The Complete Timisoara Startup City Guide

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Have you ever thought about starting your startup in one of Europe's prosper hubs? If so, you've come to the right place! In this guide, we share insights on Timisoara's startup community.

We will lead you to all information you need to start your business: local meetups, startup events and programs, coworking spaces, pre-accelerators, funding and mentoring opportunities. Let’s get to it!

For the second year in a row and for the third time in history, Timisoara won the title of “The Best City for Businesses in Romania” at Forbes Best Cities (2016). At the same time, Timisoara is known for its two main economic areas: IT & automotive.

Also, Timisoara was chosen as The European Capital of Culture in 2021, so you’ll have access to a lot of cultural events and festivals in the near future.

GPS Direction: Timisoara

Timisoara, also known as “The little Vienna” is one of the largest Romanian cities and the informal capital city of the historical region of Banat. The city is known as the city of roses and parks, because it has a very green face, especially in spring.

The cost of living in Timisoara and generally in Romania is low, so this can be a significant advantage over neighboring countries. Office spaces, electric energy, and other utilities are approximately four times cheaper than other countries in Western Europe. To that, you can add the great benefit of having some of the best internet networks in the world.

Advantages Of Building A Startup In Timisoara:

  • Timisoara has a rich tech ecosystem consisting of experienced tech talent and top tech companies.
  • The city also has a very good connection to the rest of the Europe; one highway leads directly to Vienna and there are various low-cost flights that depart and land at Timisoara International Airport.
  • According to (as of 03.11.2017), Timisoara is ranking in the TOP 5 cities to live and work remotely if you want a cool city, with fast WIFI, an amazing nightlife, and low costs of living.
  • Another thing you may want to consider when starting your business in Timisoara is that the country ranks as 10th in the world and 1st in Europe in terms of average internet connection speed, according to a recent study published by Akamai.
  • The CEE region is starting to gain everybody’s attention when it comes to startups and digitalization as it is becoming more and more developed.
  • Since Timisoara is home to a highly developed IT community, you will find various IT gurus with a diverse range of knowledge. So, in case you need a technical co-founder, most likely you will find some great web developers and software engineers around.

What Founders Have To Consider:

  • Although Timisoara is a beautiful city that continues to grow, there is an undeveloped startup culture with a cultural perception of failure that raises a general and high fear of failure.
  • Timisoara is just a little bit less accessible from outside of Europe when it comes to traveling to or from other continents.
  • When it comes to legal paperwork, official registration, and authorization for your business, there is an online system you can use, but keep in mind it requires some additional paperwork. You can also choose to pay an attorney’s office to help you out with this because paperwork and taxes offices can be a hustle.

Timisoara offers an emerging startup ecosystem, especially in the automotive, mobility and IoT verticals. As a startup founder, you can have a good start in Timisoara and/or base your development team in the city. Meanwhile, the ecosystem is continuously evolving in order to support entrepreneurs founding businesses in the Banat area of Romania.

First Stop: Discover Timisoara Startup Community

The Complete Timisoara Startup City Guide

Timisoara is a growing entrepreneurial community with various community leaders, events and meetups, educational initiatives, startup programs and public institutions making a common effort to make things happen. Below you will find a list of some of the most active and important ones.

  • Startup Survivor – An educational program focused on offering a comprehensive introduction to entrepreneurship and startups. The program started from the gap identified when implementing global startup programs within the local community, and developed into a two-week-long boot camp, offering workshops, mentoring hours with local entrepreneurs and focusing on a hands-on approach.
  • Timisoara Startup Weekend – Startup Weekend is a weekend-long, hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable. Half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have a technical or design background and the other half have business backgrounds. If you decide to participate in an edition from Timisoara, you will meet local tech and startup leaders, including coaches and judges that will get you some one-on-one time with the movers and shakers from Timisoara’s tech community.

Regular Startup Events & Meetups:

  • Startup Coffee Meetup – A monthly meeting aiming to bring together local tech entrepreneurs and other startup related people, regardless of experience, background or status, to network and learn from each other. The meetup started in March 2015.
  • Startup Founders Club – A private group of startup founders that meets periodically to discuss and help each other with problems and ideas related to their business.
  • Fuckup Nights Timisoara – Fuckup Nights is a global movement where stories of failed businesses and projects are told, questioned and celebrated. Each speaker has 7 minutes to present their story and 10 images to describe the experience and 1 failure to include. After each presentation, Q&A and networking sessions happen.
  • Timisoara Startup Kids – This project is run by the Timisoara Startup Hub aiming at educating & motivating youngsters to start their own businesses by establishing contact with successful entrepreneurs & experts. The first Timisoara Startup Kids event took place in 2013, reached its fifth edition, in April 2015 and included a series of 5 conferences and one workshop.

