Developing markets around the world are, like India, investing in their tech sector, leading to an interesting increase in breadth across the global tech industry.
Many developing tech markets face the same problems, chief among which is the ability to get recognised and taken seriously. India, Colombia, China, Singapore and South Africa each have sizeable and growing tech communities keen to make headway and needing global recognition to do so. While some have established the recognition they need and pushed forward seeking investment, others still lag behind.
For Central Europe, 150sec has been the voice for the region since it was founded in 2015 by Adrian Pica and Agata Kukwa. As the region’s first community-focused website featuring startup, tech & events news, the founders have been dedicated to shining a light on the developing region. ESPACIO-, the media incubator of which Tech Panda is also a member, has acquired 150sec to continue Pica and Kukwa’s work.
“I had the opportunity to meet Adriaan when he was a Speaker at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna. I was incredibly impressed by his work and reputation. Upon speaking with the tech-community on leading entrepreneurial publications, one name kept coming up – and that name was 150sec. Speaking to Adrian’s partner Agata only reinforced my belief in 150sec and its company DNA,” said Espacio CEO Conrad Egusa. “My team’s goal is really to further the mission of Adrian and Agata in building the premier publication and platform for startups and entrepreneurs in Central Europe.”
Founders Pica and Kukwa are experienced entrepreneurs and leaders in Europe’s startup ecosystem. Pica, a Mentor at Startupbootcamp, is a Global Facilitator at Startup Weekend and is a Product Manager at Telenav. Kukwa, also a Global Facilitator at Startup Weekend, is a Communications Director at Saule Technologies.
Plans and investments in the works for 150sec will see Craig Corbett taking the reins as chairman and include a series of startup events, a larger editorial staff, a jobs and events platform, and investments into video. Egusa, a former VentureBeat writer and a Global Mentor at 500 Startups, founded Espacio with Eddie Arrieta with a business model set to drive value through the media and PR industries.
“Agata and I believe in the startups in Central Europe, and in the potential of entrepreneurs here,” said 150sec Founder Adrian Pica. “When we spoke to Conrad and talked about the investments he planned to make into the editorial team and into 150sec, we felt it provided an important opportunity for the CEE ecosystem and its media here.”
The extra investment, expertise and a desire to see the CEE tech sector’s profile grow is a combination already prevalent in CEE from political leaders and world-class companies. The region has already produced a significant contribution to the global tech scene, with companies including Skype, Transferwise, Avast, AVG and Prezi. Together with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo’s commitment to the region becoming a ‘centre of innovation’, other leading figures in the CEE region are looking to encourage companies like Slovakian Aeromobil, which is Silicon Valley’s competition for flying cars.
“We see a lot of interesting ideas and technology in the CEE region and this is reflected in the number of investors that are heading there”, added Egusa. “This interest, however, is not always reflected in the media coverage that these incredible startups receive. This is something that 150sec has been working to change – and that we will continue to work on here.”