Last Wednesday I’ve been to NetCamp, an event about the Romanian Internet. One of the components of the event was Net Start-Up, an “idea competition” for online projects. Though I was supposed to moderate the first Net Start-Up session, I’ve actually been a part of the jury.
NetCamp had some great guests in the panels (guests I couldn’t see in the first part of the day, unfortunately, though people said the presentations were really worth the time): Hugh MacLeod, Rodrigo Sepulveda Schulz, Miel Van Opstal, Mihai Crasneanu, Nir Manor (ro), Eirik Solheim.
More, the Romanian guests were really up to the task. Of what I’ve seen, Dragos Manac had a great presentation (you can read more here, in Romanian): How to fail in the Internet industry.
As usual, for me at least, the most fun and important moments were outside the presentation room. I had the chance to talk to Hugh, Miel, Mihai, Nir and Eirik and discovered, as usual, a lot more than I could from just attending the sessions. Since I want to go around the world in 6 months, I asked a lot of questions and, what do you know: Norway should be visited in the summer and, if I want to see the Aurora Borealis, I should go to Iceland (Eirik told me so), Miel likes to sit on the floor and says that if I ever get to Belgium, his door is open and his floor is there if I ever need to sleep for a few nights :D, Nir and Mihai proved to be great sources of information about entrepreneurship and investment.
The names I just mentioned are names I don’t usually meet. But I met with everybody who’s everybody in the Romanian online industry. Making a list here would mean I have to make a new blogroll in this post.
My conclusions after this event?
Dragos and Cristi did a very good job organizing it (Cristi invited me there, what else should you need to understand he did a great job? :P ).
The Net Start-Up competition was a little bit unclear. We really didn’t know if we had to give points to the idea or to the project. Finally, I decided to go in between. I hope the participants got the most of it (the final 5 had an hour of coaching with important people in the industry like Calin Fusu, Orlando Nicoara, Vlad Stan, Mihai Seceleanu, Rachad el Jisr. ). The finalists were:
George Lemnaru, erepublik
Alex Brie, restaurant reviews, yelp.com like
Emi Gal, vertimo
Cătălin Teniţă, noprimetime
Vladimir Oane, captaingo.com
(list from zoso)
With the exception of George Lemnaru, all of the finalists are friends of mine so congratulations are in order. And since everyone of them won an XBox, apparently I have where to choose from to play Halo these holidays :)
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend first presentation sessions and I didn’t quite attend the third one, either (I stayed in the lobby with Eirik and Miel, I think).
Finally, I am glad that such an event exists in Romania and I invite you all to be present next time.
P.S.: Cristi Manafu became a father the next day. Congratulations! Now, this is a difficult job, not organizing an international event :D