RICAP was designed starting from the desire to provide resources for Romanian innovators to exit to international markets with their products, whether it is energy, bio-technology, agriculture, ICT or any other technological field.
Thus, RICAP is the first program in Romania supporting innovators and entrepreneurs with innovative technologies to help commercialize them on the global market, supporting them all the way from lab to market.
In this effort, the program relies on an international partnership with one of the most important institutions in the U.S. that supports the commercialization of innovation - Larta Institute, on the international connections and know-how of this network and also the network of mentors that we strengthen locally.
"When talking about business and start-ups issues, I say every time that money is part of the problem, but the most important problem is the lack of know-how (…) The experience we had in RICAP was first of all a coaching experience. That"s why I have applied and I sought an environment that encouraged me to study, on a schedule that I wanted, considering the priorities we believe we have, and attacking problems step by step" Daniel Homorodean, CEO Arxia, entrepreneur in the program.
The applications for the second edition are open until July 31, 2014, directly on the program website: www.ricap.ro.
The first edition took place between January and May 2014. In this period, 15 innovators worked with a dedicated team of US-based commercialization advisors and Romania-based local mentors to further develop their knowledge and commercialization tools, as well as to connect to a global network of potential partners and investors.
Depending on the companies" level of development, the program has helped more than 30 meaningful strategic introductions with potential partners and funders in the U.S. and Europe, including members of the Fortune 1000 of the Larta"s Industry Advisory Board. In addition, two companies went to the United States, where they had been arranged 15 business meetings with potential partners and funders.
The experience was different for the 15 participants.
"This program can adapt to the needs of every participant, wherever you are in the spectrum, from a pure scientist to businessman." Alexandru Floares, SAIA and Onco Predict, scientist and entrepreneur in the program.
In June, we launched the second edition of RICAP and we organized events and meetings in several cities. We had the opportunity to meet passionate and visionary innovators who developed incredible products.
Meeting all these people and having vibrant discussions with many of them validated that what we do in RICAP can provide real support to both them and the users of their products.
Along with the innovators selected for the program, the Romanian mentors have played a key role in advising the innovators and defining together the commercialization strategy and not only.
We had incredible mentors with business vision and expertize: Andrei Pitis, teacher, entrepreneur, business angel and tireless supporter of the ecosystem of innovation and tech start-ups in Romania, Norina Boru, entrepreneur and consultant with extensive experience in the medical field both in Romania and internationally, Alex Mircea Dascalu, an expert with international experience both as an entrepreneur and consultant, Sanda Foamete, education lead at Microsoft and Florin Talpes, from Bitdifender, also an experienced entrepreneur.
You can read more about the mentors and innovators who participated in the first edition on our blog: www.ricap.ro/blog.
by Ovidiu Mățan
by Mihai Costea