Facts & Dots

There is so much noise all around! And I do not mean just the sound of the car engine, the factory, the extremely loud music. I also think of the never-ending social media post, break-news and fake news, hundreds of events close-by, innovations, big shocking headlines, "important statements", new regulations and so on. Well, in a way they are all facts of our daily life. Some may worth looking at not because they are good or bad, but because of what they mean on the long-run. The implications. Question is "what do you do?" You cannot hide, that's for sure! Not if you want to have a saying in what happens to you and those people who will follow you — your children and grandkids; your best friend's family; the land your ancestors protected and died for; your cultural heritage and identity; your own nation's nation.

Observe. Evaluate. Filter. Ask questions. Think of the consequences. Decide. Take action!

Last Call for Participants — European Communication Monitor 2019

This is a quick reminder for all communication professionals across Europe to participate in The European Communication Monitor 2019 survey, which is available at www.communicationmonitor.net until March 8th. Besides the great knowledge win you get, every participant will receive a full report of the results and be entered in a prize draw for 5 Kindle Paperwhite E-Readers.
If you wonder why would you take the time to respond to this survey, here are a few possible answers.  With more than 21,000 participants from over 40 countries to date, the annual European Communication Monitor is the largest empirical survey in communication management and public relations worldwide. You can get a broader perspective on hot topics such as trust and authenticity in public relations, how Artificial Intelligence impacts communication, as well as new forms of content creation and distribution. The European Communication Monitor, now in its 13th year, will also identify the characteristics of excellent communication departments and explore commonalities and differences across Europe. Country-to-country comparisons and benchmarks of different types of organisations (private and joint-stock companies, non-profit, governmental, agencies, etc.) will make the results relevant for everybody in the field.

European Communication Monitor 2019

European Communication Monitor is an annual poll on the status and future of strategic communication conducted by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA).

The European Communication Monitor is led by professors from renowned universities within the framework of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) together with the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD), supported by PRIME Research – A Cision company, and Fink & Fuchs.

European Communication Monitor 2018

ECM 2018 report
ECM 2018 report
In case you are still not convinced, have a look at the European Communication Monitor 2018 (ECM 2018) report which explored besides key trends such as fake news, communications’ contributions to organisational success as well as the work environment for communication professionals in Europe. Just as well, it looked at work engagement and stress, job satisfaction and its drivers, the status of leadership in communication units.
The European Communication Monitor 2018 conclusions were based on almost 3,100 communication professionals in 48 countries. Detailed analyses were available for 22 countries and different types of organisations (companies, non-profits, governmental, agencies). You can download 2018 report here.

European Communication Summit 2019

Results of European Communication Monitor 2019 the will be presented at the European Communications Summit in Berlin at the end of May 2019 and at conferences worldwide thereafter.
The four tracks of the summit will discuss new approaches to stakeholder engagement, evolving communication strategies, instruments and channels, tech trends of the future and strategies to lead and manage your communication department digitally and effectively. The European Communications Summit event brings together cross-industry leaders and communications experts to discuss the transformation of community and communications across Europe. More than 400 communication experts meet at the event to talk about different areas of change and challenges that communicators are facing.

2017 MVP Academy – Applications Now Open

The MVP Academy acceleration program, developed by TechHub Bucharest, recently announced that applications are open for the 4th edition of the accelerator dedicated to tech businesses. Startup founders that want to benefit from mentorship with tech experts, connections with the global industry and investment opportunities can submit their applications online by February 9, 2017.

2017 MVP Academy

Below we have the key important dates of 2017 MVP Academy.

  • Timing — 9 weeks (6th of March – 8th of May, 2017)
  • Location — TechHub Bucharest – the largest co-working space dedicated to tech professionals in Romania.
  • Program — Free-of-charge; selected teams will take part in tens of hours of 1-on-1 mentoring sessions with national and international experts in order to refine their development strategy, product functionalities and go-to-market strategy;
  • What it takes for applicants to get in the program — startups need to be working on a tech-related product, have a functional prototype, target a global market and show commitment in building their business; last but not least important, founders and teams must have a solid professional track;
  • MVP Academy mentors‘ tour — there’s a series of events planned in several cities, including Iași, Timișoara, Cluj, Bucharest and Sibiu. Details about the events will be published on the program’s website;
  • How to apply for 2017 MVP Academy — you can apply until Sunday, February 19, by filling in the registration form available online.

More details about the 4th edition are available here. It also includes 2016 MVP Academy Follow-up Report.

MVP Academy track record to date

  • 4 editions, 18 products launched on the global market, 45 business accelerated;
  • Investments raised — just MVP Academy 2016 alumni alone raised EUR 760K until now; if we consider all three previous editions, we are talking about EUR 1.7 million; most recent investments went to Reflex, Silometer, Scooterson and TypingDNA;  8 of the products developed by the 2016 alumni are available on the market, with the rest still under development in various stages
  • Overall program results — report available here;

MVP Academy Alumni …

I’ve seen, talked and mentored some of these startups, yet I must admit AxoSuits, is my favourite so far and that’s why I’ve already written about their amazing and affordable medical exoskeleton.

FitBit Acquires Vector Watch

In March 2015, I was writing on my blog about the pre-order launch campaign launch of Vector — the smartwatch with Romanian DNA which promised customers 30-days battery life. One year later and just few days after CES, FitBit—the global wearable giant, announced Vector ‘s acquisition. The transaction price remains undisclosed.

According to Andrei Pitis, Vector CEO & founder, confirmed the news to TechCrunch and said Fitbit is acquiring the company for its “software platform and design team.”

