Six Romanians have been included in this year’s New Europe 100 Innovators list. The list groups people “who are changing the region’s societies, politics or business environments and displaying fresh approaches to prevailing problems.”
The list is put together by Google, the Warsaw-based journal Res Publica, the state-supported Visegrad Fund promoting integration within central Europe, and the Financial Times. Its aim is to raise the profile of the change-makers in the region and build connections among them.
The six Romanians are: Cristiana Bogățeanu of Academia Inventează, Alin Chiriac of Adfaber.org, Sergiu Ardelean of Artivive, Florin Talpeş with Bitdefender BOX, Daniel Dines of uipath.com, and Ana Maria Udriște of Avocatoo.
Cristiana Bogățeanu is a co-founder of Academia Inventează, which provides STEAM-type educational programs offering practical notions of programming, robotics, electronics and mechanics to children and teenagers. She contributed to the establishment of several other initiatives, such as the makerspace Centrul de Creatie Tehnica pentru Tineret, or DeviceHub.net, a startup aiming to connect producers to the IoT.
Alin Chiriac has been an entrepreneur for the past 14 years. He established the software development and digital services company Strategad. After witnessing the personnel crisis in the industry, he set up the tech NGO AdFaber. The NGO has been organizing the Hour of Code event in Romania, and runs the Kids in Tech program, offering free technology clubs in schools in the country.
Sergiu Ardelean is the co-founder of Artivive, an AR tool that allows artists to create new dimensions of art by linking classical with digital art. The same tool allows museums and galleries to enhance visitors’ experience and get them to interact with the exhibits. He also built an AR agency in Vienna, which served clients like Volkswagen and Audi in 42 countries.
Florin Talpeş, one of the best known Romanian entrepreneurs in IT, founded Bitdefender, now a global security technology company. The Bitdefender BOX is a device that protects household devices connected to the Internet. More recently, the company said it had transferred the production of the second generation of its Bitdefender BOX from China to a factory in Satu Mare, northern Romania.
Daniel Dines is the CEO and founder of uipath.com, which specializes in Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This year, the startup has raised a USD 30 million Series A financing from Accel Parners, one of the biggest venture capital funds in the world. The company’s previous investors, Earlybird Venture Capital, Credo Ventures, and Seedcamp, also participated in this deal.
Ana Maria Udriște, a lawyer specializing in competition law, founded the Avocatoo platform. The platform connects clients with the lawyers best suited to their needs. She presented last year her idea at the Innovation Labs event, and attracted further partners in the project.
“This year’s edition is focused on ‘team playing’: in order for innovations to become a sustainable engine of growth in the digital economy, these need to be based on networks of contacts and regional cooperation. The success of our region on a global scale can be consolidated through the coordination of technological efforts, by sharing knowledge and experiences, as well as through promoting the interests of Central and Eastern Europe, as a region stimulating innovation, with a high level of ambition and openness towards entrepreneurs experimenting and daring to take risks,” Marta Poślad, director of Public Policies and Government Relations with Google Central and Eastern Europe, said.
The full list can be checked here.