In the event’s first day, StartUpPath hosted a panel that gathered four entrepreneurs featured on Business Review’s #MakeItHappen series. The series highlighted the success stories of Romanian entrepreneurs running businesses of all sizes and in various fields. The four entrepreneurs introduced their businesses to the audience and shared with them their plans for the future.
Voicu Oprean – FOUNDER | AROBS
“I brought the company to a place where I didn’t think it would go. I am a venture investor in some start-ups”, Oprean said. At the moment, his company is focused on buying other businesses. “We are involved in some acquisitions already. We are interested in buying businesses that have software products or services in their portfolio, are profitable and can provide a growing path. We usually pay in installments,” he added. “We are also testing different business models and investing in startups and early stage projects. Why did we make acquisitions abroad in the Netherlands and Belgium? Because we want to get closer to EU customers in the software services area and, of course, because we have an excellent team in place already”, he said.
“The best decision I ever made was to work in teams,” Oprean said, adding “that is a key thing. There is a stereotype that says ‘hire better people than you’ but that’s true. In order to build a community, you need to tell people that anything is possible,” he said. “I am not a serial entrepreneur. I am more in the sustainable business. My plan is to consolidate the business. And to go further,” he concluded.
Dorina Codarin – Co-founder and OWNER | DISOFA
“Disofa is a family business. We are producing upholstered furniture and are planning to go abroad with our business,” the Brasov-based entrepreneur said. “We started the company with my husband that was selling furniture made by other producers. And then realised my passion was in this field – and I believe you cannot do anything without passion – and last year we decided to start a company making furniture,” she added.
For new entrepreneurs, Codarin said, “the most important thing is to find the courage to do whatever you do every single day.”
“The best decision I ever made,” she commented, “was to comment on the link posted by Business Review because that has brought me a lot of networking opportunities. I think in Brasov the business community is a little closed. That is why I always come to Bucharest to attend such events. It seems that Romania is on the right track finally. Romania is better at talking about entrepreneurship. In order to do that, you need to sacrifice a lot to do that.”
As for the future plans of the company, “our main objective is to have EUR 3 million revenue. Starting from next year we want to sell abroad, to the UK and northern Europe,” she concluded.
Nicolae Ontiu – FOUNDER | ONE IT
“Early this year we have launched a new department where we provided Augmented Reality (AR) solutions. at the end of the week we have an exhibition in the US and we will promote our products,” said the head of the Baia-Mare headquartered company. “My company was not started in a garage, but in a flat. From this passion I took – and in a serious way was that services should be built on quality. That is why our customers from northern Romania trust us and they do more with our solutions in IT. About AR – we have a lot of customers in a lot of business areas. And we discover that they have an issue about maintenance and assistance,” he said. “That is why we provided some pilot customers with our beta products and the feedback was positive. That is why we now have a department and cater to the entire world. We now have US customers and from the UAE,” he added.
In growing his company, the entrepreneur takes into account four points. “The first point is crucial – motivation. You must have motivation and passion and that will guide you. If you want to start a business, then you must have a business plan with what you want to achieve, to show where you want to go. And in this business plan you must have objectives that you must achieve with your team. Third, it is important to be focused. You must invest energy in what you want. Last, you must be patient. Success doesn’t happen overnight. You will need time to grow. It doesn’t happen instantly.”
“My best decisions as not to work by myself,” he concluded. “And I had to learn to delegate to my team. Also, it is important to grow your team and give power to your team, which will take you forward. At the end of the week we’re starting to promote abroad and three years; time we want to be in four international markets,” the entrepreneur concluded.
Vlad Zamfir – FOUNDER | FYSNOW AIRSOFTCS ARENA
“I own a business that allows you to play airsoft and have created a map based on Counter Strike,” Zamfir said. “Failures are most important things in your businesses when you know what do do with them. I like to live free and do things for me and for the rest of people. I believe this is my way,” he said. “In my vision there is no special secret. You must start tomorrow and not from Monday. It’s not good to be a one man show. You must grow a team. You have to want to change your life. We want to grow the business and expand internationally,” he concluded.