“We believe this is an important milestone as a moment when we will start building other new and amazing products, features, and experiences, incorporating our unique technology and knowhow with Fitbit’s experience and global community,” the Vector team wrote on its website.

Customers in 25 countries will continue to enjoy the Vector Watch experience: a 30-day battery life smartwatch, with customisable watch-faces and dedicated streams. More details about what will happen in terms of customer support, you can read on Vector website.

FitBit’s strategic acquisition of Vector …

For Vector and for the Romanian startup community, Vector’s acquisition is definitely good news. However, there’s one good question one can ask. Why would FitBit buy Vector? Here are few things we do know:

  • Vector will neither add new software and hardware product features;  on the other hand, serial entrepreneur Pitis successfully built an awesome technology and design team which included Joe Santana—the former CEO of iconic watch brand Timex, Steve Jarvis—Design Director and former creative lead on projects such as Timex and Nike FuelBand, and Ron Spencer— Vector COO and former COO of Bulova, Fossil; last, but not least important, Romania is well-know for its leading developer community and tech talent available at very competitive costs by comparison with other Western markets; so, it is not surprising to read that …

“Our vision is to build a cutting-edge development center in Bucharest which will include product management, design, software development and research teams.” Andrei Pitis

  • FitBit also acquired smartwatch startup Peeble at the end of last year; sources say the purchase excluded Pebble’s hardware; the deal was all all about hiring the startup’s software engineers and testers, and getting intellectual property such as the Pebble watch’s operating system, watch apps, and cloud services;
  • In May 2016 Fitbit purchased Coin’s wearable-payments assets, with plans to develop a payment solution that could rival with Apple Pay;
  • Although Fitbit is the leading seller of wearables, but sales growth of the company’s line of fitness activity trackers stalled towards the end of 2016, dropping Fitbit’s share price value by 75%;
  • Smartwatches have enjoyed a lot of buzz in the past year and for sure launches from Apple, Samsung or Fossil contributed a lot; however, despite of consumers’ interest during 2016 the third quarter, smartwatch shipments plunged more than 51%, according to research firm IDC

Considering these three acquisitions FitBit definitely continues its roll-up of talent associated with watches, wearables and fitness devices.

The company only announced the launch of new products coming later this year. However, Fitbit hasn’t officially announced that it is creating a smartwatch. I do believe they will certainly come up with a very big surprise this year. Time will tell whether I’m right or wrong, but it only makes sense to me that with three different operating systems and such knowledge expert team in their courtyard, FitBit will try its best to create a wearable OS that can compete with Apple’s WatchOS and Google’s Android Wear.

The First Biodiesel Locomotive in Romania

It took over a year for a team of engineers at Reloc-Electroputere VFU Craiova to build the first biodiesel (B100) or vegetal oil locomotive in Romania.

Biodisel locomotive
The first Romanian locomotive running exclusively on biodiesel (B100) or vegetable oil. Source: Adevarul.ro 

In a time when car manufacturers such as BMW and Volkswagen are faced with accusations of falsifying the reports regarding the exhaust emissions or fuel venting of their models, a team of Romanian engineers at Reloc-Electroputere VFU Craiova recently announced that they have successfully tested the first locomotive in Romanian running exclusively on pure biodiesel (B100) or vegetable oil.

The first Romanian locomotive running exclusively on biodiesel (B100) or vegetable oil. Source: Adevarul.ro

At least 50% less emissions

According to Calin Gratian, President of Reloc-Electroputere VFU Craiova, this revolutionary new locomotive is extremely friendly with the environment as it will not pollute it. “It does not contain sulphur and the emissions are 50% lower than those of classic diesel engines.”

The engine, equivalent to a traditional diesel-powered engine in power and performance, but with much lower polluting emissions, was modified from one of the most widely used diesel engines in Romania, namely LDE 2100 CP. Over the years more than 2000 LDE 2100 CP have been produced in Romania.

Within the next months tests for the new engine will continue to monitor the performance during more difficult weather conditions. When finalized, mass production for the biodiesel engine will start.

Promising future for the Romanian biodiesel locomotive

Reaching a speed of  100km/hour, the representatives of Reloc-Electroputere VFU Craiova are convinced that the new locomotive has a great export potential.

“We know this is a unique product in the world. As far as we know, there’s another similar project in Canada, but the size and amplitude of our project is much higher. there are major technical differences between the two projects,” says Cezar Buica, one of the teams’ engineers. “This project has been kept secret and only those working on it knew how the final product will look like.”  

Electroputere VFU Craiova has a history of over 50 years of contributing and innovating for the Romanian infrastructure system.  This translates into more than 8000 designed, built, rebuilt, repaired or modernized locomotives, subways, trams and over 20 design patterns for creating innovative locomotives, trams or subways.

Due to a significant amount of investments, cooperation with prestigious companies from Switzerland, Sweden, France, Germany and Italy, and the efforts of many specialists, Electroputere VFU brand became known in over 10 countries on two continents.

In May 2015, Grampet Group, the biggest private railway holding from Central and South Eastern Europe and Caterpillar Inc., the biggest engine producer from the United States of America, and Electroputere VFU have established a strategic partnership for the construction and development of new locomotives. The collaboration of the two companies resulted in the launch of a new hydraulic diesel locomotive of 1260 HP (May 2015), produced by Electroputere VFU Craiova. It is the first the first diesel locomotive produced in Romania since the fall of the Ceausescu regime

Biodiesel engines testing

Biodiesel is technologically feasible for blending in diesel traction systems and although emissions of rail engines have been a major concern across the world, there have been few really successful projects such as the Romanian one.

