Unleash Your Startup Potential In Romania’s Capital: Bucharest

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Bucharest recognizes the potential of multi-talented people and provides the support they need to realize their dreams. Young entrepreneurs have great ideas and the spirit to transform them into something concrete. Learn how it's done best in this European city!

One of the fastest emerging markets of digital consumers and innovators can be found in Bucharest. Here Romanian companies like Bitdefender, Gameloft, King and others equipped with Romanian innovation engine had their debut and matured to what they are today.

Bucharest, also known as “Little Paris” is renowned for its exciting nightlife, but if that wasn’t enough you should also know that it comes with very smart and multi-talented people who welcome investors and great entrepreneurs. Microsoft, the creator of the most widely used OS in the world through which most other great technologies and tools are built is not a stranger to Romanians, at Microsoft the number one speaking language is not English, it’s Romanian.

Bucharest is considered by many Eastern Europe’s “Sillicon Valley”. A very well written and informative article can be read here.

In Bucharest, companies like Microsoft, IBM, Adobe, Intel, Oracle, Bitdefender, EA Games, Ubisoft, Avira, etc.. have flourished and prospered throughout their existence. All romanians master English as their second language, especially those who work in IT.

July is the hottest month in Bucharest with an average temperature of 22°C (71°F) and the coldest is January with -2°C (29°F) and the daily sunshine hours at 13°C in July. June is the month of monsoon with an average rain of 90mm.

Rents for living in Bucharest are very high compared to the salaries. A small one room apartment complete with furniture and all utilities will range from €200 to €350 depending on your desired area and proximity to transport modes (especially subway entrances). A two room apartment will range between €300 and €400 and so on. This high rent costs extend to the office spaces as well. Food expenses are not very high, transportation costs are decent as well. A budget of only €250 to €300 can be enough for a decent diet and transportation even if you’re not cooking at home, but this is kind of a minimum.

Heading To Bucharest

Romania has a population of 19,861,408 (2015) and a country area of 238,391 sq km out of which Bucharest takes 285 sq km for 1,910,531 people (census 2012). There are 11,178,477 Internet users in Romania (2014 IWS) which equals to 56.3% penetration with around 8.2 million Facebook users (2015 facebrands.ro).

Advantages Of Starting Up In Bucharest:

  • Constant supply of talented individuals, in many cases multi-talented (many romanians are multipotentialites)
  • Low wages
  • Friendly people, exciting nightlife
  • Beautiful city architecture, subway
  • Very high internet penetration and some of the fastest internet connection providers on the planet
  • Highly developed private IT sector that offers best services at very low costs compared to other countries
  • Active internet user base that constantly helps create, grow and support emerging markets
  • Decent startup groups and communities
  • Ease of travelling to other cities, except for the north side to the mountains due to traffic
  • Most people speak English
  • Healthy food industry

What Startup Founders Have To Consider:

  • High level of corruption in the public sector, projects may get stuck or stopped completely
  • Staggering level of bureaucracy, requires running to different institutions, lots of paperwork, plans can get delayed a lot
  • High taxes and very few subventions or grants
  • Bad road infrastructure, no space for bikes, a lot of noise, slight air pollution

There is little to no help from the state regarding subventions or grants. These come only from the private sector.

Uncover The Startup Community In Bucharest


Being the capital, all Romanians aspire to working in Bucharest and the supply of young, ambitious and extremely multi-talented individuals never ceases to flow. On the downside, entrepreneurial culture has not yet developed. This translates into a reluctance to take risks and a lower ability to collaborate across teams. It might sound odd to some readers, but Romanian engineers would much rather work for a salary than for a stake in a business.

