Romania has nine entries in this year’s edition of New Europe 100 Innovators list, which includes the innovation leaders in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), young people who have been making an impact in their countries and abroad with their ideas and projects. The list includes entrepreneurs, researchers, content creators, app developers, as well as politicians and cultural personalities.
Some 13 Romanians have been nominated in this year’s list, up from only three last year.
The best-known Romanian innovator is Radu Georgescu (photo), one of the first IT entrepreneurs in Romania, who saw potential in this sector more than 20 years ago. After founding GECAD Group in the early ‘90s, he was involved in building up several ventures, including RAV AntiVirus, which was sold to Microsoft in 2004, and Avangate, which was acquired by American technology-focused private equity firm Francisco Partners in 2013. His latest big bet is the Vector smart watch project, in which GECAD has recently invested another USD 2 million.
The other Romanian innovators are:
Andras Kapy, CEO of Axosuits, a robotics company that has been developing exoskeletons designed to help people with walking disabilities;
Aurora Simionescu, an astrophysicist, currently working as an International Top Young Fellow at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency;
Cosmin Mihaiu, CEO and co-founder of MIRA Rehab, a software platform that lets patients play interactive, therapeutic games, to recover easier;
Dan Ciotu, Dragos Ilinca and Vladimir Oane, founders of UberVu, a Romanian London-based startup that offers social analytics data that turns data from blogs, forums and social networks into actionable business insights. Industry giant HootSuite acquired the service in 2014;
Eduard Alexandrian, developer of the SafeDrive app that rewards drivers for not using the phone while driving;
Paul Balogh and Cristian Dinu, founders of Read Forward, a digital publisher that produces e-textbooks;
Ramona Cordoș and Codin Sebastian Pop, founders of Creative Monkeyz, which develops online series and shows on various themes, the most famous of which is RObotzi;
Stefania Druga, founder of HacKIDemia, a global network that designs workshops and kits enabling kids to use curiosity, play, and empathy to solve global challenges.
Among the 100 leaders of change in the region, there are individuals who employ modern technology to create new pathways in culture, politics, business, science or in social activities. The majority of them are entrepreneurs (50%) or activists and politicians (32%). “This list showcases people that will be the drivers of change in Central and Eastern Europe in the near future,” said Wojciech Przybylski from Res Publica Foundation, initiator of the project.
Challengers were selected by the organizers based on public nominations and suggestions from nominating partners in the following categories: business, science, media and culture, society and politics. “This year’s New Europe 100 list shows that in many key areas – including education, healthcare, transport, agriculture – innovators from our region use the latest technological achievements to solve specific social and business problems,” explains Agata Wacławik-Wejman, Head of Public Policy, Google CEE. “The diversity of the list shows that economic and social innovation in Central and Eastern Europe have considerable potential for growth, creating strong business ventures, jobs and economic growth.”
The New Europe 100 list is an initiative of Polish organization Res Publica, who works on this project together with Google, the Visegrad Fund, and Financial Times. Impact Hub Bucharest is one of the project’s nominating partners of the project. The full list is available here.