According to Biofulestp.eu, there is relatively little experience with using biodiesel in railways.  A number of European rail operators such as French SNCF, German DB, Czech CD, Hungarian MAV have carried out bench and field trials on rail vehicle and engines.

In 2009, a five-month trial of biodiesel was undertaken in what Canadian Pacific claimed to be its first use with locomotives operating in the cold Canadian climate. Four GE Transportation AC4400 locomotives in dedicated service between Calgary and Edmonton are using a 5% biodiesel blend from November until the end of March 2010.

Amtrack 2015
Amtrack 2015 – emissions of locomotive NC 1810 were measured en route from Raleigh to Charlotte. Source: NC State University

Amtrack 2015 – emissions of locomotive NC 1810 were measured en route from Raleigh to Charlotte. Source: NC State University

In spring 2015, Amtrack team led by Dr. H. Christopher Frey led a study to evaluate biodiesel for railroad applications. Over 400 hours of measurements were made during Amtrak passenger service between Raleigh and Charlotte. NC State University reported that:  “The biofuels were found to be effective in reducing emissions of hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter air pollution, although there was some increase in emissions of nitrogen oxides. However, these fuels also reduce net carbon dioxide emissions. No adverse effects on locomotive operation were observed, and there was little difference in fuel cost. This new information will be helpful to rail operators in making decisions regarding possible adoption of biofuels.”

Personal hope

“Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented.” Barry Commoner

There are people dreaming of leaving a healthier and cleaner environment to the next generations; each every little gesture they do to protect our planet contributes to a better future. We do see brands aware of their mission for the future and joining forces to address in any way they can issues such as pollution, environmental degradations or climate control. There are more or less successful attempt of regulating the market businesses operate in aiming to protect the environment… yes, there’s so much more to be done, yet it’s up to us. I’m not sure whether Commoner was right when claiming pollution is an incurable disease, yet there’s one thing I’m sure of and that is hope dies last. 

R/GA Thoughts on the Future of Technology

One of the most Top 10 innovative companies in the world, according to Fast Company, R/GA is known for the agency that reinvented itself over and over again when the business context required it. Technology has always played a major role in this transformation. Here’s how some of the brightest minds in R/GA are thinking today of the future of technology.

Bob Greenberg picks his favorite technologies

“The physical space and how it connects with the digital landscape is the next new big thing,” according to Bob Greenberg, co-founder, chairman and CEO of R/GA. Greenberg discusses how he has been able to recognize cycles of technological change and adjust his business to stay ahead of the curve. And a nice bonus about how R/GA’s new headquarters, in the Hudson Yard development in New York, will be a “physical version of our capabilities,” employing cutting technology to blur the boundaries between remote and in-person working. Read the full article on Campaign US

Los Angeles Dodgers

R/GA Accelerator
LA Doggers & R/GA Accelerator

The LA Dodgers Accelerator, a program in partnership with R/GA and TechStars, has recently kicked off its first class today with 10 sports-related tech startups. Unlike other typical Silicon Valley accelerators, the 10 companies which vary widely in stage, funds raised, and revenue, instead of shaping themselves up to close a seed round, will be leveraging the network of the Dodgers and R/GA to run pilots, forge partnerships and ramp up sales. Read the full article on TechCrunch

Bringing Data Into the Fitness Club

Jonathan Greene, VP, managing director, mobile platforms, R/GA, speaks with Carlos Becil, CMO, Equinox, about the company’s new “Connected Cycling” program in this new FutureVision interview. Watch the full interview on Future Vision (free subscription required)

Connected spaces

R/GA’s Future Vision magazine article on how rather than trying to compete with e-commerce on convenience, brick-and-mortar stores are revamping their physical spaces to better showcase their strengths. Read the full article on Future Vision (free subscription required)

What the top innovators say about the future of video

R/GA’s Taras Wayner and Chris Northam participated in an Adweek and DCN dinner to talk about disruption in the advertising industry. Servings of Periscope and Meerkat were on the menu. Read the full story on AdWeek

July’s 22 Science Medals for Romania

In case anyone doubted, Romania does have talent! And it’s not all about great developers or musicians; it is also about high-school students from various regions of the country winning 22 science medals (physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry and informatics) and July it’s not over yet!

Romania rank 1st in Europe at Physics Olympics

In the past two weeks Romanian national physics team won a total of five medals at Physics International Olympics:

  • Gold medal: Stefan Eniceicu & Tudor Cretu (Bucharest, Informatics Highschool)
  • Silver medal: Cristian Alexandru Frunza & Razvan Radu (Bucharest, Informatics Highschool)
  • Bronze Medal: Ileana Rugina (International Informatics Highschool)

This score ranks Romania 1st in Europe and 10th worldwide at Physics.

The 46th edition of the Physics International Olympics 2015 took place in Mumbai, India (July 4-12). More than 190 high-school students from 48 countries competed for the medals.

Romania rank 1st in Europe at Mathematics Olympiad

International Mathematics Olympics
International Mathematics Olympics

The six medals won by our young mathematicians at the 56th International Mathematics Olympics (July 4-15, Chiang Mai, Thailand) edition ranks Romania 13th in the world and 1st in Europe.

The gold medal went to Simona Diaconu, the only girl in the team. Theodor Andrei Andronache,  Marius Ioan Bocanu, Ciprian Mircea Bonciocat  and Stefan Spataru brought back home 3 silver medals. Andrei Bogdan Puiu got the bronze medal.

