On Being Part Of The Startup World

My first contact with the entrepreneurial world was as a founder back in 2013 while I was studying for my Masters in Bucharest. Being passionate about ideas and education, I started Successify. I was looking for a practical way to link knowledge to the practical side of entrepreneurship that was missing in high schools and in most of the universities.

Being a Founder

I started with a vague idea and in a year Successify has become a Pre-Startup Mentoring Program for youth. I’ve developed a Pre-Startup canvas based on lean methodology. I put the concept in an easier framework that could be successfully understood by youth with zero knowledge about business or entrepreneurship.

The most important outcome from Successify was not about success, money or scalability. Was about great learning, the people I’ve met and understanding my inner motivation for building something bigger than myself.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

During my work on Successify I’ve realized what are my best skills and what I need to learn or to improve. I like speed and I’ve decided to be faster and hack my learning. I shut it down and moved to the next exiting thing.

Startup Accelerator

In 2014 I was part of the team that was organising the Lisbon Challenge Spring Edition ’14, powered by Beta-Start.

Lisbon Challenge was a startup accelerator for international tech startups in product phase. It was the second year in a row when people from Beta-Start accepted this challenge.

Building a startup accelerator is not an easy challenge. It’s a massive work for creating an engine that helps startups to take their business to the next level. It’s like a puzzle where details really matter. At least, this is how I’ve seen it.

Startup accelerators have created their own business model. The industry has rapidly become very competitive and there are only a few things that make the difference between average and a great startup accelerator.

Speed and results are the ones that recommend you further. But how you do is equally important with what you do.

The team I worked with was optimistic, ambitious and hard working. But the greatest learning that I’ve got from dealing with the Portuguese work culture is to first, learn to be a good manager and then to pretend that you really are!

German Civic Startup

Moving to Germany in 2014 was like a breath of fresh air. Berlin was a completely new and exiting world.

I started to work with a great, super international and enthusiastic team. It felt promising from the very beginning. I was part of a great company where big thinking, creativity and problem solving were highly encouraged.

Allryder (rebranded Ally) was Founded in 2014 and is a leading civic technology startup in Europe. With headquarter in Berlin, employees over 20 nations to develop a global platform for urban transportation data.

In Berlin I’ve met some of the greatest people I know. I’ve found the structure, the management and the leadership I needed in order to learn fast and get to the next level. Only the sky was our limit every damn day!

Working in a great startup in one of the most exiting cities in Europe gets interesting but the competition is high. Which I believe is a very good thing. Being part of a work culture that has the ability to attract and appreciate talented people is definitely extremely important for an ecosystem. I don’t wonder why Berlin is on the top European startup ecosystems.

Work and life in Berlin was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. It was interesting, painful, busy, diverse, demanding, exiting and everything in between!

Sometimes setting up really high goals could be scary. But achieving them next to a great team is one of the best feelings that you could ever have! It’s like throwing yourself into the cold water and learning how to swim.

Lessons learned

I’ve understood that making the right choice to the right moment could be hard but the struggle always pays off.

“Better done than said.” And always deliver as promised!

The key is to always go for the right people. Build a killer team, put people in the right environment and nothing can stop them!

Product development fund

So far I’ve got my learning and life experiences from multicultural environments where diversity has played an important role. I am the type of person who always wants better, who always look for excitement and adventures.

In spite of having tempting opportunities on my table, I’ve decided to make a risky move. I’ve switched sides and I’ve decided to stay in Romania for a while and give it a try. I wanted to share my experience and find the right people to work with, after I put on hold London and a great company who truly believed in me.

I’ve joined Seed For Tech, a product development fund located in the European Youth Capital – Cluj-Napoca. It’s basically the 4th startup ecosystem I am part of in one-way or another.

I like to get job done. I switch roles when needed – I optimize, I push, I solve problems and I take risks. But above all, I like to build!

This means to get your hands dirty sometimes and take care of the problems that YOU NEED TO SOLVE not dealing only with the stuff that makes you comfortable. This is one of the best lessons I’ve got!

At Seed For Tech we build everything from scratch. It’s perhaps the first company who tries to implement the startup studio model (company builders) in Romania.

Step by step, with hard work, we become a strong and reliable ecosystem player. When you set up ambitious goals, the way could be long and the job, painful, but the reward is huge!

I don’t go for easy burden but I always consider time worth spending because there is nothing more important than this. Seed For Tech is now the place where I can successfully apply everything I’ve learned so far. It’s the first time when the environment doesn’t necessarily shape me but rather the environment needs my skills, vision and drive in order to be shaped and pinned on the European map.

Lesson learned – In life you need to choose the right battles. Don’t let the others choose for yourself!

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