An Emerging Tech Hub in the CEE

Forbes featured a guest contribution on Central Eastern Europe as an emerging tech hub in October 2013. The article was an informal SWOT analysis of the region in the attempt to argue How Central Eastern Europe Is Transforming From Outsourcing To A Real Tech Hub

The discrepancies between the realities we see locally and the ones of the CEE, as depicted in the above-mentioned article, make us feel both proud and fortunate at the same time. Romania in general and Imprezzio Global specifically have created their own path in the IT and business world and we’re a lot closer to being a tech hub than many might think.

Romania has a solid background of providing high-performing resources in the exact sciences and has seen a steady economic growth since joining the EU. A once closed-off people which had limited access to knowledge about the world outside of its borderlines has, once doors slowly opened, eagerly and greedily seized the possibilities of using the World Wide Web as a knowledge base, the facilitation of travel and cultural enrichment, all of which have created an open-minded society, fond of technology and mostly multilingual.

Putting the right foot forward

If you don’t already know where Cluj-Napoca is on a map, click below.

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Imprezzio Global was never founded as an outsourcing company, but as the European office of Imprezzio, Inc. We are collaborators of a sure-footed US company which has been providing enterprise software solutions for close to a decade. When they started looking to expand the business and attract talent from across continents, they sought out Cluj-Napoca as their European headquarters, and this is where Imprezzio Global comes in. Our primary role and specialization in the Imprezzio family of companies is the development of custom software.

For a startup, this meant working alongside professionals and contributing to, as well as learning from, the various products developed and implementations contracted by the mother company. Imprezzio has seasoned experts in the field of IT, an R&D department and the entrepreneurial experience, whereas Imprezzio Global has brought young talent to the bat: enthusiastic, innovative and hard-working resources collected from among the graduates of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, both well-known in Romania and abroad for producing award-winning students in the fields of mathematics, science and IT. Graduates are introduced from the very start of their careers into an environment where new approaches are encouraged and quality is demanded. These young people evolve and at Imprezzio have evolved into a highly skilled team which delivers better and best results.

Moving forward – as a company, city and country

Imprezzio Global has grown in many ways since its founding 5 years ago. We started out as collaborating developers on projects and products that were contracted and managed mostly from our USA offices, into a company that now has a department dedicated to consulting for clients in Europe and the USA, is expanding and is involved in several strategies to grow and sustain the local IT industry.

Since our founding, we have been mentored and have mentored others in return. The 5th edition of the Imprezzio Software Contest has concluded in November 2013 and, as of 2013, will be continued with a US Edition, by sponsoring students to travel and present their winning projects in the USA. The contest was initiated with the intent to bring bright young students of technical universities in contact with industry experts, to empower and reward them, as well as to identify and retain tomorrow’s top IT professionals.

“As a student and as a young entrepreneur, I have had the benefit of guidance and support from professors, family and business partners alike and believe that it has shaped me to excel. I fully understand the benefits of having a mentor and being exposed to the right opportunities, which is why we want to put forth this possibility for those who are willing to work for it.” – Tudor Ciuleanu, Managing Director of Imprezzio Global.

More and more, state institutions, non-profit entities, universities and companies are starting to grasp the need to encourage and support Romanian youth in aspects of education, career and ongoing professional growth, as well as to set up a proper environment for innovation.

The Cluj IT Cluster is a non-profit association working to increase the competitiveness of the Romanian IT sector and to achieve international recognition of the Cluj IT brand as one of the leading providers of software solutions in Europe. We believe in the possibility to generate benefits for the cluster entities and for society at large. Three principles shape and direct our actions: trust among members, transparent collaboration and innovation through fostering R&D and public-private partnerships.

The city of Cluj is already acknowledged as a major IT hub in Romania and it has been an appropriate environment for the organic emergence of an IT cluster. Cluj IT was established in 2012 primarily as a catalyst for increasing the sustainability of its members by gradually shifting from outsourcing to sustainable intellectual-property-driven businesses. Cluj IT currently has 39 members representing the entire value chain of the software development industry: 28 companies, 3 universities and 8 catalyst organizations such as public authorities, agencies, professional associations and consultancy service providers. Our services focus on critical growth areas such as human resources, R&D, business infrastructure, financing and marketing & sales, which altogether create a foundation for an organic link between industry, knowledge and innovation.

The Romanian Government also recognizes the infusion of business brought by the IT&C sector and is actively working to facilitate and encourage further development of this vertical at a national scale.

Stop and look around

We believe that we are a privileged city in the CEE which has grown considerably over the past 5 years and is building on the positive momentum to take things to the next step for the local IT industry.

The opportunities and circumstances we’ve had have made us into something else. We are Imprezzio Global in Cluj-Napoca, formerly known as the “secret software company”, founded 5 years ago in a city that has claimed the title of “cyber-city of Eastern Europe” since 2009 and, if Cluj-Napoca has not become a tech hub since then and now, we’re the next best thing.