Meetup Groups:

  • AgileWorks Romania Meetup if you want to share your experience or to learn about other experiences and meet smart and talented people from the software development world, this is the group you are looking for. You can visit their websites: www.agileworks.ro and www.openagile.ro.
  • BucharestJS is a developer group for anyone interested in Javascript. All skill levels are welcome.
  • ProductTank provides an opportunity for Product Managers in Bucharest and Romania to exchange ideas and experiences about Product Design, Development and Management, Business Modelling, Metrics, User Experience and all the other things that get us excited.
  • Java User Group is for passionate developers that are using either Java, Scala, Groovy, Clojure, JRuby or any other language based on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine).
  • Meet NET  for programmers passionate about .NET technologies, they organise monthly meetups
  • Lean StartUp addresses people who want to be informed about Start Up entrepreneurship and want to find opportunities through people who have similar interest.
  • Bucharest Big Data Meetup is a group for people interested in Big Data: what it means, what tools are there and how to use them, how others are analyzing the data and what is the value they get out of it.
  • Bucharest WordPress Meetup for WordPress enthusiasts: developers, designers, online marketing experts, bloggers or just wanna-bees.
  • Bucharest Indies – created for independent game developers and designers to meet, socialize, show their games, find creative partnerships and talk about game development / the indie life in general.
  • DG Bucharest (Google Developer Group Bucharest) for developers and users of Google technologies and platforms: Android – App Engine – Google Web Toolkit – Google AJAX APIs – OpenSocial – Google Chrome.
  • Startup Grind on Meetup or Startup Grind on Facebook is an event series and website designed to help educate, inspire, and connect local entrepreneurs. Each month they welcome an amazing speaker who shares his/her story with the community and tells everyone what worked, what didn’t, and what they’ll do differently next time. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from the best, network with other members of the startup community, and improve your chances of entrepreneurial success.
  • Marketing Online PPC/SEO – this is a group for anyone interested in Online Marketing, from SEO & PPC to Social Media, Affiliate Marketing and more.
  • BucharestTech – whether you are at the early stages of business development or already a StartUp veteran, your contribution to the group is equally important. You will get access to an expert list, video calls with amazing people from Paris, London and Silicon Valley, bring field experience where is needed and we’re always ready to talk shop, knowing that will impact you in a positive way.
  • Tabara de Testare Bucuresti – “The Bucharest Testing Camp” is a community of testers and other IT professionals where everyone can share knowledge and experiences each month.
  • Meetup in Bucharest with Young StartUP Business Ideas – this group is especially intended for people who like to meet, socialize, party while sharing business ideas with like minded personalities. Hear some expert entrepreneurs give advice on how to transform a dream into a reality, solve problems and prevent mistakes. It is open to young graduates and first steps entrepreneurs who want to understand more about businessworld. It invites entrepreneurs who wish to help youngsters and/or people looking for possible investments.
  • Romanian Start ups Ideas Ethics Network Support – here you can share ideas, make connections, build business, innovate, strive to create value. It’s intended for anyone interested in starting-up a business, no matter what their industry is. It’s objective is to build a strong, flourishing community of entrepreneurs where ideas and businesses could stand out.
  • Startup DNA’s mission is to build a stronger and inclusive community of innovators and to transform them into achievers over interesting tales, talks and thoughts by super awesome people. StartupDNA is a Unique Collaboration platform for Startups, Entrepreneurs, Growth Hackers, Marketers and Coders in Europe.
  • StartupBlink-Bucharest – is an interactive global startup ecosystem map with ten thousands of entities listed including Startups, Coworking spaces and Accelerators.
  • Mobile Growth Hackers Bucharest – is a group of mobile app developers (iOS and Android), mobile startups, and mobile marketers interested in growing their apps. From organic growth hacking, to paid installs, to how to build referral systems, they cover all things related to growth.

Facebook Groups:

  • Startup Live Bucharest – a startup enthusiasts group on facebook with over 270 members.
  • Front-end Bucharest – this Facebook group has over 1200 members that may help you find free solutions for your project problems and recruit people to work on your projects. A romanian front-end developer always comes with a network of backend developers behind.

Upcoming Conferences:

  • www.imworld.ro – the largest B2B expo-conference for digital & IT solutions in the CEE region
  • www.howtoweb.co – meeting place for the innovators community
  • Idea Exchange – is a monthly networking event with special guest where participants can pitch their ideas by presenting a 2 minutes elevator pitch.
  • Startup Live Bucharest – People from different backgrounds (tech, business, design and marketing) come together for a weekend to present ideas, listen to new thoughts, work their ideas with new people, get feedback and improve.
  • Netcamp – is the most famous event in Romania, organized by Evensys.ro, dedicated to online entrepreneurship and web development projects.
  • Startup Weekend Romania – No talk, all action. Launch a startup in 54 hours.
  • Open Connect – Networking, pitching and mentoring meetings for online entrepreneurs, media people, curious, coders, web designers.
  • JSCamp Romania – is a conference organised for front-end developers and engineers, also for web designers and web entrepreneurs who want to learn more about the most popular programming language of the web.

