On November 23rd, we organized the second edition of the ROStartup Conference in Bucharest, at Club BOA. It was great bringing together for one day bold entrepreneurs, visionary investors, innovative corporations, energetic startup communities, government officials and other key players interested in shaping the dynamic future of the entrepreneurial ecosystem – over 400 in total.
ROStartup Conference 2023 – the catalyzing force in the startup ecosystem
The ROStartup Conference 2023 was more than just an event; it was a true affirmation of the need for the entrepreneurial ecosystem to come together in such a framework, to discuss, and to actively engage together. This year’s edition demonstrated the power of community and served as an invitation to dare to imagine a more prosperous future, where innovation from the startup world becomes a gravitational force propelling us toward discoveries and unexplored possibilities. Thus, with each shared idea and vision, everyone present at the ROStartup Conference has contributed to building a bridge to the bright future we all dream of.
Since 2020, when we initiated ROStartup, we had support from the World Bank and the European Commission. For this edition of the Conference, the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization and the Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Tourism joined us as strategic partners. Moreover, Microsoft, BRD, Orange and Innovation Labs were our corporate partners.
Our MC was Vlad Andriescu (Editor in Chief at start-up.ro), and we are very grateful for his energy and help throughout the event.
Sharing Experiences During Panel Discussions
The day started with a warm welcome from Vasile Asandei (General Director North-East RDA) and Vlad Gliga (CEO Rubik Hub). They shared inspiring thoughts about the strength of our community and highlighted the importance of working together to build a bright entrepreneurial and economic future for Romania.
In the first part of the day, we had six discussion panels to the audience, featuring key guests from the Romanian startup ecosystem and beyond.
These panels focused on:
- “Centralizing and Amplifying the Romanian Startup Scene” – Lucaz Marc (World Bank) was the moderator. Speakers: Andrea Budeanu (Head of Operations Innovation Labs), Adina Simionescu (Project Manager ROStartup), David Achim (Executive Director at Make IT in Oradea), Călin Sipos (President Cluj Startups), Andrei Munteanu (Co-Founder & CEO at Cowork Timisoara) and George Turtoi (General Director at AM POCIDIF)
- “Making Your Way as a Romanian Startup in the Global Ecosystem” – Vlad Gliga (Rubik Hub was the moderator. Speakers: Sebastian Gabor (Founder Digitail.io), Evelina Necula (Co-founder & CMO Kinderpedia), Claudiu Petria (COO & Co-founder of Questo) and Andreea Purcaru (Head of Operations at Rayscape)
- “The Future of Entrepreneurial Education in Romania” – Elena Vrabie (Country Lead in Romania at The Recursive) was the moderator. Speakers: Alexandru Ghiță (President of The Entrepreneurship Academy), Gheorghe Sârbu (Councillor to the Head of the Chancellery of the PM), Roxana Voicu-Dorobanțu (Associate Professor at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies) and Beatrice Alexandrescu (CEO Fundatia Leaders)
- “Funding the Future: A Dialogue with Angels, VCs, and Fund of Funds” – Robert Cotună (Investment Manager at Rubik Hub) was the moderator. Speakers: Mircea Vădan (Founding Board Member of Transylvania Angels Network), Camelia Drăgoi (Senior Mandate Manager – Equity at European Investment Fund), Alina Georgescu (Investment Manager at Catalyst Romania), Valentin Filip (Investing in Products at Fortech Investments) and Marius Istrate (Chairman of Board TechAngels Romania)
- “Bridging the Gap between Tech Giants and Startups” – Răzvan Crăciunescu (Associate Professor at the University Polithenica of Bucharest) was the moderator. Speakers: Alina Irma Orban (Senior Director at Microsoft), Cristian Turcin (Cloud & Professional Services Product Manager, Orange), Cosmin Curticăpean (Founder & CEO iFactor, Vice President TechAngels Romania), Bianca Muntean (President of Transilvania IT Cluster) and Claudiu Faur (Director of Engineering at FORTECH).
- “Enabling the Enablers: Capacity-building for Romanian intermediaries” presented by Christopher Haley (Head of Research at Startup Genome).
Exploring Practical Solutions in the Working Groups
In the second part of the day, four working groups were formed, each addressing highly relevant themes:
- “Legal Frameworks and Policies for Startups in Romania – Tech Transfer”, moderated by Nicoleta Cherciu (Technology and Investment Legal Counsel & Startups and Investors Advisor) and Teodor Chirvase (Tech Laywer)
- “Exploring Opportunities and Solutions in Romanian Investment Legislation for Angel Investors and Venture Capital Funds”, moderated by Robert Cotună (Investment Manager at Rubik Hub) and Sonia Fedorovici (Head of Legal & GP ROCA X)
- “Building a Global Presence & Strategic Partnerships”, moderated by Simona Popa (Startup Support Expert Rubik Hub) and Valentin Țoc (Startup Programs Manager Rubik Hub)
- “Building the Bridge Between Academia and the Private Sector”, moderated by Roxana Voicu-Dorobanțu (Associate Professor at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies)
During these working group sessions, participants had the opportunity to make valuable contributions and share their perspectives on future directions. Each group presented an interactive framework where practical solutions and strategies for promoting innovation and sustainable development in the entrepreneurial environment were discussed.
This edition of the ROStartup Conference brought together professionals and experts from various fields and also provided a conducive environment for building significant connections and establishing future collaborations. As a result, participants had the opportunity to actively engage in shaping the strategic directions that will influence the future of entrepreneurship and economic development in the business environment.
Expo Area – a Gateway to Building Connections
Moreover, over 35 startup support organizations and startups showcased their solution in the Expo Area. From technologies to sustainable solutions and creative applications, the diversity of ideas presented was remarkable. Participants had the opportunity to explore the world of each startup, interact with some team members, and discover new concepts. For investors and potential partners, the Expo Area offered an excellent opportunity to discover new collaboration opportunities and get new leads.
Wrapping up this edition, we extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to its success. Your enthusiasm and active participation have made this experience truly extraordinary! Until we reunite next year, relive the whole experience and immerse yourself in the excitement by watching the live transmission, right here.