Overview on startups-related programs and events in Romania (January to June 2022)

Only 6 months passed from 2022 and there were numerous events and programs organized in the Romanian startup ecosystem. With this occasion, we have made a wrap-up of those which we considered to be the most important ones. 

Part of the Startup Ecosystem Radar, we prepare this information in a digestible form and deliver it to our partners and clients on a weekly basis, with the aim to inform them about the ecosystem and help them make ecosystem players make better business decisions and get in touch with relevant actors. Join the newsletter here

Let’s start!

1. This year’s first InnovX-BCR group called startups, consisting of 10 technology companies with a turnover or financing attracted between €50K and €500K, have reached the post-acceleration stage after going through a Bootcamp of six weeks of training and received feedback from a team of top executives at Elevator Pitch (link). Also, they have organized their fifth virtual Elevator Pitch 60” event, where 7 scaleups have presented themselves (link).

2. Commons Accel, a 3-month acceleration program, has started the 6th cohort where 30 teams were accepted (link). At the end, 17 entrepreneurs presented their business to investors at DemoDay #6 (link).

3. Innovation Labs, the university pre-acceleration program for technical startups and mentoring for young entrepreneurs, students and researchers, held in March the selection stage for entry into the program. This selection involved the presentation of business ideas within one of the Hackathons organized regionally in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Iași, Sibiu and Timișoara (link). Also, Innovation Labs Timișoara in partnership with the university from Oradea has organized in February their 10th Idea Jam event (link).

4. Make IT in Oradea launched the second edition of the incubation program for technology startups, Bright Labs Incubator, a program created at the initiative of Oradea City Hall and several local IT companies (link). The pre-selection stage ended with the selection of 20 startups that will continue to the validation stage (link). Together with Liga Studenților Români din Străinătate, they also started the registrations for the Startup of the Year contest, whose purpose was to promote, support, finance and develop startups in the fields of STEM and economics of young Romanians established in the country (link).

5. Agricover, SeedBlink and Microsoft have created Nextcelerator, a digital accelerator for agritech startups in Central and Eastern Europe in order to support them in bringing up the technologicalization of agriculture (link).

6. RubikHub launched the first edition of RubikEdu step_in module, a 3-week program dedicated to those who want to learn how to validate their ideas and how to turn them into successful startups (link). Also they have started the applications to Rubik Garage, an international & equity-free accelerator program for startups with an MVP in the CEE & SEE (link).

7. Techcelerator brought to Romania and Bulgaria the Venture Program, a pre-acceleration program launched by EIT Digital, developed to support early-stage entrepreneurial teams on their journey to market (link). In partnership with their investment partners and SeedBlink platform, they have run the second edition of the Investment Readiness Program, which prepares technology startups to attract seed investors and raise successive investment rounds of up to €1M (link). And last, they have organized in May their biannual flagship event, Investors’ Day, an exciting evening with VC talks, startup pitching, networking and many other things (link). 

8. Programs and events by Impact Hub Bucharest:

  • The fourth edition of the Innovators for Children program opened the registration for innovative technological projects and solutions, which bring a positive impact to the quality of life of children and adolescents in Romania (link).
  • Agrifood Innovation Summit 2022 was organized online in April by EIT Food and EIT Food Hub Romania, through Impact Hub Bucharest, and it promoted good practices in the industry, in the research area, but also in the academic area, along with disruptive projects and impactful initiatives (link).
  • Startup Studio by Factory is a program organized together with Raiffeisen Romania, where the interested ones can benefit from know-how and mentoring from top entrepreneurs (link).
  • With EIT Climate-KIC the organization also announced a new edition of Black Sea ClimAccelerator, the regional accelerator for green startups, which will provide a total funding of €300K(link).
  • Together with EIT Food and EFSEDevelopmentFacility, they also launched the EWABootcamp, a 2-day intense online workshop held between 22-23 June for female entrepreneurs in agrifood (link).

