🚀Red Flags for Startups🚀

Last Saturday was truly inspiring! I had the pleasure of presenting at YEP Moldova’s Creative Accelerator Startups on Red Flags.

During the session, we explored the essentials of creating a compelling Pitch Deck: what to include, what to avoid, and how to make the most of post-pitch time. I emphasized a crucial point- investors are human too, and effective communication relies on making effective connections.

Here are some key takeaways:
– Ideal Initial Team: Start with a CEO and CTO. This combo is essential in the beginning phase.
– Unique Value Proposition: Remember, investors don’t have your idea. The potential lies with your ability to speak clearly and direct.
– Know Your Audience: Understand who you’re talking to- anything helps, from their favorite music to their cat’s name. 🔍
– Focus on Your Strengths: Acknowledge your competition, but always present it to your advantage.

The future of Fintech, Today!!!
What is the importance of digital transformation of financial activities for SMEs, would it increase profitability, customer engagement, management efficiency, and how ready are the market and customers for this important transformation.

I was delighted to share my experience on the topic, although as usual my lecture was more about asskicking to push the audience of their comfort zone, and realize the importance of accelerating whatever they have in mind to do tomorrow, to do today! Keep moving forward, be creative, validate yourselves and go for the money🙂
I also moderated the panel hosting the leading Fintech startups and companies Moldova has to offer, sharing best practices and answering some hard questions of mine as well as of the audience.

No doubt Moldovan Fintech is major and center for the country’s economy as well as for the benefit of Moldovans. As in most countries, Fintech needs to be prioritized by the government and win special benefits and support, both in funding as well as in regulation and market accessibility.

I wish to thank Stefan Nistor- Fintech Moldova Founder, for your kind invitation. To my experts panel that did a tremendous job and showmanship in tackling the hard questions, with kindness and smartness. And to the engaged audience, for your support and involvement.

I call Fintech associations globally, so engage in discussion and sharing of experience and networking.

Social anxiety and fear of judgment, can make engaging with others challenging. Cultural expectations, communication barriers, and past experiences also play a role. It’s essential to remember that these obstacles can be overcome with self-awareness, practice, and support.

Taking small steps outside your comfort zone, can be one of the ways to build confidence and improve your social skills and capability of presenting yourself authentically and connecting with others in meaningful ways.

🇲🇩I was delighted to share my know-how with 20 participants at OFFF 2024 Workshop organized by Artcor Creative Center.
Training artists is a challenge I learned to handle as a mentor of Creative Accelerator YEP Moldova https://yepmoldova.org/

Participants got the secrets of how to effectively present themselves & their business to foster partnerships during networking sessions at the festival and in general.

🤝Shared with them essential tips for crafting pitches, including timing, storytelling, and adapting to diverse audiences.
Reach out for help if you need it- your journey to self-assurance starts now.

atic 2024

I was delighted to conduct the workshop “Closing the Deal: Sales Strategies for the Digital Era” for ATIC members. The workshop focused on practical and effective sales strategies adapted to the current digital environment as well as to AI applications related to improving sales.

Main takeaway: The personal touch and human empathy are of utmost importance and critical in engaging with customers!

I wish to thank Marina Bzovîi – Executive Director of ATIC and to Oxana Fulga-Barbaroş – Policy Manager of ATIC for your kind invitation as well as to Stoyan Yankov, international coach, book author, podcaster and global speaker, that kept the audience engage and ready for me 🙂 as well as to Steinar Hoel Korsmo, founder of Seed Forum Global, top entrepreneur and business investor.

The event was held at Tekwill with the support of the project “Strong Enterprises and Communes for Moldova”, funded by the Governments of Germany and Switzerland, implemented by GIZ Moldova.

Startup Moldova Summit 2024 lived up to expectations and provided a wide diversity of opportunities to gain experience from local and international experts, to mingle with successful startupers, innovation leaders, VCs & investors as well as to showcase personal and technological values and resilience.