Volunteering Possibilities:

Volunteering to grow your network might be very hard in Bucharest since the entrepreneurship mentality is still at it’s infancy and people would rather work for money than for experiences or networking growth. The best course here is to join all the relevant online groups and keep an eye or ear out.

Enhance Your Productivity In Bucharest’s Co-working Spaces


Bucharest does not have the best designed city infrastructure but it does have a very well functioning subway and decent surface public transport.

The traffic is intense during rush hours, there are way too many cars for the capacity of the city, seeing full rows of cars parked on the sidewalks is something normal in Bucharest, the infrastructure for bikes is very bad as well as you may imagine which makes the city very noisy in some areas.

If you’re looking for an office space to suit your needs look no further than www.regus.ro – here you will be able to choose from thousands of office spaces all around Bucharest, there are other agencies as well but this one has a different business model which in most cases will be an advantage for the renter.

Co-working Spaces In Bucharest:

  • TechHub Bucharest – TechHub partners with How to Web, the vibrant annual conference that brings together tech entrepreneurs, investors and supporters. With so many startup companies in Romania TechHub Bucharest brings those startups together and provide a consistent catalyst for them to surge ahead to success.
  • Synergy Hub – trying to keep the long story short – a bunch of cool gals and guys (yes, we are!) that run some of the coolest projects in their niche (Mixtopia, PamPam, Getlokal, Concert & Event Logistic, The Backline Shop, LivePro, UrbanKid.ro) – got together for one purpose – create the perfect working space.
  • Impact Hub – is a global network of centres for social innovation and social entrepreneurship, made up of over 40+ inspiring spaces where 7000+ members with ideas to make the world a better place can find support, tap into resources and develop collaborations with like-minded members who are part of each local Impact Hub and of the global community.
  • Connect Hub – Designed as a practical solution to the real necessities of freelancers and entrepreneurs, Connect Hub is not just a co-working space but also an environment where professionals can evolve and thrive, both individually and together, as a community.

Reach Out For Budget Support In Bucharest


There are very few startup incubators, accelerators, investors and other programs designed to help startups, here are some of the more important ones:


  • 360 Hub – an accelerator designed not just for startup ideas but even for freelancers who want to evolve.
  • Gemsfoundry – a “flexible accelerator” designed exclusively for IT startups.
  • Innovation Labs – is a pre-acceleration program dedicated to students and young professionals that want to build successful tech startups.

Angel Investors:

  • TechAngels is facilitating the development of tech businesses from South-Eastern Europe through investment, expertise and connections.

Ask For Help In Bucharest


Romanians are very peaceful and friendly, the private sector is very well developed and organized but when going to the public sector there is a very high level of corruption and bad management, “bribe” is the keyword. Not to discourage you, one can say that even with all the corruption honest entrepreneurs can still make it but it takes a lot of time and energy to go through all the misleading procedures and paperwork.

The state institutes are not decentralized, they’re like ancient manual paper-working dinosaurs and any startup enthusiast or entrepreneur/investor must take this into consideration when deciding to take a shot in Bucharest. If one can adapt to this type of economy things can move very fast for him/her.

Private companies that offer consulting and accounting services will help a lot and they’re not expensive to hire, if you want more help and information you can start here www.romanianlawoffice.com and here www.romania-company.com.

Even though the taxes are high and there is a lot of bureaucracy in Bucharest the wages are low compared to the skills and experience of the average employee and there is a constant supply of workforce for all domains. The minimum salary is 1050 Lei (€236), the average salary is 2500 Lei (€562) – according to 2015 statistics. Paying people more than your competition guarantees recruitment of the most experienced and talented professionals in the world because like we mentioned romanians prefer a salary over a stake in the company. This and all the other tips mentioned earlier make Bucharest one of the great cities in Europe where you can build your own startup or extend your company reach.


Last updated: August 1st, 2016

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!

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