Cluj-Napoca (typically referred to simply as Cluj) is the unofficial capital of Transylvania, Romania and probably the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in Japanese Europe. Residence to the summer time music pageant Untold and to the Transylvania International Movie Pageant, Cluj is a cultural middle, a tutorial hub, and a city of innovation.
With a population of just 300okay, Cluj was named the European Youth Capital of 2015, and was not only ranked as probably the most welcoming metropolis to foreigners in accordance with an European Commission research, however can also be among the many prime three fastest-growing native economies in the EU, in response to Eurostat.
In recent times, the tech scene in Cluj has managed to make headway, growing greater than tenfold within the final decade and turning into the primary IT enterprise hub within the nation, after Bucharest. Also, the share of startups within the city is greater than the nationwide average, demonstrating that novelty is likely one of the important belongings which Cluj brings to the IT sector.
In line with a research carried out by iTech Transilvania Cluster, one out of 11 individuals dwelling in Cluj are working in the IT sector, which is rising constantly, comprising 10% of the lively corporations in Romania. The town is understood for its tech talent and the IT corporations that thrive right here, a few of them reaching over 1,000 staff and greater than €30-40 million in annual revenue. Showcasing the local tech talent are two of probably the most successful startups who have been born in Cluj: LiveRail, a video advertising platform, which was acquired by Facebook for a reported $400-500 million in 2014, and Skobbler, the map and navigation app-maker that was acquired by Telenav for about $24 million. Each had founders from Cluj and/or the preliminary engineering group based mostly in Cluj.
As a fast rising tech and innovation hub, Cluj is now drawing the eye of entrepreneurs occupied with partnering with native corporations or launching their own tech startups with with an area co-founder or workforce.
Under is an summary of the town’s prime startup hubs, startups, accelerators, and events, which might be working collectively to make Cluj one of the strongest startup ecosystems in Japanese Europe.
Quotes from members of Cluj Startups scene
“Based mostly on the software program industry, Cluj has developed tremendously within the final 15 years and nowadays could be very lively when it comes to its startup ecosystem, with loads of meetups, conferences and packages that will help you launch your startup. It’s undoubtedly very promising and in a couple of years, based mostly on current progress, it can turn into a very engaging startup hub for Europe. We’ve had many requests in tech-matching with native dev groups, and the demand is rising.” – Mircea Vadan, co-founder of Cluj Startups and Managing Companion at Activize.Tech
“Cluj is a youthful city where everyone feels at house and has a chance for personal and professional achievement. In recent times it has turn into a hotbed for innovation and has been experiencing a continuing progress of startups. Cluj continues to be a problem free city which mixes gracefully schooling opportunities, know-how, infrastructure and a modern way of life, all essential elements for a any startup that units off to overcome the world.” – Andrei Kelemen, Government Director of Cluj IT Cluster
“Cluj-Napoca has a singular demography amongst EU cities of the same measurement, with 25% of the population being students, thus creating an ideal marketplace for speedy testing and prototyping of latest services. Prior to now 5 years, the variety of startups in our metropolis has no less than doubled. Within the context of Startup Europe Cities initiative, Cluj will give attention to AI, ML, blockchain and IoMT (Internet of Medical Issues). We have now all the required assets: nice universities, mature corporations, and a pro-active native public administration – for building a robust and profitable startup ecosystem. Robust collaboration between totally different stakeholders is one in every of our important belongings.” – Bianca Muntean, Government Director of Transilvania IT Cluster
Cluj’s prime startup hubs and communities
Cluj Startups‘ mission is to help and facilitate the expansion of the startup ecosystem in Cluj by organising events and workshops, connecting startups with assets and supporting the tech conferences and startup packages. It counts several thousand individuals lively members locally and is in touch with a lot of the lively startups within the region.
FreshBlood.Health – A group aiming to help new startups in healthcare by merging medical information with know-how. It was based in 2017 and is working in partnership with EIT Health. It encourages students, young docs, and software developers to collaborate and construct options together for healthcare associated needs, and has thus elevated the variety of teams targeted on healthcare in hackathons throughout the country.
Tech’n Trade – Allows entrepreneurs and innovators to create superb experiences in retail tech, supporting them in product constructing and providing free workspace and a space for meetups to the group. Tech’n Commerce just lately launched the Startup Hub, a program for entrepreneurs and early stage startups, aiming to attach them with the B2B retail market and providing help to start out up and develop.
Startup Grind Cluj – Startup Grind, powered by Google for Startups, is a worldwide startup group designed to teach, encourage, and connect entrepreneurs. The cornerstone of the organization is their month-to-month events featuring profitable native founders, innovators, educators, and buyers who share classes discovered on the street to constructing great corporations.
Silicon Forest – Silicon Forest offers a variety of amenities designed to create an off-the-cuff and artistic workspace. Based mostly within the city middle, the hub is an ideal assembly place for professionals with progressive ideas. The area is tailored to tech industry entrepreneurs as well as corporations and freelancers from different enterprise areas.
Cluj’s most promising startups
AlphaBlock – An AI firm that builds international, automated funding administration solutions and validates them by means of blockchain. In 2016, as part of the primary MIT Fintech Program program, AlphaBlock was named as one of many Prime 50 Fintech Capstone Tasks.
teleportHQ – A platform and a set of tools constructed for consumer interface professionals, teleport simplifies the process of making, sustaining, and publishing consumer interfaces for desktop and cellular units. The platform is built on prime of teleportHQ’s open-source code turbines and leverages several machine studying fashions which enable automated code era and design era.