Personally, I enjoyed the opportunity to meetup with friends and colleagues as well as to share my experience and skills with an enthusiastic audience that kept engaged and supportive.

I wish to thank FTA, Startup Moldova and my many Moldovan friends for your support, hospitality and for making Moldova one of my favorite ecosystems, to which I’m committed to grow, promote and help to become successful, thriving and sustainable.

Inspiring Minds in Moldova: A Day of Innovation and Empowerment!🌍

I was delighted to have the opportunity of conducting two sessions with Moldovan youth.🇲🇩

🌐Democracy Tech – Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders
My 1st session was at YEP Moldova, meeting the team #Marmoris, a #DemocracyTech startup led by 4 brilliant teenagers. The meeting was conducted as part of the team preparation towards the Democracy Summit in Copenhagen in May 2024. Some of the topics covered under democracy tech are: electoral, consensus, accountability, participatory, deliberative and egalitarian aspects.

We had a fruitful brainstorming session and geared up to make an impact

Thanks Viorica Cerbusca, founder and CEO of YEP Moldova, for your invitation and long time friendship. I admire your determination and thrive for entrepreneurship and tech innovation in youth, women and creative industries. Good luck in launching the next cohort of Creative Accelerator.

🔍Exploring the Roots of Innovation
My 2nd session was at Liceul de Limbi Moderne si Management infront of 15-17 year old students. I shared with them some facts about the history of innovation, from Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei to Tomas Edisson, JP Morgan, Tesla and Westinghouse:) Connecting the dots between the past and the present, we explored how entrepreneurs, throughout history, needed supporters to bring their dreams to life. Thanks Diana Memeț for your invitation.

💡Building the Future, One Idea at a Time
Highlighting the essence of startups, innovation, and the importance of investors, we discussed how collaboration fuels progress. Moldova’s young minds are on the brink of something incredible, and it’s exciting to witness their dedication to transforming ideas into reality.

🌈Self-Love and Character Building
Emphasized the significance of self-love and resilience in the journey towards success. Remember, validation from within is the true catalyst for character development. Moldova’s youth, you’ve got what it takes – believe in your potential!

🙌Gratitude to Moldova’s Future Leaders
A big thank you to everyone who participated and engaged in these conversations. Moldova’s future is undoubtedly in capable hands. Let’s continue to nurture innovation, support each other, and make waves in the world of tomorrow!

Near departing to Moldova earlier this week, I had the pleasure of meeting Eli Kol Payoneer Partnerships Manager, for coffee and better acquaintance with Payoneer services, as well as to discuss growing our cooperation and business offering to startups, accelerators and #businessOwners in my Network.

Payoneer is a NASDAQ listed global cross border payments platform that helps 5 Million + entrepreneurs receive B2B payments from payers/marketplaces in 200+ countries.

The Payoneer account is a full stack payments solution, offering multi-currency IBANs (just like a bank, but better), multiple payment methods, physical/virtual master card & a lot more…
So regard this post as an open call for those interested to learn more about Payoneer, tag Eli or me in comments or DM us for additional information.

Opening a Payoneer account is quick, easy and secure.

Fintech Hub Moldova 2024

I was delighted to join ATIC Moldova Fintech Committee meeting.🇲🇩
The agenda included discussions regarding 2024 challenges for the Fintech sector in attracting investments and implementation of instant payments and the integration of instant payments, as well as the implementation of open banking and optimal solutions to these challenges.

It was a great opportunity to meet in person with the prominent Fintech companies, founders and C-Level managers.

✨I was glad to learn about the plans for 2024, to support the Fintech ecosystem and facilitate collaboration between stakeholders.

Thank you dear Oxana Paladiciuc FinTech Hub Director for your kind invitation as well as to Marina Bzovîi ATIC Executive Director and companies representatives.
Looking forward to a fruitful cooperation and acceleration of your businesses.

