On 2nd of October, ROMLUX Asbl organized in partnership with LPEA (Luxembourg Private Equity Association) and Startup Grind Luxembourg Chapter an evening dedicated to the most successful Romanian Venture Capital funds (GapMinder and 3TS-Catalyst Romania).
The event started with a welcome from Razvan-Petru Radu, President of Romlux Asbl, to a new REN event (Romanian Entrepreneurs Network in Luxembourg and in the Greater Region). He introduced the audience to the exceptional momentum and dynamics, bringing Romanian Startups to look towards Luxembourg ecosystem as a global hub, but also financial institutions from Luxembourg to look towards Romania for innovation investments. The event continued with the intervention of LPEA’s Marketing & Communication Manager Mr. Luis Galveias about LPEA mission, current challenges, resources and trends of the local private equity industry but also about LPEA future projects and planned events. It was particularly interesting to figure out a quantified impact of Brexit on Luxembourg’s private equity ecosystem.
It was particularly inspiring to hear our first guest Mr. Marius Ghenea – Partner at 3TS Capital Partners, who recalled his early years as very successful serial entrepreneur and his path to becoming first an angel investor and currently one of the most recognized and respected venture capitalists in Central and Eastern Europe. It was interesting to hear the current remarkable dynamic behavior of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Romania which recently saw its very first unicorn unfold: UiPath – robotic automation. There was a clear point of reference common to most of the startups and technology-based companies: plenty of talents in technology, highly skilled while still affordable compared to the western part of the EU. 3TS-Catalyst Romania has a deep understanding and local presence not only in Romania but across Central and Eastern Globally. There are numerous opportunities of co-investment that could raise the interest from investors in Luxembourg.
Remarkable were Mr. Ghenea testimonials: “Congratulations to RomLux for the excellent initiative to organize a road show of Romanian Venture Capitalists in Luxembourg, especially as Luxembourg is the most important European pole of investment funds with European and international financial institutions. I was also glad to see that there is a special community of Romanian expatriates who have achieved remarkable professional performances in banking, investment, consulting and other fields of activity, demonstrating once again the value of our Romanian diaspora. ”
Given the potential of scalability to the global market, venture capitalists focus relies mainly on software and technology products and services and this was also noted by the following guest speaker, Mr. Dan Mihaescu – Founding Partner at GapMinder Venture Partners. In his speech, Mr. Mihaescu emphasized that among the current trends – artificial intelligence, automation and cybersecurity are domains predominantly targeted by the start-ups in Romania. He remarked that the distinctive and specific technological ecosystem in Romania, the third global market for quality and speed of Internet connectivity, is probably the strongest accelerator for innovation in Central and Eastern Europe today. GapMinder is committed to supporting passionate founders of IT and services start-ups in Romania while welcoming new investors from Luxembourg willing to join their efforts.
Finally, Steve Glange – Startup Grind Luxembourg Chapter Director, with his great entrepreneurship experience, moderated a roundtable with the guest speakers Marius Ghenea, respectively Dan Mihaescu and Sergiu Rosca – Founders at GapMinder Venture Partners. It was interesting to hear about the technology entrepreneurship perspective in Romania and how entrepreneurs perception is perceived in such a young VC market as Romania is at this moment.
The REN (The Romanian Entrepreneurs Network in Luxembourg and in the Greater Region) event ended with a highly appreciated networking cocktail, which brought together for the first time entrepreneurs, business angels, and venture capitalists.