Regular Tech Events & Meetups:

  • Google Developer Group (GDG) Timisoara – A community for developers who are interested in Google’s developer technology, everything from Android, App Engine, and Google Chrome platforms, to product APIs like the Maps API, YouTube API, and Google Calendar API. A GDG can take many forms, from just a few people getting together to watch their latest video to large gatherings with demos and tech talks, and events like code sprints and hackathons. However, at the core, GDG is focused on developers and technical content.
  • FinTech Camp Timisoara – A local community dedicated to FinTech professionals and enthusiasts, part of a national network aiming to move the needle to the Eastern Europe’s FinTech space.
  • Timisoara Mobile Development Group Meetup (TiMo) – A Timisoara-based platform-neutral community of people interested in various components of the mobile industry, active since 2010 in Western Romania. Members are gathering at least once a month, in order to present or to assist to presentations of locally build mobile apps from a technology or business perspective, and to offer and receive feedback, to join special guests from other communities, to learn together and to build new ventures. Counting more than 400 members and having organized more than 70 events, TiMo has moved its activity to the next level in February 2014 when it ran its first open training events, complemented with mobile development hackathon and the regular monthly group meetup.
  • Timisoara Game Development Group Meetup – A community of game designers, graphic artists, entrepreneurs and gamers, with diverse backgrounds (programmers, designers, marketers, sound engineers, gaming specialized bloggers). The group is active since 2013 and meets monthly at Timisoara Startup Hub in order to showcase locally developed games, to talk and offer feedback, to build new teams and joint approaches for advancing the art, science and business of game development in the region. At present, there are almost 200 members actively participating in helping TGD evolve into a large community of members.
  • The Timisoara Agile Software Group Meetup – This is the oldest and biggest meetup in Timisoara; it promotes agile software development processes such as Scrum, Extreme Programming, Feature Driven Development and Test Driven Development as they are becoming more and more adopted. The sharing of valuable experiences and lessons learned are the most sought outcomes of the group. The group constantly organizes the local implementation of Global Day of Coderetreat, an event permitting the best of CoderDojo kids to peer program with the city’s coder gurus.
  • RoPython Meetup – RoPython Timisoara is a meeting dedicated to Python users and focuses on bringing together all Python enthusiasts in Timisoara. If you are an experienced Python developer or just a beginner, join the community and meet, talk and learn from the best Python hackers in town.
  • tim.js Meetup – A meet-up for anyone interested or already working with technologies around javascript: end-to-end javascript development, node.js, phonegap, jquery, backbone, mongodb, mvc and others.
  • Meetup – This group aims to gather programmers that are interested in Microsoft’s technologies and create a community where everybody is free to share their experience and ask for advice.
  • Internet of Things Meetup – A meet-up dedicated to the building of the Internet of Internet of Things (IoT) community in Western Romania and beyond. The IoT meet-ups often include talks about exciting startups and technologies, industrial internet, 3D printing, hardware and wearable computing areas and also discussions about privacy, scalability or stability and implementing ideas in new projects and products.
  • Timisoara Automotive Technologies Meetup – A regional meeting with manufacturers, vendors, distributors, startups, academics and investors every month for a 2-3 hours deep talks on specific topics inside the automotive industry. The meeting aims at introducing participants to new ideas, companies and new opportunities as well as to present startup demos.
  • WordPress Timisoara Meetup – WordPress Timisoara is a meet-up organized by a group of local WordPress developers, designers, and publishers who will get together to share their knowledge and experience. WordPress users and anyone who loves WordPress is invited to join.
  • CoderDojo Timisoara – CoderDojo is an open source, volunteer-led community orientated around running free non-profit coding clubs for young people. CoderDojo is a global collaboration providing free and open learning to young people, especially in programming technology. The first Timisoara implementation of the Irish-led global movement of coding clubs for kids was at Timisoara Startup Hub, and now you can find various ones among the city. You can bring your kids to learn to code, hack, develop websites, apps, games and more or come yourself to mentor.