🇲🇩 My last roadshow of 2023 was to Moldova, under my mission with FTA Moldova, and it was filled with exciting and rewarding events, the crown jual being Dreamicon- One in a Thousand Startups conference.

📌The main events included:
– Engagement and Sales Workshop for XY Partners startups at Fintech Hub
– Lecturing to Economy & Business students at Moldova Tech University (UTM)
– Building Dream: Chronicles of my Life Odyssey at Mediacor
– Lecturing at UN Women about self value and inner love
– Customer’s retention- Lecture to MoldCell marketing & sales teams
– Workshop to AFAM ladies about self presentation- art of storytelling
– Keynote Speakers and Moderator at Dreamicon- One in a Thousand Startups conference
– I also have a debt from earlier visit where I participate in AFAM conference and conducted a workshop

To those who are still asking what’s in Moldova, what can it offer related to startups and innovation, do they have an ecosystem and what the future holds in terms of growth, tech and human capital, I can say in a word YES.✅
You should have joined me and get most of the answers within one week.
So, to keep it short and engaging, if you’re looking for a market filled with opportunities, where regulations are less strict, with capable workforce and abundance of fresh minds, look up the Moldovan startup ecosystem as well as the business arena.

👏🏻Thank you to Ms. Maia Sandu- Moldova’s President and Mr. Dumitru Alaiba- Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova for your kind words and delightful exchange of thoughts.

Many thanks for all my friends, partners and colleagues, supporting my mission and inviting me to share my experience for the success, sustainability, growth and expansion of tech innovation, motivation, education and ambition.

2024 stands to offer new challenges and opportunities, but the proof remains in the pudding and only when moving forward can one look back and evaluate the distance covered.

Learn How to Pitch 2023

Tal Catran brings an exciting workshop with our top mentor, Startup Weekend Moldova – Learn How to Pitch!

What you will learn:
– Practical strategies for an effective presentation
– How to gain confidence during your presentation
– Helpful tips and tricks for pitching
– The opportunity to connect with other entrepreneurs
Regardless of your experience, this workshop will help you improve your presentation skills.

Startup Talks: Failure is not your enemy 2023

“What Have You Got To Lose?” ”

“What you got to lose if you try?” ”
Last night, Tal Catran kept asking us this question. And it put us in good thoughts. 🧠

Final reflections of my last visit to Moldova include two events conducted on Saturday.

My morning started with a workshop for 8 startups, carefully selected to participate in TechCrunch Disrupt 2023 in San Francisco next month as well as conducting 1 on 1 meetings with potential investors, customers and distributors. The delegation is organized and led by #FTA Cristian Cerneanu and Mary Nemciuc Technovator platform.

The workshop highlighted best practices on preparing for the mission, as well as how to conduct the face to face meetings, breaking the ice, creating an impact and raising the success chances of achieving goals.


– One time for first impressions- Practice makes perfect!
– God is in the little details: Be in the room, sharp and aware at all times!
– Speak but better listen: What you know you know, so make time to learn from others!
– The proof is in the pudding: Actions are important but only results count!

I wish the delegation good luck and a productive trip.

My evening was about Bold Fest, organized by Mediacor and my mission was to talk about “Why do companies need to invest in creativity?”
It’s the first time I lecture on the topic and my preparations included listening to some Ted Talks which I found interesting but they didn’t nail it for me. I had to come up with some ingenuity of my own.
I love the stage, it’s my zone, my domain, my passion! I found myself falling in love with the topic the more I was talking and reaching the realization that….


– Most of humanity’s innovations were created by mistake!
– Mistakes stand at the base of creativity!
– But it doesn’t make sense to encourage mistakes, especially in companies
– Yet creativity is behind new ideas, new products, new methodologies, new business models….
– Hence I’m fascinated to hear and learn more about this topic. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Looking forward to my next mission, hopefully in September, otherwise in October.

I realize that it’s hard for some to engage, for others cooperate, and for most it’s hard to decide. Well if you will not do it, no one will probably do it for you!

