When we started to organize How to Web 2010, a lot of people asked me: is Romania or Eastern Europe ready for this ? Is the local and regional industry developed enough so it can be interested in a big and expensive international event ?
Everybody knew that, during last years, more and more web businesses have arised from Eastern Europe. You can see that just by looking at the winners from the major startup competitions across Europe. Also, we’ve got Adobe Labs in Bucharest and Amazon developing cloud technologies in Iasi, and that’s a big leap forward from the traditional support centers we’ve got all around Eastern Europe.
Well, my answer (and my bet) is that we are at the begining of a new development stage for the Eastern European tech scene. Up until now we’ve only got the technical talent, along with a major lack of venture funds, international exposure and entrepreneurial skills. However, the startup scene is getting more global than ever, and talent starts attracting the money and the attention it deserves. All we need to do is ask.
And that’s what we’ve been doing for the last 8 months: we’ve been asking major web players and personalities to switch their focus to Easten Europe too, and we managed to get their attention. First part of the problem was solved.
Now moving to the next one: do the local business people understand their potential and want to move forward ?
Well, that’s one thing we’ve still got to find out in the same direct manner. Since last week, we’ve started to meet with local communities for small and focused presentations and direct chats. But that’s not enough, as we’ve found out some amazing things. More to come !