Gold medal at International Biology Olympiad

 Mircea Dan Mirea
Mircea Dan Mirea. Photo: Mesagerul de Covasna

Last week at the The International Biology Olympiad 2015, Mircea Dan Mirea, a XIIth grade student from Craiova, won the first gold medal ever for Romania.

Mircea has quite a great record when it comes to biology competitions: 5 international medals, 15 national awards and diplomas and tens of local and regional ones.

The International Biology Olympiad (IBO) is an annual event where students from all over the world compete on their knowledge of biology. 2015 took place in Aarhus, Denmark. 62 countries across the globe had their national teams competing at IBO2015  The participants are school students up to age 19. To take part in the IBO, the students must be in the top four in the National Biology Olympiad in their individual countries.

10 medals for Romania at Tuymaada

Medals for Romanians @ Tuymaada International Olympiad

Ten more medals for Romanian students won at the the multidisciplinary Tuymaada International Olympiad organized in the Republic of Saka, Russia.

  • Chemistry: 1 gold medal for Cristian Robert Raclea; 2 silver medals for Maria Velicu & Sabina-Giorgiana Firtala
  • Mathematics: 2 bronze medals for Andreea Dima and Mihnea-Gabriel Doica
  • Informatics: 2 gold medals for Darius Marian & Andrei Costin Oncescu; 1 silver medal for Vlad Mihai Rochian
  • Physics: 2 silver medals for Iulian Robert Răveanu & Mihai Ovidiu Popa

150 students from 6 Central and Eastern Europe competed at the XXII International Olympiad on Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer science “Tuymaada-2015”.

RockYou Acquires Romanian Solitaire Games

MavenHut, a gaming company founded in Romania, has recently sold for an undisclosed price two solitaire apps to RockYou, expanding the latter’s reach into social games.

MavenHut's Founders
MavenHut’s Founders – Elvis Apostol (left), Cristi Badea (center) and Bobby Voicu (right). Photo: Forbes Romania

Only three years ago, three Romanians – Cristi Badea (28 yrs), Elvis Apostol (30 yrs) and Bobby Voicu (36 yrs), founded MavenHut, a local gaming development company.  Success followed soon with the launch of its first Solitaire Arena on Facebook (2012) and SOSVentures invested the same over 500.000 Euro by acquiring a minor share package. In 2013, MaveHut launched its iOS app; that year Solitaire Arena already reached 1 million daily active users. Android app followed the next year. At the moment of the acquisition (June 2015), MavenHut was in Europe’s top 3 Facebook gaming development companies with 1.5 million daily active users.

A first-time ever transaction in Romania

What makes this transaction a premiere is the fact that MavenHut will remain 100% owners of the code, allowing them to further capitalize the knowledge acquired in the past three years and further develop Solitare games but without being able to use this trademark, sound, design etc. From the Romanian founders’ point of view, this is a dream transaction as they were never interested in a take-over. “This transaction makes us look only towards the future”, declared Badea to Forbes Romania.

What’s in it for RockYou

According to Lisa Marino, chief executive of San Francisco-based RockYou, the acquisition of MavenHut’s Solitaire Arena and Solitaire 3 Arena games is part of RockYou’s ongoing bid to profitably operate games that other companies have decided to unload. “This doubles our daily active reach in the U.S.,” said Marino to VentureBeat‘s Dean Takahashi. “We are excited about what we can do. We love casual casino games and this fits squarely in that space.”

Chapeau, MavenHut team!

For proving once again that good products can be created and successfully developed anywhere… and that Romanian start-ups do have a real chance of making it global!

1 million Euro for 123Contact Form

With €1.000.000 investment, Catalyst Romania has recently became a minority shareholder of the Romanian company 123Contact Form, a top class online form and survey builder.

123 Contact Form
123 Contact Form

Founded in 2008 by Florin Cornianu and Tudor Bastea in Timisoara, the Romanian company 123ContactForm has become a worldwide top class online form and survey builder. Recently they have received an €1.000.000 investment from 3TS Catalyst Romania. 123ContactForm will use this for product development, marketing and human resources.

123ContactForm, a leading online form builder for web and mobile, has established itself as a major player in the industry through its signature “1-2-3-GO” concept in creating forms and surveys. The enterprise-ready form building solutions offered by 123ContactForm serve a wide range of customers, from home based businesses to large corporations, with a focus on small business and web design agencies. At present, thousands of websites and blogs across the world run live forms created with 123ContactForm.

123Contact Form – quick facts

Today thousands of websites across the world run live forms created with 123ContactForm. Here are some quick facts as presented by 123Contact Form:

  • 52 languages translation support for web forms;
  • 184 countries form the visitors base at present
  • 120,000 unique pageviews per month;
  • 200,000+ users have tried the platform so far.

123ContactForm is ranked 6th among form builder apps worldwide (Alexa-based) and receives a 5 out of 5 star rating. Here you can read the review of 123Contact Form product.

3TS Capital Partners

3TS Capital Partners is one of the leading private equity and venture capital firms in Central and Eastern Europe operating in the whole region through offices in Budapest, Bucharest, Prague, Vienna, Warsaw and Istanbul. Among its main shareholders are CISCO, European Investment Fund, European Development and Reconstruction Bank, OTP Group and BT Group.

With investments varying between €500.000-€2.000.000, 3TS Capital Catalyst holds shares in several Romanian technology and digital companies such as Simartis, Elefant.ro, IntenetCorp, AvocatNet and Green Horse Games.