Yearly Or Major Events, Festivals, Conferences:

  • HackTM – Timisoara’s super-sized software & hardware development hackathon aiming to mobilize as many of the local (and visiting) people and organizations active in IT, automotive and generally tech industries. It’s a de-focused hackathon, creating opportunities of creative thinking and action for all those interested in the following: mobile technologies, web technologies, open-source, game development, hardware, embedded & robotics, home automation, wearables, IoT, open data platforms, city projects, and kids coding.
  • Timisoara Startups Demo Day – An event aiming to showcase the tech startups of Timisoara. Timisoara Startups Demo Day was created as an opportunity for the most innovative startups within the region to present their businesses to prospective investors and to the entire community. Furthermore, the event wants to connect local and regional entrepreneurs, help them get access to a network of people interested in their work and offer them insights on how to further develop their products or businesses. The first edition took place in April 2017.
  • Mega Dojo – An annual event jointly organized by all the 15 CoderDojos active in Timisoara’s Metropolitan Area, with the support of the Banat IT Association. The event united about 100 mentors and 400 children who coded on different technologies like Scratch, Html + CSS, JavaScript, C++, C#, Java, Python, Ruby, Photoshop, Game Development, Robotics. This is the biggest event in the field of programming education for children and teenagers with ages between 7 and 17 guided by current and future CoderDojo mentors.
  • Timisoara Business Days – Business Days is an annual networking event dedicated to entrepreneurs and managers, whose aim is to create a healthy and sustainable entrepreneurial culture.
  • Banat IT Summer Barbecue – An event organized by IT people, where you will try barbecue recipes and listen to music, selected by IT people  (fun moments are also included).
  • Upgrade My City – A program aimed to identify, promote and implement ideas that can improve the quality of life in the city by involving the civil society, companies, universities and the public administration on a large scale. Upgrade My City has an important component of dialogue, debate, and interaction.
  • Connecting Doers with Opportunity – It is more than a conference and an innovation hackathon for Global Doers – it is an in-person three-days collaboration with extraordinarily talented creatives and innovators from all around the world, who use their skills to make a positive impact within their communities.

Institutions & Universities:

Having an important and supporting role, public institutions and universities continuously involve themselves in the development of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem. While universities are always bringing new talent in the city, public institutions are always supporting the community by organizing trainings & events.

Some of the public institutions and universities that are highly involved in the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem are:

Second Stop: Park At A Coworking Space In Timisoara

The Complete Timisoara Startup City Guide

Timisoara has two coworking spaces: Cowork Timisoara and Timisoara Startup Hub, and they are both available for freelancers, startup founders and digital nomads. You can choose to book a flexible desk or a fixed one, for a daily basis activity, and enjoy a good internet connection. At the same time you will find great coffee and various like-minded people to exchange ideas with.

Coworking Spaces In Timisoara:

  • Cowork Timisoara – this is the newest coworking space in Romania that just opened in Timisoara, aiming to be the startup acceleration spot of the community and a hub for creativity and digital innovation. Entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers in the fields of digital and creative, who want a shared workspace, will find a great place to work and connect. Cowork Timisoara is not just a space to work, it’s a community where you can learn and grow, exchange ideas, get feedback and connect with potential customers or partners. The residents of Cowork Timisoara will benefit from specialised development programs, one-on-one mentoring sessions with experts from various fields, events, workshops and motivational seminars as well as training programs in entrepreneurship and IT. Also, the main benefits of being a resident in the newest hub in Timisoara offers various benefits, such as a 24/7 accessible office with a dedicated desk and high-speed internet, an individual meeting room for Skype calls, standing desks and a seating area where you can enjoy free coffee.
  • Timisoara Startup Hub – Timisoara Startup Hub is offering services which include the access to a coworking space, the access to conference rooms, consulting, business consulting and contacts, training, networking, facilitates the relationships with the university environment as well as the access to personnel which can be involved in the startups activities (internships or even employment on short-/long-term). Startup Hub also organizes events to connect local business angels and investment funds with startups seeking investment. It also organizes events dedicated to target groups starting with students from the primary/secondary schools to high school and university students.

Third Stop: Tank Your Finances In Timisoara

The Complete Timisoara Startup City Guide

There aren’t many investment opportunities, so finding and getting one could still be a pain for early-stage startups, but if you are dedicated enough to think and say “I can & I will”, the amazing people behind 123ContactForm are an excellent role model. The compy develops easy-to-use software for form builders. They raised an initial investment from Adrian Gheara, a well-known angel investor in Romania, and last year they closed their Series A round from 3TS and Catalyst Romania. So, everything is possible, if you really want it.

