management Board of Sirma Solutions, and CTO of Sirma Solutions. Momchill earned his MSc in Mathematics and Informatics Computer Science at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, the Sofia University.


09:00 - 09:30 Registration
09:30 - 09:50 Official opening
                            Lachezar Borisov, Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria
                            Tanya Mihaylova, Deputy Minister of Education and Science
09:50 - 11:10 Part I: The Shortage of IT Specialists as a Major Challenge for the Bulgarian IT Companies
● Strategies to encourage training, retention and return from abroad of qualified IT specialists
● Focus on secondary education - initiatives
Blue Card - optimizing the procedure for issuance, what changes lie ahead in the legal framework


● Ognian Trajanov, Chairman of the Managing Board of BAIT, Owner and Executive Director of TechnoLogica
● Eng. Polina Kostova, Director, Vocational High School of Electronics "John Atanasov"
● Bistra Papazova, CEO, coBuilder International
● Denitza Nikolova, Partner and Project Manager, EU Consult
11:10 - 11:40 Coffee Break and networking opportunities
11:40 - 13:10 Part II: Objectives and Challenges Facing the Bulgarian ICT Export is Facing in 2019 and Current Target Markets
● National Encouraging Policies and State Mechanisms to Support the ICT Export
● Best Practices for ICT Products and Services Export by Bulgarian Companies
● Data About ICT Products Export to Targeted Markets in 2019
● Practical Advice by the Bulgarian Commercial and Economic Representatives and Market Research - Tendencies for Development, Specific Needs, Legislation, Standards Coverage, Needed Certificates
● Providing Information on Proven Effective Channels for Entering the Defined Target Markets
● The Scandinavian ICT market - current state, trends, programs, collaboration projects
IT exports in the UK market after Brexit - current status, expected development, success strategies


● Stamen Yanev, Executive Director of InvestBulgaria Agency
● Dr. Boyko Takov, Executive Director of The Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency
● Ivaylo Slavov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, Founder and CEO of BULPROS
● Tsveti Kyoseva, CEO, Methodia AD
● Stanislava Manolova, Head of the Commercial and Economic Office in London City at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the United Kingdom of Great Britain
● Stoyan Mihaylov, Head of the Commercial and Economic Office in Oslo at the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Kingdom of Norway
13:10 – 14:10 Brunch and networking opportunities


EU Consult SirmaBC


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