Vote for SafeDrive

Winner of of the Large Organization Recognition Award at Connected Intersections, Romanian SafeDrive mobile application aims to reduce car accidents by rewarding drivers for keeping their phones out of reach while driving.

Phones guilty for 50% of the accidents in Europe

According to European studies, using the mobile phone while driving increases the risk of accidents by 50%.  It was also calculated that a driver using his mobile phone while driving has a 8% higher risk of being involved in an accident by comparison with one who only keeps his eyes on the traffic.

Washington Post reports that only in United States, 28% of traffic accidents are caused by drivers using their mobile phones while in traffic.

How does SafeDrive work

Tudor Cobalas, member of the development team calls SafeDrive “Bitcoin for responsibility”. SafeDrive rewards drivers with points every time they drive over 10km/h and don’t touch their mobile phones.


With a unique algorithm, the app take into consideration speed, time and distance and gives drivers a certain number of points, therefore encouraging them to drive safely. If the drives closes the app for any reasons, those points are lost; still, the drives has the option of letting the app know when he stops and parks the car and in this case the points are saved. With the number of points accumulated, the driver can buy products and services from at discounted prices offered by various partner companies such asMOL Romania, Evomag.ro, Printeo, etc

You can support SafeDrive with your VOTE on ProductHunt.com. They just need few votes to to cross the 500 benchmark!

What’s next for SafeDrive

SafeDrive is only available in Romania and it works with Android, iPhone and Windows smartphones. XL, the company that launched SafeDrive is also looking at expanding internationally and is currently looking for partners. Judging by the results the’ve got so far, they have a really good chance of taking the next step.

Source:  http://www.getsafedrive.com/

SafeDrive was featured on online publications and magazines such as Forbes, The Verge, BuzzFeed and BT.

Vector — Smartwatch with Romanian DNA

Last week the international publications have commented on launch of Vector, the smartwatch with a 30-day battery. Many have commented on whether Vector will stand a chance against giants such as Apple, Samsung, TagHeur and so many others aiming to get a place on the most expensive renting space available today, our wrists.

This post is going to be neither a “hands on story” or a pro & con analysis predicting Vector’s future… this post it’s just a Romanian story showing innovation is not all about millions and experience, but also about having the courage to dream big against all odds… to be more specific, overcoming all prejudices for being born in a former communist country and all negative media stories surrounding Romania and Romanians.

Vector Smartwatch
Vector Smartwatch – Luna & Meridian

Radu Georgescu, Andrei Pitis, Dan Tudose and Irina Alexandru are four Romanians who believe in their dream and teamed up to launch Vector Watch, the smartwatch with a 30-day battery.

Radu Georgescu

In 2003 Microsoft took the technology world by surprise when it announced the acquisition of RAV (Romanian Antivirus) from GeCAD Software, one of Radu Georgescu’s first investments. The news made the headlines of all major international publications.

Seven years later, Allegro, a company of the South–Africa-based media group Naspers has taken over Gecad ePayment, the first provider of e-commerce solutions for Romanian online stores (online payment system) and rebranded as PayU. In 2013, Francisco Partners, acquired Avangate, the leader in customer-centric commerce with over 3,000 customers across more than 100 countries. This is Radu Georgescu’s third successful exit.

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quicly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is in the doing something else.” This quote is attributed by some to Leornardo da Vinci, while others say it’s Tom Peters.  Regardless of who said it, Georgescu believes this quote represents “the core of entrepreneurship”.   

Andrei Pitis

Founder & CTO of Vector Watch, Andrei Pitis is an active angel investor and mentor to many startups, as well as president of ANIS, the National Association of the Software and Services Industry (Romania). Professor at Bucharest Polytechnic University, Pitis has over 20 years of experience in tech at all levels. He’s a believer in the great potential of the Romanian IT&C sector to become one of the major economic growth drivers in the next year.

Pitis not only mentors start-ups and invests in them, but he’s a strong promoter of start-up industry in Romania. In February 2015, US Embassy in Bucharest awarded him the title “Entrepreneur of the Month”, officially acknowledging his constant effort.

Irina Alexandru

Co-Founder &Chief Design Engineer at Vector Watch, Alexandru is at ease with entrepreneurship world, as she is Owner of AIRA Design Studio and Co-Founder of Creators Lab, an inspirational place for the Makers, Thinkers and Creatives focusing on mixing people interested in design and technology. She’s also one of the supporters of Romanian Product Design and creators in this field, promoting Romanian talented designers locally and internationally.

Dan Tudose

A professor at Polytechnics University of Bucharest, Automation & Computers’ Faculty, Tudose took his Ph.D in Wireless Sensor Networks. In 2013 with two tech-addict friends he launched Pollution Track, aiming to improve people’s life by determining air pollution. The portable air quality sensor measures your direct pollution exposure and gives you real time alerts in case of exposure danger.

To make sure Vector Watch will become a market success, the four Romanians brought on board two guys who do have the right experience to make it happen—Joe Santana, former Timex CEO, and Steve Jarvis, ex-Nike Designer.

Vector Smartwatch

If you want to find out more about Vector Watch, here are some useful resources:

Vector Watch will hit the shelves this late summer. Two main models will be available: the Luna, a round watch costing $349, and the rectangular Meridian, costing $199. All models are waterproof to a depth of 50 meters. You can pre-order on Vector’s own online store or follow the news on Twitter.