9. StepFWD launched the applications for the 2022 Cohort of the pre-acceleration program dedicated to early-stage startups (link). Furthermore, in June they organized the second edition of Honest Startup Talk, where the interested ones had a chance to get in touch with numerous mentors from which they got useful information and guidance for the future (link).

10. Fintech & blockchain startups from CEE region had the chance to register for the Unchain Ideas startups competition which will take place within the Unchain Fintech Festival (July 13-14) in Oradea (link).

11. Startup Wise Guys expanded its operations in Romania and continued its collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development through the EBRD’s technical cooperation fund. The two entities have announced the launch of a new accelerator for startups in the fintech area (link). Additionally, they have announced the launch of the second stage of the JUMP for CEE accelerator, supported by Google through the Impact Challenge initiative for Central and Eastern Europe (link).

12. Innowave Summit, in partnership with Pegasus Tech Ventures, hosted the first Startup World Cup Regional Event in Romania. The event happened during the 2nd day of Innowave Summit 2022 between 18-20 May in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (link).

13. A new accelerator dedicated to startups, ADRVEST Accel by IdEA, has been announced. This program will be launched in September by the Institute of Excellence in Entrepreneurship and ADR West, dedicated to companies in the west of the country (link).

14. Seven entrepreneurs graduated from the tech cohort of F&B Business Accelerator, a program organized by the Hospitality Culture Institute. Participating startups develop technology products in verticals and areas such as HoReCa, delivery, marketplace, SaaS, retail, manufacturing and agriculture (link).

15. How to Web has launched Spotlight, the competition dedicated to early-stage tech startups from Central and Eastern Europe. Between June 7th and September 1st, startups have the chance to enroll in this program (link). The conference event will take place in Bucharest, during September 21st and 22nd.

16. Starting from March 2022, EIT Urban Mobility Romania Hub has organized a program similar to the one held in 2021, where over 15 mobility startups have received training and mentoring sessions tailored to their needs (link).

17. BCR School of Business and Launch have launched a free course for tech startups. The program meets the specific needs of technology entrepreneurs and proposes a set of tools through which they can build and sell a successful product (link).

18. Innova Engineering, a Romanian company active in the IT and telecommunications market, launched Innova Lab. The innovation laboratory with the main purpose of supporting high-impact business ideas and startups, with funding of up to €200K (link).

19. FreshBlood together with Activize and powered by Microsoft Romania and EIT Health has launched the Romanian HealthTech Startups Overview Report, an overview of the healthtech ecosystem and the most active healthtech startups. In the same partnership, Hubvantage program was launched – a membership-based club with the aim to constantly support healthtech startup founders with knowledge and connections.

20. The local program FIX Cluj, dedicated to young startup teams, had its demoday and announced four winning teams with awards of €35K, after an intense mentoring and workshops-based program started with 40 teams in the beginning of the year.

21. ROTSA, the Romanian Tech Startups Association, has organized or announced the following programs:

  • European Startup Universe – a 6-weeks program for the EU tech startups, where early-stage founders had access to opportunities for funding, expansion across EU countries, and opportunities to find new clients to grow revenues.
  • Women-led tech startups in Romania – an event dedicated to women who are involved in tech startups, with the aim of showing that the involvement of women in tech is getting bigger and bigger, with wonderful results.
  • SustainCityHack – a virtual hackathon focusing on sustainable cities and communities for improving urban mobility and planning the city extension and development.
  • Startup Reaktor – an incubation platform, created to connect hundreds of early-stage tech startups, scaleups, investors, accelerators, corporate networks, universities and the media from CEE.
 

Closing

As we can see, even after a careful selection, the list is quite consistent. In this past period, the local startup ecosystem was awake and active, from different kinds of hackathons to conferences, events, there were many events organized. For sure this trend will continue in the second part of the year too!

This article is based on the weekly reports made for the Startup Ecosystem Radar, which contains news about the startup ecosystem and venture capital in Romania, so if you are interested to find out more about it check this product, here!

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