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Why Luxembourg Is a Good Opportunity for Romanian Founders Looking to Grow Internationally

Jonas Mercier explains Luxembourg for startups
Image credit: Jonas Mercier, Representative and Coordinator at Startup Luxembourg
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Luxembourg is a small country with a strong economy, and it’s increasingly seen as an attractive new tech hub. The local market is very open to foreign partners and the support from the government makes it easy for international entrepreneurs to choose this destination as the place for the start of their global expansion. Startup Luxembourg was founded on the belief that this energy can be used to promote Luxembourg as a startup-friendly nation. It is their mission to mirror the energy of the economic environment and help founders grow. 

Backed by the Ministry of Economy, Startup Luxembourg is centered around the objectives to create a vibrant and distinctive brand for the Luxembourg startup ecosystem, highlight its maturity and energy, and represent it at significant international events – one of which is coming up in Bucharest next  week – Banking 4.0 on November 22 and 23.

In an interview with The Recursive Jonas Mercier, Representative and Coordinator at Startup Luxembourg, shares more about the team’s vision and outlines the benefits of future collaboration with the Romanian startup community and the whole Southeast Europe region.  

The opportunities in the Romanian startup ecosystem

According to Jonas Mercier, there is an impressive and growing entrepreneurial energy emanating from Romania, as from all the countries in Southeast Europe. 

“People of all ages, not just youngsters, are keen to start businesses and not afraid of having international ambitions. The excellent quality of the country’s computer science and engineering faculties results in a great pool of talent in the field of new technologies. Take all this, together with the VC funds investing and you have the ingredients for a very promising start-up ecosystem”, explains Jonas. 

Jonas also shares that UiPath in Romania and Payhawk in Bulgaria, the first unicorns in these countries have really brought the local startup communities in the spotlight. 

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What’s the unique added value Luxembourg can offer to the Romanian tech community?

“Internationalization is a crucial step for a startup,” Jonas begins. 

“Strategic choices have to be made. Location is one of them. Should I open an office in each country that I want to enter? Should I choose a hub that will allow me to enter several markets in parallel?

Luxembourg is clearly positioned as an internationalization hub allowing scale-ups to attack several of the big Western European markets at the same time, in particular France and Germany. It is strategically located and very international. Half of the country’s population is made up of foreigners and this percentage rises to 70% of the active population due to the 200,000 cross-border commuters who come to work here every day.

Moreover, the fact that the market is relatively small makes it easier to get in touch with decision-makers in both the private and the public sectors. Saving time to talk to the right people is an undeniable asset in Luxembourg.

Startup Luxembourg was created to increase the visibility of our ecosystem and its advantages. My job is to connect international scale-ups interesting in Luxembourg with local players, from both the public and the private sectors,” Jonas explains.

Looking to deepen its ties with the SEE region, in November this year Startup Luxembourg will take part in the fintech-oriented Banking 4.0 event –  a two-day conference about the future of the banking sector, to be held in Bucharest, Romania on November 22 and 23.

Meeting the tech community in Bucharest

“Thanks to the amazing work of the RomLux Chamber of Commerce, a Luxembourg delegation will come to Bucharest next week and participate in the fintech-oriented Banking 4.0 event. 

Luxembourg has a particularly dynamic fintech ecosystem that is closely linked to our financial center, which is the most important one in the world in the funds sector after the United States. The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (Lhoft) is a foundation in which the Ministry of Finance is involved together with major financial center players. Its aim is to facilitate interactions between the fintech ecosystem and financial organizations in need of innovation. Romania is known as a particularly dynamic fintech player in Europe. Our presence at this event is therefore logical.

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However, the Luxembourg delegation is not limited to this sector. In addition to representatives from the financial industry, the delegation will include organizations from the space sector – a field where Luxembourg is a leading global player – and from our research ecosystem. 

We will be organizing several events outside of Banking 4.0 to which we will gladly invite all those who want to know more about Luxembourg and its startup ecosystem,” Jonas says.

If you are interested in joining the Startup Luxembourg events in Bucharest, feel free to contact Jonas Mercier on LinkedIn. Visit the Startup Luxembourg website to find out more about Luxembourg’s startup ecosystem.

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