Looking for Senior Frontend Developers at R/GA Bucharest

R/GA Bucharest is looking for two skilled senior front-end developers to join an already existing team working on a global tech brand project.

This position requires both a mastery of the hands-on aspects of web interface engineering, as well as an ability to design solid front-end architectures that integrate with other systems and technologies; and, the ability to communicate these solutions to other members of the team both verbally and in written documentation.

Your responsabilities

Day-to-day responsibilities include leading the design of client side engineering solutions; the hand coding of web-based applications, web pages, emails, and web-based mobile experiences; integrating your code with other technologies (Web Services, client back-end systems, content management systems, etc); optimizing performance of front-end applications; and working with visual designers, interaction designers and software engineers. You must be able to emulate existing html schemes and create new ones that will integrate well with existing HTML. Strong CSS and JavaScript skills.

Job requirements

We would be expecting you to master and have:

  • A curiosity and excitement for new web technologies / techniques
  • A strong passion for the front end as a mix of art and science
  • Solid understanding of cross-browser/platform issues and code solutions
  • Practical understanding of HTML5 and CSS3 (semantic markup and new css features, CSS preprocessors)
  • Experience using JS Frameworks, preferably with one or more of the following:
  • Angular.js, Backbone.js, React.js, Ember.js
  • Experience with build systems and automation tools (Gulp, Grunt, Jenkins)
  • Experience building and maintaining medium to large dynamic and data-heavy content single page applications
  • Experience with node.js, javascript on the server in a production environment
  • Experience with mobile web development
  • Writing well-formed, unobtrusive JS with scalability and extensibility in mind
  • Knowledge/ experience with front-end performance optimization (YSLOW standards)
  • Excellent debugging and problem solving skills
  • Experience with source control (Mercurial Git + Gitlab, or Mercurial + Fogbugz/Kiln)
  • Excellent time management, problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills
  • Ability to follow technical specifications and production processes.

We consider a plus, if you:

  • Write your own unit tests and code documentation
  • Have experience with server-side scripting (PHP, .Net, Ruby, Python, etc…).
  • Have experience / familiarity with integrating major 3rd party APIs (Facebook Open Graph, Twitter, Google Maps, YouTube, Open Social, etc…)
  • Have familiarity with one of the following: Drupal, Joomla, Symfony, WordPress (or similar)
  • Have previous working experience with agencies/visual & UX designers
  • Have experience with hybrid apps – PhoneGap or any other hybrid app dev framework

Good to know

We know the project is important when considering a career change, but the organizational culture and team are also important, so please read Life at R/GA Bucharest.

Joining R/GA Bucharest team means you will have the chance to:

  • Do cool and challenging stuff for global clients such as Google, Nike, L’Oreal, Heineken, Nokia, Mastercard, Unilever and many others
  • Play with latest technologies in an innovative working environment
  • Develop yourself within a young, dynamic and multicultural work environment
  • Constantly learn from the best while working with global teams; this may require you to travel abroad
  • Face the future together with a team that appreciates your passion for technology, competitiveness and fairness; values team-player spirit, open-mindedness, initiative, humor, music and sports

To consider your application, you must be located in Bucharest.

Apply for Senior Frontend Developer job

Now that you have an idea of what’s like working with R/GA and you want to give it a try, you can send your CV at [email protected]. You’ll hear from me within next 24 hours! And if you would like to see how life at R/GA is, just have a look here:


SiteCore DEVs Wanted at R/GA

R/GA Bucharest is looking for 5 great senior developers with extensive “hands on” experience with SiteCore platform. We will be working full time for at least 6 months on the global rolling out of VOLVO’s 70 websites. Depending on how we get along together and how you like the project, we can discuss a full-time position with R/GA Bucharest.

Global rolling out of VOLVO’s 70 websites

 New VOLVO project @ R/GA Stockholm  New VOLVO project @ R/GA Stockholm

The projects you’ll be will be working together with our colleagues in R/GA Stockholm range from simple to extremely complex and they all connect with the global rolling out of 70 sites of the most admired Swedish card brand, VOLVO.

 And this is what representatives of VOLVO believe about R/GA Stockholm's work so far  And this is what representatives of VOLVO believe about R/GA Stockholm’s work so far

Awesome team & chill atmosphere

Throughout the project, you’ll be working along with a great bunch of guys and ladies at R/GA Bucharest and R/GA Stockholm. To get an idea about who we are and what we do, read my post Life at R/GA.

We are extremely passionate about what we do and we do it really well. Last year the projects we’ve worked on brought R/GA 39 international awards—Cannes Lions, Eurobest, Clio, IAB Mixx Global, MMA Smarties, Lovies, London International Awards, AdWeek, Brand Republic etc.

Senior Developer & Architect, Sitecore

  • 3+ years of strong development experience in Sitecore; hands on design of portal CMS pages using Sitecore best practices (data templates, layouts, sub-layouts and user controls);
  • Development of user controls; integrating Sitecore with backend systems; Content Management best practices in creating and maintaining content tree; rendering of the content to different Web Pages and mobile devices;
  • 4+ Years of C# software development experience including C#, ASP.NET, LINQ, AJAX, Web Service development;
  • Proficient on HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery;
  • Familiarity with JavaScript frameworks and experience with usage and implementation;
  • Provide training and guidance on development techniques and best practices using Sitecore;
  • Ability to create interfaces that are fast, consistent across browsers, and demonstrate an intimate knowledge of browser quirks and best practices;
  • Proficient with object oriented design & programming, common design patterns, Component development, reuse of code;
  • Hands-on software troubleshooting experience.

