Last evening we had a cosy chat with a couple of the TechHub residents, our attendants and a cool group from CyberGhost, a company that actually had a co-working subscription for its employees, who come and work here each week.
We talked about how the environment helps the development of a startup and some very interesting opinions were shared. We'd like to showcase below some of these ideas and conclusions that you could find useful along the way.
In your opinion, what are the main elements of a startup ecosystem?
A more ample description can be found on Startup Commons, but the bottom line would be: startups (of course), angel investors, tech hubs, incubators, accelerators, startup competition, tech events/conferences, venture funds, venture capitalists, governmental structures.
The local startup scene could still use some improvement in terms of the number of active startups and the funding opportunities. Education is also an important vector for enabling more people to pursue an entrepreneurial path rather than being employed in an organization.
What are the strong points of the local startup ecosystem?
The startups that are developing locally are very serious about their work, they are completely involved in making their product something desirable and usable, and the interest for this area is certainly growing. There are many key opinion leaders that are devoting time and resources to helping startups, and this is a great thing.
What are the main elements missing from the local startup ecosystem?
Funding and education are two elements that are lacking, but can be improved in the future. Also, more success stories and failure stories could also help broadcast the information about this way of doing business. Moreover, there's still a need to connect people that are outside of the tech communities and get them to be part of them, so they can fully benefit from the advantages of this environment.
From your experience, how has the environment you work in influenced the way your startup has developed?
Our residents at TechHub Bucharest mentioned several important benefits, such as:
- support with testing features (you can use the community as a large and free focus group) - motivation that you get from seeing other startups pursuing their dream in spite of the difficulties - emotional support from other entrepreneurs when going through a rough phase and feeling like you're about to give up - an energy boost from someone telling you he thinks your idea/product is awesome and you're doing a great thing - the opportunity to meet new people and exchange ideas, advice and opinions - all for free - the chance to be part of cool events and network with key people that can help your startup move further or even become your partners - the occasional Demo Nights, where you get to pitch and practice your presentation in front of a knowledgeable audience that can offer you valuable feedback - the mental stimulation that you get from being in an environment of smart people that are passionate about the same things that you are.
On a personal level, all the reasons stated above apply, because the environment not only influences our mental and emotional state, but, to a certain degree, it also shapes our personality. Being in an environment where everyone is so focused on their work certainly improve productivity.
For a new entrepreneur, to become part of a tech community is a tremendous way to start learning about the ecosystem, to test his theories, ideas and plan with like minded people who have already gone through the stages he/she's about to experience.
This year we've only started to consolidate, brick by brick, the startup environment in Romania. Next year we plan to do more for startups and for the tech community, and to keep empowering entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and make them come true. And we're glad to have you with us on this adventure!