SOFIA, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The first edition of Sofia Startup Expo, an exhibition for innovative startup companies in Bulgaria, kicked off here on Tuesday, showcasing some technical miracles.
The expo brought together more than 50 companies, investors and institutions.
Wearable device with a smart camera designed to assist visually impaired people, vehicle collision avoidance system, as well as alarm system with wireless magnetic sensors communicating via encrypted channels, are some of the technical miracles shown at the two-day event held under the motto "Give Wings to Your Ideas."
"We have gone a long way in a relatively short time, and today we can definitely say that Bulgaria already has a startup community and a developing startup ecosystem, and today's event is another proof of this," Alexander Manolev,deputy minister of economy, said at the opening ceremony.
Bulgarian state supported startup companies, Manolev said, adding that investment funds established with European Union (EU) funding and national resources have already invested over 20 million euros (24.6 million U.S. dollars) in 180 start-ups in the country.
Meanwhile, 82 contracts with start-ups worth more than 15 million euros under the EU's Operational Program "Innovation and Competitiveness" were in the process of being implemented, Manolev said.
A number of new funding opportunities totaling more than 100 million euros are forthcoming, he added. (1 euro = 1.24 U.S. dollars)