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Sitting in Sofia Province in the southwest of Bulgaria, Samokov lies in a basin cuddled between the Rila and Vitosha Mountains, about 55km from the country's capital of Sofia. This is a winter sport junkies hangout and a major tourist hub that is a center for handicrafts and art. Historically a major iron-producing center during the Middle Ages, its summers are warm and sunny, whilst winter brings mega snowfalls. Founded in the 14th Century it was a haven for some of the best craftsmen, woodcarving masters and builders with their work decorating many churches and cultural buildings throughout the Balkan Peninsula. Samokov has a population of about 35,871 souls huddling in cafes, skiing the "Chernia kos" (Bulgaria's only ski-jumping hill) or hanging out in coworking venues getting creative.

Bulgaria has a thriving tech scene with high-end startups accounting for 25,000 jobs producing 2.4% of the country's economy. From its roots as a tech outsourcing hub in the early 2000s when it offered foreign firms cheap well-trained workers, today the left-over tech savvy souls have produced a number of home grown companies that have gone global such as Telerik and Musala Soft. Bulgaria has the 2nd highest rate in the EU of women in the tech sector and many big foreign tech companies have research and development centres in the country.

The Bulgarian tech scene is attracting top talent from abroad with many launching their own startups. Coworking venues in cities such as Gabrovo are providing the much needed collaborative space for these intrepid souls to share and mingle with likeminded out-of-the-box thinkers.

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