5 Questions With Ciprian Borodescu (Appticles): Building the future of news interfaces in partnership with Google Digital News Initiative

In December 2017, Appticles announced the winning of a $50k grant from the Google Digital News Initiative, in support of building their new product, MorphL – AI-driven UI.

Ciprian and Alexandra, Appticles’s founders, are well-known figures in the Romanian startup ecosystem – first Romanian entrepreneurs to join Startup Bootcamp in 2010, organisers of the Bucharest JavaScript community, one of the biggest active meetups in Bucharest, speakers to dozens of events, from Startup Weekend to Wordcamp. We were curious to find out more about their experience getting the grant and their future plans, so we had a chat with Ciprian.

5 Questions With Luciana Lixandru (Accel): Why we should expect to have a multi-billion dollar company out of Bucharest

The news broke at the end of April: Accel and other 3 previous investors were putting $30m in Bucharest-based UiPath, in what was one of the biggest Series A in Europe in 2017. The lead investor for the deal on behalf of Accel, Luciana Lixandru, had recently been promoted to partner.

Originally from Buzau, with an undergrad degree from Georgetown Unversity, Luciana started her career with Morgan-Stanely in New York before moving to London. Initially with Summit Partners, she became an associate and then a partner at Accel, one of the most notable venture capital companies in the world. With Accel, Luciana has been involved with companies like Deliveroo, Algolia and now UiPath.

A next step for the How to Web Conference


Launched in 2010, the How to Web Conference has become a permanent fixture in the CEE tech ecosystem. This year, after 7 annual editions, we’re taking a break and preparing for the 2018 edition.

Starting with 2018, the How to Web Conference will be managed and organised by ANIS (The National Association of the Software Industry in Romania). As part of this transition, I will continue to be involved as an active advisor.

5 Questions With Planable: An improbable alumni of TechStars London, the best European accelerator

In July 2017, Planable (www.planable.io), a two-year-old startup from Chisinau & Cluj was accepted to TechStars London, probably the best acceleration program in Europe. Annually, TechStars accepts 20 companies into its programs (in London and Berlin) out of 2000-2500 applications – not an easy treat.

However, at first sight Planable is not that special. What are the growth prospects for a social media tool in 2017, when Hootsuite and Buffer are already 10 years old established businesses? What is so disruptive about it? How did they impress TechStars? What makes them special?

5 Questions With Bogdan Oros: Failure, focus and hunting for Onyx Beacon’s enterprise clients

In June 2017, Onyx Beacon announced a pilot project with Lockheed Martin, the $83bln aerospace & defence American corporation, which is using their newly launched Tracko product.

However, for Bogdan Oros it all started 4 years earlier. In April 2013, a young team from Cluj was pitching a feedback via-SMS solution at the Launchub Demo Day in Sofia. As team lead, Bogdan Oros convinced the investors and, with $30k in their pockets, they took their shot at building TXT Feedback. It did not work.

5 Questions With Mihai Rotaru: Why did Daimler buy CleverTaxi for $10+ million

Almost 7 years ago, Mihai Rotaru and Alexandru Dumitru were starting a new project during the first ever Startup Weekend event organised in Romania. The project would become CleverTaxi – launched in 2011 in partnership with Orange as an aggregator of taxi services accessible via the CleverTaxi mobile app.

Backed by Andrei Pitis as an early investor and technical expert, the company started to grow. In 2013 it introduced the now famous command desks at the Otopeni Airport, then in 2014 raised an undisclosed round from Neogen / Calin Fusu.

But competition grew significantly. Meridian Taxi and Speed Taxi developed their own apps and command desks in 2013, and in 2014 Uber was launched in Romania. Not many people were confident that CleverTaxi, which scaled in 20 cities in Romania, would become a success story.

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