Two new Bucharest accelerators, and one of them has THE perfect 10 on board…

This year we witnessed the launch of the first two Bucharest startup accelerators: Geekcelerator and Digital Catalyst Fund.

Geekcelerator is founded by Vlad Stan, an Internet entrepreneur with more than 12 years of experience in building startups and angel investor for 4 years. They started with a series of events, Disrupt or Die, which are two days of intensive hands-on working sessions plus great networking opportunities, offering a great learning experience, feedback and new ideas to the teams. Having participated in one of these events myself, I can fully see the benefits they bring in defining the initial product concept.

Digital Catalyst Fund on the other hand is started by Cristian Burci, “The Founding Father of the Romanian Advertising Industry”, as he is named. Cristian also launched the national television station Prima TV. Prima was the first Romanian channel to air ‘Big Brother’, and first to launch ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’. A very interesting and intriguing face on their board of mentors is Nadia Comaneci, one of the best-known gymnast in the world and the first female gymnast ever to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic history. (Nadia is also on Twitter, where she goes by the handle Nadiacomaneci10 - nice touch!) They put up 1.5 million dollars for a batch of 10 startups.

Taking into consideration the economic crisis, one could assume that the timing isn’t right but, the Bucharest area has been getting some attention lately because of its incredible local pool of talent. You could also argue that Bucharest isn’t exactly a hotbed of  entrepreneurial culture, due to the high number of outsourcing companies which attract a lot of the local engineers. But the attractiveness of a good mentors line-up, a VC network and initial investment could be a game changer.

Do you know any great startups in Bucharest or Cluj? Let us know!

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Photo: Nadia Comaneci, credit unknown

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About the author

Vlad Ciurca

Vlad is a young manager and entrepreneur with over 5 years experience in retail, warehousing, business development, event organizing and product management. He is a Specification Engineer at Skobbler, working on creating map based applications for mobile devices. Vlad is the Organizer of the successful Startup Weekend Cluj event held in February 2012, and Founder of Transylvania Business Community. Prior to the above, Vlad was an Operation Supervisor at UPS and Ceva Logistics and managed a 70 person team, starting from a 4 person team. Also, he was the Co-Founder of one of the biggest online and offline communities of managers and entrepreneurs in Transylvania, Romanian Managers CLUJ, with almost 900 members. In 2011, Vlad was named a Technology and Entrepreneurship Expert in the "Young Romania Forum", a project organized by the League of Romanian Students Abroad, with the aim of getting the younger generation involved in the future of Romania. In 2012, he was a Mentor at the Imaginarium Cluj event, part of Restart Edu. You can follow Vlad on Twitter.

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