For almost 13 years, How to Web has been offering a helping hand to shape the local tech startup ecosystem in Romania. Through the annual conference and different networking tools, the team aims to keep inspiring generations of entrepreneurs.
One of these tools is Launch, the community democratizing access to resources like expertise, capital, and pilot projects since the beginning of 2021. So far, Launch has helped over 300 founders and 100 startups and is growing in different cities, from Bucharest to Timisoara, Cluj, and Iasi.
In the past year, we have witnessed the bubbling evolution of this early-stage community by attending different events, and also tapping into the technological slide – the always inspiring Slack channel where founders and different professionals network, but also find answers to growth dilemmas.
As part of this edition of the How to Web conference, we got to attend the 5th Launch Community Evening with special guests like Daniel Rizea – Fitbit, Daniel Nanu – BCR, Lavinia Cojocaru – UiPath, Cristian George Farauanu – Confidas, Cristian Tamas – TypingDNA, Mircea Serediuc – FameUp, and Raluca Pantiru – Google, Adrian Marin – Avo, Andrei Stoica – Giants – Elrond NFTs, and Alexandru Anghel – SOLO Fintech – amongst others.
While startup founders got to practice and evolve their pitching skills by getting productive feedback; we also got to take part in a Peer Talk between two tech professionals, Raluca Pantiru, Product Manager at Google, and Cristian Tamas, co-founder and CMO of TypingDNA.
A product manager is the “CEO of a product”
“When you work in tech, you get to reach a lot of people, it’s visible, and you can improve their lives. I like the fact that you can have an impact.” – Raluca Pantiru, Product Manager at Google UK, Android Health Connect
Raluca Pantiru has a background in Political Science and Law and began her tech journey along with serial entrepreneur Andrei Pitis at Vector Watch. While the Romanian gadget was acquired by Fitbit, and then Fitbit by Google, Raluca went up the corporate ladder at the technological giant Google UK. Now, she is part of the Android Health Connect team, concentrating on building health and wellness solutions.
“I jumped on that ship at the perfect timing,” she tells us, before imparting one of the biggest lessons she learned: “When a product is successful, all the team is successful; when it fails, the PM is the one responsible.”
A co-founder has to learn to be a Jack of all trades
“Trust is a big challenge in the security vertical. You have to begin with early adopters.” – Cristian Tamas, co-founder of TypingDNA
Cristian Tamas has a background in marketing and is passionate about tech and building useful products. He began his career at Bannersnack, a design app, but then decided to shift gears and help build a tool that recognizes people by the way they type. A solution that since its launch, in 2016, has raised around €9M to innovate the biometrics vertical and security altogether.
“In the beginning, you do everything that is asked of you that you can do. For example, even if I was in charge of marketing, I also knew basic coding to make the website,” he shares in the talk.
In the video, you can see a peer-to-peer talk about building products, with a focus on wellness and cybersecurity, what’s the secret to consolidating a tech team, spoiler alert – it’s all about communication and cooperation, why you don’t necessarily need a tech background to “get into tech”, and how the research people are the ones to watch to see the next tech trends.