Romanian startups: The outsourcing hotspot thinks big and kicks ass – a ZDNet articleComments Off on Romanian startups: The outsourcing hotspot thinks big and kicks ass – a ZDNet article January 22, 2015 | Romanian Startups
Here is an excerpt from the article.
In Eastern Europe the recipe for success starts by thinking on a global scale from the very beginning. The local market is not profitable enough for a startup to survive without looking beyond the country’s borders. “Even though Romania is the seventh country in the EU in terms of population, its digital market does not provide too many opportunities for local startups,” Bogdan Iordache, co-founder of the How to Web Conference, told ZDNet.com.
At the beginning of 2015, there were over 250 active startups listed on RomanianStartups.com, a directory that brings together the major players in the local startup ecosystem. It includes seven accelerators, 40 events, 10 co-working spaces, and a little over 500 founders. Most of the startups fall into the categories of mobile, software, services, and SaaS/PaaS, but some boldly go into other specialisms, including the Internet of Things (DeviceHub, Nurss, Pocketo) or Bitcoin (Coinzone).
“Five years ago there were very few startups, but in the last two or three years, the scene virtually exploded,” Mircea Goia, founder of RomanianStartups.com, told ZDNet. The Achilles’ heel, he says, is the small number of investors. Startup founders need to get a few bucks from someone, another few from someone else and so on, to get them through to the day when they become self-sustainable.
Some startups have their HQ abroad, where they can be more visible, while maintaining the tech team in Romania.
Upcoming Romanian startups, standing on the shoulder of giants, should have an easier task. To hit big, founders need to stop thinking like developers and start becoming businessmen, How to Web’s Iordache says.
“There’s one mistake I see over and over again: too much focus on building product features and too little understanding of what a product or business means. The outsourcing and product cultures are very, very different and product creators need different skills.”
Those who want to build their own startup feel they have to relocate at some point, preferably early on. Most of the Romanian companies that hit headlines were founded by local tech engineers abroad, or have received help from foreign businessmen.
“[Success stories] attributed to Romanian origins were in fact companies that moved to the UK or US in order to get access to capital and network,” Marius Deak from startup Avandor told ZDNet.com. “We’ve met some of the big funds. Their policy is usually: come to our country to get investment.”
Head on ZDNet.com and read the full article (writer: Andrada Fiscutean).