Government Grants & Support:

  • The Romanian government supports new ventures by providing easy ways to found a company and you can apply for a 27.000 EUR grant. The START program is one of encouragements and stimulations for small and medium enterprises; the main objective of which is to increase the performance of young companies. More information can be found here (in Romanian).
  • You can apply for a 10.000 EUR non-reimbursable grant if you found a SRL-D. More about the SRL-D program can be found here (in Romanian).
  • There is also a great opportunity if you want to set-up a business incubator or develop an existing one: you can ask for a grant with the INCUBATORS program. You can read more about it, here (in Romanian).
  • Also, you can ask one the local Facebook groups mentioned, such as De vorbă cu antreprenorii, Startup Weekend or Startup Coffee for more information, they will gladly help you out.

Incubators & Accelerators:

  • Startup Survivor Pre-accelerator – An entrepreneurship program aiming to cater to local people with bright ideas, offer applied education on entrepreneurship and business, and prepare them for an early product launch or for a bigger accelerator, such as TechStars.
  • INCUBOXX – “The Regional Business and Innovation Infrastructure for the IT&C Sector” is a business incubator in Timisoara aiming to support active startups within the information and communication technology field, in the Western region of the country. The incubator has a total of 54 offices available for newly established companies and various facilities designed to support entrepreneurs on their way to success. INCUBOXX also organizes conferences and trainings with free access available to the employees of the resident companies. At the same time, all the meeting, seminar and conference rooms are free of charge, and two of the accountancy and consulting firms are supporting entrepreneurs by offering preferential prices.
  • Innovation Labs – A national pre-accelerator for young tech founders and startups. The program targets students and graduates from technical universities and from communication, business and creative fields for their 3-months-long mentoring adventure of team work, intensive prototype development and mentorship, exploring Romania’s growing startup ecosystem. The participants are empowered to develop proof-of-concept solutions and products using cutting-edge tech with the support of top mentors in the ICT industry. The teams accepted in the program will work during the mentoring program to develop prototypes for their idea through user testing, design work, business modelling and product validation in weekly courses and workshops in a variety of fields.

Crowd Investing Platforms:

  • CrestemIdei – A Romanian crowdfunding platform hosting ideas, projects or startups in search of financing. Launched in 2012, this platform aims to support innovation, creativity, and performance in Romania and generate a positive impact on the community.

Angel Investors:

  • The Tech Angels Network is a community facilitating the development of tech businesses from South-Eastern Europe through investment, expertise, and connections. You can apply for financing or you can join the network.

There are some local & regional Angel Investors that are continuously scouting for new startups in which to invest in.

Venture Capital Investors:

  • 3TS/Catalyst – One of Europe’s leading technology-focused private equity and venture capital firms that provides expansion and funding for small and medium-sized businesses, in sectors such as Technology & Internet, Media & Communications, and Technology-Enabled. As mentioned before, the most recent investment made in Timisoara by 3TS and Catalyst Romania was 1 million Euro in the cloud software business 123ContactForm.

Fourth Stop: Seek Further Advice & Opportunities In Timisoara

The Complete Timisoara Startup City Guide

There are a lot of local people involved in Timisoara’ startup ecosystem and everyone is open to help. The first step you should take you build your next startup in Timisoara is to check out the Timisoara Startups community, a great resource when it comes to Timisoara-based startups, entrepreneurs, investors and other community leaders. You can get an idea about the local entrepreneurs, read a little bit about their background and find relevant contact information.

Secondly, if you still want to get more information, join the tech and startup Facebook groups mentioned in this guide, drop a line there or stop by one of the coworking spaces open in town, Cowork Timisoara and Startup Hub. There you can have a talk with two of the community leaders, Andrei Firoiu and Radu Ticiu, who will gladly offer you a guided tour through the startup community, introduce you to local entrepreneurs, and help you out.

Furthermore, if you’re a female founder, you’re more lucky, because there is also a Women in Tech Facebook group, where people encourage, facilitate and support the increase of the relevance and size of feminine presence in the (high-)tech sector in Timisoara. And, a Women Techmakers community is on its way, too.

One more thing, just in case you are looking for a tech job in Timisoara, the Timisoara.Tech community is here to support you as well.

Now, are you ready to start your next startup in Timisoara?


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Special thanks for the contribution to this article to Andrei Firoi & Andrei Cosmin Munteanu!

The guides are like startup communities – they constantly change and grow. Make sure to check for updates and if you have something to add or want to publish one for your city, get in touch right away! And don’t forget to enrich the startup ecosystem by creating your company profile at StartUs!