The Startup Europe Summit 2019, hosted by the Romanian Presidency of the European Council of the European Union, will take place in Cluj-Napoca, one of the emerging startup capitals of Europe. It will bring together leading players in technology entrepreneurship and innovation from Central and Eastern Europe as well as key actors in innovation ecosystems from Western Europe. Around 800 participants will be present to find out what it takes to lead their field. Here's an overview of projects taking part in the exhibition.

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European ecosystem

Innomine is a digital transformation and innovation management expert in the CEE region since 2010, with a solid track record in the field of innovation and international projects. innomine participates in multiple startups related European programs and is experienced with highly complex, international collaborative research and innovation projects. Since 2016 innomine started to build its capacities as Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) and is currently part of the multiple local and European programs to upscale DIH service portfolio.

Data Market Services brings together twelve free support services to the 150 startups selected in the program (January 2019 to December 2021): fundraising, business and product development, standards and legal frameworks and consequently the privacy and data protection with the fulfilment of the GDPR, international promotion and Data Science skills. It emerges as an initiative aimed at changing the data market context in Europe, nurture the entrepreneurship and launch the emerging companies onto the international markets. MY-GATEWAY is an initiative of Startup Europe that aims to strengthen the capacities of high-tech startups and innovative SMEs in the Central and Eastern European region to become better connected, gain higher market exposure, and have improved, streamlined access to funding opportunities and talents.

OI2 Lab is a novel platform, which is set on connecting all interested parties towards developing new collaborative projects (SMEs, research institutes, universities, investors, etc.) and empowering businesses to expand their business through open innovation. OI2Lab is designed to provide a great arsenal of services and tools to encourage cross-border knowledge-flow and collaboration across European ecosystems, such as Smart Matchmaking, Open Innovation Management and Links to finance to help you make your business known to multinationals across Europe, create relationships to find collaboration opportunities and apply your specialist skills to real world challenges.

Iceberg has grown into an ecosystem of multi-disciplinary experts providing strategy, consulting, digital and technology services across Eastern Europe. We are growing rapidly and continuously developing our portfolio of services, technologies and clients. We are at the core of the Cluster for Innovation and Technology - ALT BRASOV - one of 3 Digital Innovation Hubs in Romania – and driving the digital transformation of SMEs and mid-caps in fields such as industry 4.0, smart cities, mobility and e-health through our I4T - Technology Transfer Center.

Romanian Ecosystem

Spherik is an NGO founded in 2013 as a partnership between Liberty Technology Park, Banca Transilvania, Babes-Bolyai University and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca - the best example of a public-private partnership aimed at growing the entrepreneurial tech ecosystem in Romania. Since the beginning, Spherik has pioneered the development of the innovation market by supporting startups, facilitating strategic partnerships between startups and corporations / investment funds, developing close partnerships with European and US partners, and with the Romanian diaspora active in the business and ICT areas. Today, Spherik tops the ranks in acceleration: it was awarded the Best Acceleration program in Romania for 3 years in a row (2016, 2017 & 2018) at the Central European Startup Awards’ regional competition. In addition, it has built a strong voice in advancing startups’ interest at national and European level as the Startup Europe Ambassador in Romania.

Techcelerator is the acceleration program targeting Romanian technology start-ups. Headquartered in Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, two important centers of Romanian innovation, Techcelerator is the first accelerator in Romania to allocate investment for the development of companies in the (pre)acceleration phase. Financial support is provided by our strategic partner, GapMinder Venture Partners. We target young innovative companies with high potential for international development and expansion in growing industries, such as: FinTech, PropTech, software, cyber security, artificial intelligence, digital transformation, IT solutions for health, AgTech, and others. In 2018, its 1st year of activity, Techcelerator organized two Batches: in spring and autumn. With a total of 321 applicants (from Romania and abroad) of which 17 were selected, they received more than 200 mentoring and office hours from more than 50 Romanian and foreign mentors and industry experts. During these periods the start-ups participated in 7 Bootcamps (on various topics such as Go to market strategies, Sales and marketing, Pitching, Product Market Fit, Revenue Models, etc) and benefited from 30 trainings and workshops. Our strategic partner, Gapminder, invested a total of 580.000€ in the selected start-ups. Each Batch ended with a public Demo Day Event where the start-ups pitched on the open stage their start-ups for a second round of investment. As a result of our work, the program participants have extended in 5 foreign markets.