Apply for the job

If all the above sound good to you and you professional experience comes close or exceeds our requirements, we would love to meet you. You can drop me a line or send your CV at [email protected]. I’ll come back to you with within 24 hours and give you all the details you need. And if you would like to see how life at R/GA is, just have a look here:

Life at R/GA Bucharest

R/GA Bucharest – a great bunch of gals and guys passionate about digital, loving to work and have fun together.  Today we are 12 people: six front-end developers, one back-end developer, three QA engineers, a Human Resources Manager and a General Manager.

Some of us have been with R/GA Bucharest since 2010; some left us, but they do not have time to miss us, as we still go out together; some moved to R/GA London, but we keep in touch as we work on the same projects.

Colleagues we want on board

R/GA Bucharest

We plan to grow the smart way, namely step by step and making sure we bring on board people who share our values—passion, fairness, competitivity and pragmatism.

We do not create or build projects for the sake of the project, craft or specific technology, but for solving real business problems or making making users’ life easier.  We have a multi-disciplinary approach for any project we take and we make the best use of our global network experiences and resources.

R/GA—for the connected age, so it’s only natural that we are always looking for like-minded people—whether they are front-end, back-end developers, QAs, but we do appreciate a lot those creative guys and gals, open-minded, with an eye for “the next big thing”, mastering those tools or technologies we don’t, not afraid of taking risks or doing the things that haven’t been tried before.

Innovative projects & new technologies

R/GA Bucharest

Besides having fun together, there’s a lot of work to be done and we do take it seriously, yet we know how important it is to maintain a good work-life balance, so we do pay attention to this. We try to keep meetings short and listen to good music…

Chances of working for brands such as Google, Microsoft, VOLVO, McDonald’s, Nike, Heineken, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever do not come very often, but we are very lucky from this point of view. We get to do things others do not even dare to dream of. Unfortunately, we cannot publicly communicate about the projects we currently work on… you know how confidentiality works!

Everything we do is powered by technology, which, along with design, has been essential to our legacy as a creative leader for more than 30 years. We believe in a creative use of technology and following someone else’s footsteps may not necessarily be the best option, so we favor explorators… people who are comfortable trying and testing  new technologies, connecting devices, staying close to creative tech minds.

Quality above all

R/GA BucharestQuality is an important attribute of all R/GA delivered solutions –  that’s is why our QAs play an important role at R/GA.

They share the company’s values too: they are curious, they dare to do things differently, they have a “Show, don’t tell” attitude while working towards making sure R/GA’s vision turns to reality – enriching people’s lives with everything that we do. They enjoy their work and strive to get better at it, every day.

From a technical perspective, R/GA’s QA engineers are involved in all the phases of the product design and build cycle and they need to be ready to dive into both automated (using Cucumber and Webdriver technologies) and manual testing for covering functional as well other non-functional quality criteria, like for example usability, performance or security.

Awesome team & chill atmosphere

If you wonder what we do for fun, you should know that every Friday we taste a new type of beer at our Beer Club gathering. From time to time one or two of us cook for the entire team, but cakes and sweats are a must almost every day. We often have breakfast altogether.

Our Bucharest office is located near Victoria Square, in DBH building (Buzesti 50-52), so Thalia restaurant is one of our favorite places to have our lunches … and with spring coming, we expect to go out after work more often to have a drink, laugh and have a great time.

39 international awards and counting…

Besides having fun together, there’s a lot of work to be done and we do take it seriously, yet we know how important it is to maintain a good work-life balance, so we do pay attention to this. We love agile, we try to keep meetings short and listen to good music.

We are extremely passionate about what we do and we do it really well. Only in 2014 the projects R/GA Bucharest worked on with colleagues in other offices brought R/GA 39 international awards.

Knowledge sharing

Knowledge-sharing is a must have, so we’re present at different local industry events or Headlines, our weekly R/GA tech meeting where latest technologies are put under microscope. That’s why you’ll see us at Bucharest Frontend meetup, Tabara de Testare, JSCamp, SmartWeb, HowToWeb/StartUp Spotlight, WIAD and many more.

We also read a lot, experience and write about technology and digital stuff  for TheStage, TechBlog, CTRL-D.ro, and many other publications. You can have a look here:

If you want to find out more about R/GA, please visit R/GA.com, R/GA Tech blog, R/GA Accelerator

Joining R/GA Bucharest

Now that you have an idea of what’s like working with R/GA and you want to give it a try, you can send your CV at [email protected]. You’ll hear from me within next 24 hours.

P.S. This post has been written, edited and commented by the entire team at R/GA Bucharest. It took us some time to do it, but we hope it gives a good idea about who we are and what we do together.

Romania — Fastest Broadband Download Speed in Europe

When it comes to Romania and Romanians, there are many things that can surprise you and broadband internet download speed is one of them. We are the fastest downloaders in Europe, and fourth globally.

With 69.62 Mbps, Ookla’s ranks Romania as the European capital with the fastest broadband download speed, and in fourth country in the world, after Singapore (116.06Mbps), Hong Kong (112.15 Mbps) and South Korea (73.12 Mbps).

Source: The Independent (UK)

2015 Ookla global ranking

This is Ookla’s 2015 top 50 country ranking looks like. See the 198 country listing, click here.

2014 ISP Hyperoptic Report

Fastest broadband download speed
Source: 2014 ISP Hyperoptic report

Last year the British fibre optic broadband ISP Hyperoptic published a new index published ranking European capital cities by broadband speed. With an average download speed of 81.2 Mbps, Bucharest tops this ranking, surpassing cities such as Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Vilnius, Stockholm or Warsaw. The ranking includes 33 European capitals, the European average download speed being of 38.6 Mbps.

