Mihai Sfrijan, King: “The market has evolved from outsourcing to products developed 100% locally”

Romania is in a quite unique position on the game development market within the region, with four big multinational video game producers opening local studios here. How did they influence the Romanian development market and the rise of a generation of new independent studios?

We sat down with Mihai Sfrijan, Head of local studio at King, the Swedish game developer famous for Candy Crush Saga. The Romanian branch of the studio also developed Bubble Witch Saga, another successful title that made its first million dollars profit in just 41 days.

Mihai is the man behind the opening of the King’s local studio, as he worked for the company in Sweden and convinced them that Romania is the best alternative when they decided to expand. We’re happy to have King involved as a supporter of this year’s Game Development Track at How to Web Conference.

Dennis Cox, Ixia: “People tend to talk themselves out of things”

Jump! If you have an idea that you think is really awesome, do not spend more than a month researching around it; just do it! Coming from a serial entrepreneur as Dennis Cox, which made not one, but two successful exits in the same field — security, this should make you think.

Dennis’ secret to successful exit is not to have the exit in mind at all, but to enjoy building a great product.

You will find out more on the lessons that he has learnt over the years in his “Narrow it Down” talk at How to Web Conference 2014 Future trends & Entrepreneurship track.

Dennis Cox co-founded BreakingPoint in 2005 and served as its Chief Technology Officer until the acquisition by Ixia in August, 2012, for $160 million cash. At Ixia, Dennis is responsible for engineering and product direction.

Previously, Dennis was one of the founders of TippingPoint, acquired by the network equipment company 3Com (now a HP subsidiary) in 2005 for $442 million, and he is also the author of numerous patents on various topics from IP Spoofing to Network Processors.

Until the conference, get to know Dennis and his thoughts on security business, entrepreneurship, success and failure.

Marvin Liao, 500 Startups: “I see more consumer focused startups in Asia and Europe”

Like every year, How to Web Conference’s stage will host speakers from top accelerators around the world, who come to share their knowledge gathered in years of working with tech startups. One of our guests in the Future Trends & Entrepreneurship track this year is Marvin Liao, Venture Partner at 500 Startups,the VC Fund and Accelerator program based in Silicon Valley. 500 Startups was last year’s number one capital investor with 57 new deals, surpassing top VCs Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures.

Marvin was previously a client-facing senior executive in the media and technology space, in both large and startup growth companies (Yahoo!, China Search International, etc), having managing many large multifunctional teams across multiple countries and having acquired far-reaching experience.

He will be one of the panelists of “Startup lessons learnt the accelerated way” along with Marc Wesselink, Co-founder at Startupbootcamp Africa and Ignite’s co-founder Paul Smith at How to Web Conference 2014 Future trends and Entrepreneurship track.

We talked with Marvin about the most important lessons accelerator directors or mentors learn after dealing with hundreds of startups.

Jason Della Rocca, Execution Labs: “Game startups play by different rules, as the true value is in the games they create”

Games are part of our lives and essential component of learning process. We are more or less playing them all life long and no wonder that video-games market grew to an astonishing $93 Billion last year. Independent game development also took off with the arrival of the web and mobile platforms.

Eastern Europe’s game development market is booming, with a lot of indie studios entering the stage, so we had a discussion with Jason Della Rocca, one of the speakers at How to Web Conference 2014, Future trends & Entrepreneurship track, about what sets game development startups apart from the software development market in general.

Jason is the co-founder of Execution Labs, a first-of-its kind hybrid game incubator and go-to-market accelerator that helps independent game developers produce games and bring them to market.

Dilyan Dimitrov, Eleven: “If you chip in $100 in a $100,000 campaign, you are not really an active investor”

Crowdfunding emerged in the last years as a new way to finance product development and even startups. That’s why we asked Dylan Dimitrov, one of our speakers at How to Web Conference 2014, how he sees crowdfunding in the CEE in general and equity crowdfunding with its particularities.

Dylan’s Eleven Acceleration Venture Fund invested in Kown, also an Equity funding tool that helped three of the Eleven’s backed companies to raise additional funding.

How to Web: With respect to crowdfunding, can a product be seen as a “cause” to raise “donations”?

Dilyan Dimitrov: There is a difference between equity crowdfunding and crowdfunding – in one case investors get equity, and in the other – some rewards (donations?). The end goal is always the same – raise funding for a project, but the commitment to the “investors” is different. And this is where some projects (or “causes”) are more suitable for crowdfunding, while other startups can benefit from equity crowdfunding more. So – for some products – yes, for others – not so much.

Mark Tolmacs, Ustream: “Trying out ideas is the most important thing we all should do”

How to be a good product manager and how to build a great product? Two of the most sought after answers of the tech business. So we asked Mark Tolmacs, who happens to be a great product manager (for a platform which provides video streaming services to more than 80 million viewers & broadcasters), what his answers are, just before you can meet him at How to Web Conference 2014’s Product track to find out more on the subject.

Mark is Product Manager at Ustream, a live broadcast startup operating out of Silicon Valley, but co-founded by the Hungarian entrepreneur Gyula Feher and having technical operations and product development based also in Hungary.

Previously, Mark managed Ustream’s paid products and analytics services for more than three years. He’s an avid social and behavioral psychology enthusiast. In his free time Mark enjoys meeting new people and applying his knowledge to turn great ideas into products that delight.

How to Web: Tell us in just one sentence, what makes a great product?

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