Startarium is the most complex platform that supports and educates early stage entrepreneurs and local startups. It was launched in 2016 as an initiative of Impact Hub Bucharest and ING and became the virtual City of Entrepreneurs, a platform where 29.000 registered users have access to everything they need to launch and grow a successful business. Startarium is built on three major pillars: education, idea testing and financing. It offers over 300 business resources, online video courses, interviews with Romanian entrepreneurs, a crowdfunding platform, mentorship with 60 experienced entrepreneurs and specialists, networking resources and a pitching competition, all available for free, nationwide.

Techsylvania, one of the most influential events in the tech industry, takes place every year in Cluj-Napoca. During June 8-11, over 3.000 developers, investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals come to be part of the phenomenon and see more than 50 international speakers, for the first time in Eastern Europe. Techsylvania is structured around three main events: (i) The conference – which attracts engineers, founders, investors, IT and banking CEOs, but also entrepreneurs, people from companies looking to expand their knowledge, with a line-up of impressive speakers who come with new ideas for business growth and business innovations. (ii) A Startup Avalanche – an IT start-up competition, with entrepreneurs presenting their projects and the most attractive getting financing from the existing investment funds. And (iii) a Hackathon – a programming marathon that provokes the innovative and competitive spirit of the registered developer teams.

Transilvania IT (former named iTech Transilvania cluster) was established in 2013 by ARIES Transilvania. The cluster uses a bottom-up approach in order to support the development of the community, based on the end-users needs. More specifically, the gold labelled cluster represents a bridge on a local, regional, national and international level and has strong links and direct connections with the actors from Transylvania’s ecosystem like startup communities, the local public authorities, technology companies, universities and other clusters and also at international level. Currently it has more than 110 members (over 90% companies, academia, research centres and public administration), the majority being from Transilvania region. Our involvement consist in supporting business development, collaboration in the elaboration and implementation process of regional policies in IT area and have an active involvement in the development of Cluj-Napoca’s Smart/Digital City Strategy. We strongly support our members to develop their projects and create new collaborative ones through our working groups within the cluster: eHealth, Smart City, Smart Mobility, e-Learning and Open Innovation 2.0. The gold labelled cluster is the initiator of the Transilvania Digital Innovation Hub (DIH), a bottom-up approach of the regional stakeholders which aims to position Cluj and Transilvania, on the map of EU network of DIH. We are also members of the European Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition.


OKRA is an AI analytics company for healthcare providing an online platform that allows healthcare professionals to combine all their data in one place and generate evidence-based insight in real time - including predictions of the future - to save and improve human lives.

Bolt (former Taxify) is a transportation platform from Estonia, which has become one of the leading ridehailing platforms in Europe and Africa in five years. We are focused on making urban travel easier, quicker and more reliable.

Northq  is empowering consumer-led energy efficiency through intelligent data management. The one-stop IoT Platform transforms and enriches data from energy usage into complex analysis enabling operational and resource savings. Machine learning and AI continue to reinvent energy management.

Kidibot is an educational online platform for 6-18 years old kids, designed to motivate them to read and learn more, using fun, positive social pressure, contests with prizes, cognitive dissonance, local patriotism and many others.

Mama Organa is a company formed to collect food waste and by adding value to it, to produce organic fertilizers in order to help farmers in growing healthy and clean food. They also provide jobs for socially excluded single mothers.

StartUp Europe Awards of the European Commission's Startup Europe initiative and Finnova Foundation is an open innovation methodology that encourages collaboration between the public sector and businesses in the promotion of innovative initiatives. Its aim is to help create alliances that allow entities and support programmes for entrepreneurs to be added to local partners and to be a communication tool for society. StartUp Europe Awards is supported by the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Committee of the Regions, the Vice-President of the Economic and Social Committee and several members from the European Parliament. StartUp Europe Awards is sponsored by StartUp Europe Accelerator, Finnova.