Source: 2014 ISP Hyperoptic report

In 2014 ISP Hypeoptic report, London ranks 26th with an average of 26.29 Mbps, behind former eastern communist cities such as Budapest – 39.93 Mbps,  Sofia – 30.78 Mbps, Prague – 7.47 Mbps; or western capitals such as Berlin – 26.51 Mbps, Brussels – 28.51 mbps and Dublin – 33.36 Mbps.

The British promise

Back in 2012, Jeremy Hunt (Culture Secretary), in a speech at Google’s Campus in East London, promised to British citizens that UK would have the “fastest broadband of any major European country” by 2015, with access for 90 per cent of the country; the remaining 10 per cent would be able to access the internet at speeds of two megabits per second (Mbps) or above.

Broadband adoption strategy

Despite of all political and economical drawbacks, Romania played its broadband role well by adopting Romania adopting in 2007 its broadband national policy (The Regulatory Strategy for the Romanian Electronic Communications Sector for 2007-2010), ahead of countries such as Ireland (2008), Germany (2009), Poland (2010), France (2010), UK (2010), US (2010) or Sweden (2011)

In 2014, 49% (around 8.5 millions) of the Romanians had a smartphone with permanently connected to Internet.


With a highly-educated population speaking at least one foreign language, fast internet connections, several great technical universities, more and more technology companies investing in local development centers, financial support and encouraging legislation, IT&C sector does have a good chance of being the main growth driver for Romania.

Note on Bucovina: I should mention that Moldova (see first chart above), officially the Republic of Moldova, it’s the Romanian-speaking country located between Romania to its west and Ukraine to its north, east and south. In August 1939, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and its secret additional protocol were signed, by which Nazi Germany recognised Basarabia as being within the Soviet sphere of influence, which led the latter to actively revive its claim to the region. The following year, namely on June 28, the Soviet Union, issued an ultimatum to Romania requesting the cession of Basarabia and northern Bucovina, with which Romania had to comply the following day. Soon after, the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic (Moldavian SSR, MSSR) was established. To present day there are many voices on both sides of river Prut that divides the two territories asking for a reunion. 

Romania Ranks 1st at SEEMOUS

South Eastern European Mathematical Olympiad For University Students 2015 brought to Romania 20 medals thanks to the brilliant Math students from Bucharest, Iasi and Cluj.

Once again math students from three cities proved Romania has brilliant people! At SEEMOUS 2015, Romania came first in Nations’ Top. Congratulations to all winners:

  • Gold medal winners—Viorel-Andrei Bud, Teodor Rotaru, Anca Baltariga, Roxana Radu;
  • Silver media winners—Relu Dragan, Luigi-Ionut Catana, Vlad-Mihai Mihaly, Alexandru Jercaianu, Ciprian Baetu, George Pirtoaca, PaulBuboi, Andrei Vacariu;
  • Bronze medal winners—George-Rares Stan, Mircea Susca, Florin Cosmin Crihan,  Petre-Claudiu Mindrila, Vlad-Raul Constantinescu, Ioana Lal, Petru Cehan.

And all the other competitors from Romania—Marta-Diana Filimon, Ionut Iustin Iordache, Antonela Mariana Fecheta, Codrut Andrei Diaconu, Victor Robu, Vlad Suciu, Codrin Alexandru Lupascu, Dan-Constantin Hutanu and Ionut Vlad Modoranu.

Viorel Andrei Bud (Bucharest University) came first in the individual competition. Bud already has a great track record winning numerous medals in 2013 and 2014 at other international math competitions. Bucharest Polytechnics University also ranked first in University Top.

This is not the first time when Romanian math students win at SEEMOUS. At the seventh SEEMOUS edition which who took place in Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria), Romanian math students were ranked first.


The 9th South Eastern European Mathematical Olympiad for University Students (SEEMOUS 2015) took place in Ohrid, Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, in the period March 3 – 8, 2015. This competion brought together 91 students from 23 universities from Bulgaria, Greece, Iran, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Turkmenistan.

Romania was represented by 28 math students from five universities – Bucharest Polytechnic University, Bucharest Univesity, Technical University of Cluj Napoca,  “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” university (Iasi) and “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University (Iasi).

Winning with Math & Informatics

Despite of all educational, economical and political constraints Romania has faced in the past fifty years, math and informatics students from various universities across country competed and won hundreds of international awards.  Below we have only few achievements of the last years obtained by Romanian students:

  • In 2014 Romania was ranked 1st In Europe and 11th in the world at the International Mathematical Olympiad (Cape Town); all six students have won medals;
  • In March 2014, MIT enrolled Omer Cerrahoglu as one of its student; at just 19 years old, Omer already has 10 gold and silver international medals;
  • In 2012 Romania was ranked 1st in Europe and 10th in the world at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO);
  • In 2010, some of the most well-known IT specialist in the world gave Ionut Budisteanu one of the 12 Turing Awards (San Francisco); some experts would say that’s like winning a Nobel prize for IT&C;
  • Romanian Ana Caraiani won the golden medal twice (2002, 2003) at International Mathematical Olympiad; she is the only woman in the world to have won twice Putnam Competion; she graduated Princeton with Suma Cum Laudae and took her Ph.D. at Harvard.

Such achievements are the best proof that determination and passion can conquer all kinds of obstacles.