Given this month’s topic, Internet of Things, I’ll focus on the startups in this area. Doing an IoT startup proves to be much more difficult than a purely software one. This doesn’t seem to stop founders, but it pushes them to be more realistic and more clear about their customers and the problems they solve for them. Statistically speaking, last year has seen a boom in IoT and hardware startups in Romania, even if it takes more time to finalize the product and sell it.
In this issue, I will focus on a different ecosystem. I am writing this text while I am in Chișinău for a few startup events and workshops. I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and energy of the people there. Aware of their economic and political situation, they are hungry to improve, to grow the ecosystem, knowing that technology is a ladder that can take them to the next level, just like us, in Romania, some years ago. There are more than 15 supporting organisations, events or coworking spaces which contribute to this growth and we will see successful examples soon for sure.
We entered the Fall season which is marked by a soaring activity in the startup area as well. A few accelerators and funds are searching the market, scouting for startups to invest in (check the meetups coming up: StartupYard and Hub:raum. On the programs/competitions side, Imprezzio Idea Challenge and Startup Spotlight – paired with How to Web conference) have their application deadline at the end of this week. And one more thing: the new Cluj Startups website is up and running.
The ecosystem of a city/region is given by the diversity of the active organizations in that environment. Although Cluj is very active in terms of events, communities, hubs and meetups, the results are less obvious when we look at start-ups. It is true that it takes several years for a start up to be successful and be taken as a good, inspirational model to follow. I think this is what we need, for the coming period: start-ups which can prove that our efforts can indeed lead to something quantifiable in this regard.
ClujBike Map started as an experiment on how custom software can improve a process.As the name suggests, the App is a map referring to the bike sharing stations around Cluj. The App is made to improve the user experience. I want to stress out the fact that ClujBike Map is a separate entity from the ClujBike project and it was created only to help it. Moreover, the App is free of charge.