Startup Weekend Romania took place this year on 9-11 November and it was the best edition so far, as most of the attendees told me. It was fun to have been involved with the organizing team and I’m so proud we did a wonderful job that everybody was satisfied with.
I think that overall, the entrepreneurial community in Romania is starting to understand the importance of “no talk, all action” type of events where people with different skills can be brought together to create startups in just a few hours. Yes, we still have a lot of work to do to improve our pitching skills and yes, we’re not so touched by the business part in a startup mainly because this is not something embedded into our culture, but damn it if we don’t like to create stuff: either it’s a script that hacks something or a robot that does some shit when you hit it with a light, we love creating this stuff and we’re proud of it. Selling it, that’s a different matter and I’ve seen that most of the people that can’t sell their product/service are awful at telling the world about their personal skills also – they’re usually too shy about it or too humble although they’re magnificent engineers, for example.
I was no different until I realized that I’m doing myself a big disservice by acting this way. Since this is too deeply seeded in my being, sometimes I have to remind myself to go into the sales mode – something that other people tend to do without thinking.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you want to have your own startup, you have to also be able to sell it, to talk about it like there’s nothing else out there, like this is the most important thing for you and your life depends on it. You’re a developer and you’ve cofounded a startup where a colleague of yours is the CEO doing all the sales shit, do you also need to be able to sell? Hell yes! You have to stand up for your cause, not relying only on your CEO to do the pitching part. Gone are the days when being a developer and sitting in a dark corner minding your own code was enough to ensure the wellbeing of your startup. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself what’s the difference between you and another developer in your company? That you’re a cofounder? Well, if that’s the case than you should act like one, correct?
Startup Weekend is the place where you can practice your pitching and meet great mentors. Nobody is judging anybody and the most important thing is to create a sustainable environment that can provide an educational platform for future entrepreneurs.
Nothing would make me happier that just to hear one day, for example, a professor from the Automatics and Computer Science faculty saying: “Today, students prefer to work on creating their own projects/startups than to search for a job.” That’s when I’ll know something significant has changed into our mindset and we have to go back and really appreciate people like: Marius Ghenea, Radu Georgescu, Vlad Stan, Vladimir Oane, Emil Gal, Bogdan Iordache and others as being the true pioneers & facilitators of entrepreneurship in Romania.