What is ROStartup?

ROStartupRomania’s Startup Ecosystem Strategy is a joint public and private action initiative, aimed to support the development of the first strategy for the Romanian Startup Ecosystem. The initiative is a multi-actor collaboration financed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) and led by the North-East Regional Development Agency (NE RDA) through Rubik Hub and supported by the World Bank Group (WBG). Together we work to grow a strong and competitive national entrepreneurial ecosystem environment and transform Romania into a leading Startup Hub, both at CEE Region and at European level.


What exactly does ROStartup do?

Create a common vision and mission for developing the startup ecosystem by supporting regional economic growth and focusing on convergent development opportunities and gaps in the ecosystem.

Build a sustainable startup infrastructure with the involvement of all main stakeholders representing all regions at a national level.

Grow the pool of people considering entrepreneurship as a career path by building entrepreneurial capacity and increasing the number of innovative ideas that materialize in the market by supporting business incubation.

What are we hoping to achieve?

Create a coherent, 5-year horizon, National Startup Ecosystem Strategy for Romania, in response to the essential need of aligning priorities and measures integrated in the agenda for the 2021 – 2027 European funds programming period and ensuring the effectiveness of future policies, funding schemes and resource allocation, in order to establish a strong and competitive national entrepreneurial environment.

The strategy will generate a toolbox of instruments based on 4-pillars interventions:

01Entrepreneurial education


03Startup access to finance

04Innovative capacity

Sub-components of each building block

Regulatory framework
  • Ease of starting a business
  • Employing workers
  • Tax incentives
  • Obtaining permits
  • Enforcement of contracts
  • Intellectual property
  • Operational regulations
  • Digital governance
  • Protecting minority investor
  • Trading across boarders
  • Resolving insolvency
  • Social and health security
Access to finance
  • Grants and soft loans
  • Venture finance
  • Bank finance
  • Capital markets
  • Business angels
Market conditions
  • Access to domestic markets
  • Access to foreign markets
  • Equipment and inputs
  • Public procurement
  • Fair competition and market openness
  • Anti-trust laws
Encouraging culture
  • Women entrepreneurship
  • Inclusion of underrepresented groups
  • Community support
  • Tolerance of risk and failure
  • Preference of self-employment
  • Success stories
  • Research culture
  • Celebration of innovation
Support programs
  • Professional services
  • Incubators / accelerators
  • Angel investor networks
  • Peer networks
  • One-stop-shops
  • Business exchange platforms, business portals, fairs, business associations and clubs
  • Engaging diaspora community in local networks
Human capital
  • Embed entrepreneurship in formal and informal education
  • Management talent
  • Technical talent
  • Entrepreneur-specific training
  • Angel investment training
  • Outsourcing availability
  • Access to immigrant workforce
  • Major universities playing a key role in ideation for startups
  • Major universities playing a key role in providing graduates for startups
R&D and innovation
  • R&D investment
  • Patent systems / standards
  • Technology Transfer Offices
  • Research-industry collaboration
  • Access to data
  • Technology / innovation diffusion
  • Promote horizontal linkages through cluster development
  • Access to basic infrastructure (e.g. water, electricity)
  • Access to telecommunication/ broadband
  • Access to transport
  • Enhance ICT-based procedures for businesses registration and reporting

The instruments will have an implementation timeline assigned, ranging from: short-term (1 year), medium-term (2-3 years), long-term (4-5 years) and ongoing (over the 5-year period).


Beyond the project

Our vision is to enable Romania to contribute to the world innovation through startup disruption.

Let’s look at ROStartup as more than a European financed project, but rather as a “startup movement”, since the Romanian startup scene is in a critical “now-or-never” moment and the only way forward is NOW!

We aim to create a national framework for Romanian startups to THINK BIG, START SMALL and ACT NOW. At the same time, empowering founders to build, fail, measure and learn through a bottom-up approach. Moreover, the entire process of elaborating the strategy will create the opportunity to reunite under the same vision all key actors of the ecosystem (representatives of the national public environment, academia, research / innovation, entrepreneurship, other stakeholders) and build the NATIONAL BRAND of the Startup Ecosystem in Romania – ROStartup. In light of this common vision and solidarity we will develop together a strong and competitive national startup ecosystem, contributing to the economic and social transformation of Romania.

Community engagement

We are here and now, in the right context! Our vision will not happen overnight, nor will it happen in isolation, that’s why we need to keep the momentum in motion  with a collaborative approach in order  to achieve our higher goals.

This project is a call to action for the community’s doers! So, come join us and bring your contribution to the next Romanian Startup Ecosystem Strategy! We would be glad to connect and hear from you: rostartup@adrnordest.ro

Steering Committee