Finnova is the European Foundation supporting the financing of innovation on companies, regions and municipalities. Our areas of expertise include sustainable development, circular economy, water and waste management, employment and youth, ICT and tourism among others.

Institutional partners

The Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative, launched by the European Commission in 2016, aims to shape the future internet as an interoperable platform ecosystem that embodies the values that Europe holds dear: openness, inclusivity, transparency, privacy, cooperation, and protection of data. The NGI will drive this technological revolution and ensure the progressive adoption of advanced concepts and methodologies spanning the domains of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, interactive technologies and more, while contributing to making the future internet more human-centric. NGI offers new funding opportunities for researchers and innovators at work to build a better Internet. A number of Open Calls – following the Horizon 2020 cascade funding mechanisms – are now open.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up beyond European borders. It brings together the parts of Horizon 2020 that provide funding for those at the cutting edge of innovation. An EIC Pilot was launched by the end of 2017 as the first stepping stone towards a fully-fledged EIC under Horizon Europe, the EU’s next Framework Programme. In 2019 the Commission will launch an Enhanced EIC Pilot with an overall budget of €3 billion for the period 2019-2020. When fully implemented, the EIC will bring together different EU funding programmes such as FET Open, FET Proactive or the SME Instrument. Fast Track to Innovation and Horizon Prizes will be also put under the EIC umbrella. The EIC will feature a Pathfinder for Advanced Research, aimed at early-stage innovation, and an Accelerator, offering financial support to late-stage innovation in the form of grants and blended finance (grants in combination with equity/financial guarantees). The EIC can support ideas from any area of technology or business sector, including novel combinations of technologies and business models. It covers all stages from feasibility to development to scale-up. It is directed to innovators from all EU Member States, from other countries associated to the EU Horizon 2020 programme, and to innovators from all parts of the world who establish their activities in Europe. The EIC is more than a funding programme as it offers opportunities in the form of Business Acceleration Services for coaching, mentoring and networking, and helps to bridge the gap between small companies and large corporates.

SME instrument: The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services. The main focus of the EIC SME Instrument is on radical, market-creating innovations to improve productivity and international competitiveness and generate new jobs and higher standards of living. The SME Instrument addresses small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES) with a radically new idea underpinned by a business plan for rolling out marketable innovation solutions and with ambitions to scale up. It supports high-risk, high-potential SMEs to develop and bring to market new products, services and business models that could drive economic growth.

DG DIGIT will offer information on a number initiatives like: eCertis, ePrior and ESPD, solutions that help SMEs and startups with their tendering procedures; EIF package (EIF brochure, leaflet, infographic, eGov factsheet in Romania and eGov in the EU report, which shows what is the work form the European Commission under the umbrella of the eGov action plan in Europe); ISA2 Programme leaflet with all the solutions already developed, together with the leaflet ‘Sharing and Reuse’ Conference, to be held on the 11th June 2019 in Bucharest.

EIT Health is a European Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) of best-in-class health innovators backed by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. EIT Health delivers outside-the-box solutions to enable European citizens to live longer, healthier lives by promoting innovation. The network connects the right people and the right topics across European borders, so that innovation can happen at the intersection of research, education and business to deliver meaningful new products and services, and support ground-breaking ideas and start-ups for the benefit of citizens.

EIT Food is a European Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, which was set up to transform the food ecosystem. By connecting consumers with businesses, start-ups, researchers and students from around Europe, EIT Food supports innovative and economically sustainable initiatives (including start-ups) which improve citizen health, access to quality food, and the environment.

Startup Europe. European Commission’s Startup Europe initiative was created in 2011 and has supported directly around 60 local ecosystems since then. The mission of Startup Europe is to build a Scaleup Continent by connecting pools of talent across the EU. The initiative encourages entrepreneurship, supports startup creation and growth; connects startups, investors, accelerators, corporates, and universities; involves tech media and facilitates grassroots initiatives or networks.
Startup Europe has mobilised the tech entrepreneurship ecosystems and helped them to make their voice heard in EU policy making. Active dialogue, including with EU tech Alliance, has improved the understanding of the entrepreneurial environment and raised the political awareness of the crucial role of entrepreneurs in creating growth.

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