Moqups – A nifty HTML5 App used to create wireframes, UI ideas or prototypes, Moqups is among the prime 5 instruments used on the earth for this matter. The web, all-in-one platform can take you all the best way from brainstorming to prototypes with out switching apps. Combining highly effective features and a clear, lightweight UI, Moqups is the right low effort, excessive impression app for creating a wide range of visual materials for any venture: thoughts maps, diagrams, dashboards, wireframes, mockups, and prototypes.
AudioBrief.News – Provides you a playlist with every day summarised audio information which you could take heed to anytime, anyplace. AudioBrief collects information from numerous sources and subjects, summarises them, and transforms them from textual content to voice for users to pay attention on their cellular app or other sensible audio units.
Neurolabs – Offers AI options for the retail industry. They aim all issues occurring in the supply chain, from forecasting to on-shelf monitoring and self-checkout. Their flagship product uses pc vision and deep studying to improve on state-of-the-art self-checkout solutions, without requiring any modifications to present grocery store setups.
Accelerators, Incubators and Funding buildings
GapMinder – VC fund concentrating on IT software program and providers startups in Romania and Central & Japanese Europe, offering as much as €1.5 million in seed funding and a further €four.5 million in follow-on rounds. GapMinder targets early-stage corporations with preliminary traction driven by excellent teams and entrepreneurs and the concentrate on scale potential in search of disruptive tasks with regional, European and international ambitions.
Techcelerator – A 10-week long acceleration program for tech startups, to help them reach market fit by way of devoted pre-seed and seed investment rounds. Techcelerator is the only accelerator in Romania backed by an funding fund. Arms on, intensive mentorship, and networking periods with prime industries professionals makes for a gorgeous package deal of scale-up providers.
“Within the final 2 years we’re seeing a gentle evolution of the ecosystem and we managed to deploy over 3 million euros in early stage investments as probably the most lively VC in Romania Cluj is placed second, after Bucharest – the nation capital, when it comes to teams making use of to our acceleration packages. Due to this we expect to increase our investments in Cluj and within the surrounding cities the place we invested already.” – Cristian Dascalu, co-founder of Techcelerator and companion in GapMinder VC
Spherik – Was born out of the assumption in the artistic capacity of the brand new era of Central & Japanese Europe entrepreneurs. Its purpose is to help the ecosystem by pooling together main stakeholders, from universities to non-public corporations and local government. The Spherik strategy maximizes the chance of a startup’s success by offering entry to assets needed for the product, the market, and capital. The programme consists of post-acceleration help so as to refine the business past the acceleration part.
“Cluj-Napoca is a vibrant metropolis that is set to turn into one of the entrepreneurial scorching spots in the CEE space. Spherik Accelerator works towards this finish by connecting Cluj to the regional players and to the EU ecosystem. This openness brings an inflow of assets and new concepts, all needed to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cluj and within the country.” – Diana Rusu, Government Director of Spherik Accelerator
Risky Business – This pre-seed fund targeted on early-stage startups supplies funding up to €100okay, plus acceleration help. The primary acceleration fund in Romania, it was created by 30+ of probably the most outstanding and forward considering business individuals in Transylvania.
Transylvania Angel Network – A new initiative created to convey collectively business angels who’re excited about angel investing and mentoring tech startups. As a community, it’s targeted on connecting individuals and startups, whereas aiding us to develop and mature the local startup setting. It was started last yr and to date counts 80 individuals.
Culturepreneurs – An annual program devoted to cultural industries by supporting job creation on this sector and the promotion of cultural and artistic merchandise. Culturepreneurs helps the creation and the development of startups in design, film, music, crafts, and media. Over a 3 month period, they provide area for coworking, coaching and consulting in know-how administration, and incubation. On the similar time, they supply an organized framework for conferences with potential buyers and distributors.
Cluj’s hottest startup/tech occasions
Startup Weekend Cluj – As a part of the Startup Weekend international group, this startup event is meant for programmers, business individuals, designers. Startup Weekend is the place to search for a staff, validate your concept, and create a prototype to check it and receive suggestions and steerage from experienced entrepreneurs and industry specialists, all throughout one weekend.
Techsylvania – The main tech event in Japanese Europe, exploring visionary ideas, ground-breaking tasks and changing markets, via conferences, workshops & far more. Over three,000 engineers, founders, buyers, executives and CEOs of IT & digital corporations, banks and pioneers of rising startups from the world over meet at Techsylvania, in the heart of Transylvania for inspiration and networking.
Cluj Innovation Days – Cluj Innovation Days is a world annual event targeted on encouraging innovation, research and entrepreneurship as key elements in the direction of constructing sustainability in companies and group improvement. The event is dedicated to innovation, cross-industry and cross-sector cooperation, new business fashions, and creating partnerships.
Codecamp – Codecamp began in 2008 as an answer to the rising demand of the early IT group for a place to share concepts and grow. Now, 12 years and over 45 conferences later, Codecamp has turn into one of the largest IT occasions in Romania, still protecting true to its core worth: by the group, for the group. Codecamp is the right place to seek out out extra about new technologies, practices and developments in the IT Business.
IT Days – IT Days is a regional conference in Cluj that focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship and technologies in the IT area. Since its start in 2013, the convention has gathered together the most important corporations within the tech world. Greater than 800 members attend the two-day convention annually.