There are times when you know you served a purpose, utilized your experience, skills and character, and at the same time enjoyed new learning experiences and created opportunities for future actions.

🇲🇩Such was our first Moldova Startup Ecosystem Builders Bootcamp, organized by FTA (Cristian Cerneanu and myself), conduct last week at Hanul lui Hanganu, a cozy village 1.5 hrs. drive from Chisinau.

We managed to bring together all the ecosystem builders under one roof, for 2 days of friendly gathering, dipped with brainstorming sessions, program’s presentations (yep, all presented their “startups”), bonding and forging us into a stronger sharing community. Yes, we had some stressed moments, it wasn’t all smooth, but we concluded optimistically and look forward to next time🙂


– We want to unite the Moldovan startup community around common values and speak with one voice!
– We need to better situate each program in the “food chain” of the startup manufacturing line, so to better accelerate startups growth
– How your peers perceive you is often somewhat different than how you envision yourself. keep an open door and inviting smile
– We are quick to label people, better would be to reach out and engage in open conversation
– If you will not do it for yourself, no one will. Unity is helpful but one should keep her/his identity clear and shining
and another interesting point is that almost all startup related programs in Moldova are founded or managed by women!

👏🏻Big thanks to all builders for making this bootcamp a success.

My last week’s visit to Moldova, on my FTA assignment, was one of the more challenging, yet at the same time inspirational and eye opening.
Seeing an opportunity in full sight is only the beginning of a bigger task of pushing oneself to turn it into action, value, prospect, money all in one word= Tachles (which translate to: The bottom line, To the Point).

My visit started with an invitation from Alexandru Ciubuc, CEO of Moldtelecom, Moldova’s national telecommunications operator and largest telecommunications company, to join a brainstorming session regarding the development and scaleup in aspects of sales, infrastructure, innovation and business opportunities. The professional discussion left no doubt that the company is Tachles a success and role model.

I had the pleasure of enjoying a culinary surprise of amazing homemade Romanian cuisine.

🛡An additional productive meeting included MoldTelecom CISO, which gave me the opportunity to present several cyber startups exploring to launch their technologies in Moldova potentially via Moldtelecom as a MSP.

Topping the day was a visit to Cricova Winery., enjoying a chilling tour, lots of nostalgia and great company.
Looking forward to engaging in cooperation soon.

Powering Moldova 2023

🔊I’m delighted to share that my mission in Moldova🇲🇩 was formally launched last week. I have joined the amazing team of Moldova Future Technologies Activity (FTA), funded by USAID, implemented by Chemonics International.

I was assigned as a Startup Ecosystem Expert and my role would be to support and consultancy to the Moldovan startup ecosystem and associated stakeholders, including government, academy, ecosystem builders, tech startups and entrepreneurs in order to identify and develop a shared vision, opportunities for growth and an action plan on the short, medium and long term.

I would share updates regarding specific missions, opportunities and call outs that would be made a priority in the coming months, specifically AgriTech and i-Health. Matured startups and product ready companies, interested to launch in Moldova are welcomed to leave a comment or reach out directly.

Additional interest is regarding Creative Industries, EdTech, Cybersecurity, FinTech, Winetech and Foodtech technologies.

👏🏻I was warmly welcomed by FTA team, and I wish to thank Doina Nistor- Head of Party, Sergiu Rabii, Cristian Cerneanu, Michelle Iliev, Livia Ţurcanu, Daniela Petrusevschi, Mihaela Gherasim, Lidia Polcanova, Vlad Stegniy.

One more interesting event that took place last week was the EnergyTech Forum, organized by Startup Moldova, with support of Moldova Future Technologies Activity funded by USAID Sweden and UK, and Premier Energy. The event introduced the challenges and opportunities of technologies and innovations in energy and climate, as well as their need and implications in Moldova.

Moldova is gearing up on several fronts and accelerates its economic strength, academic skills development, and professional IT work force. Now is the time to reach out and join hands 🤝🏻

Mediacor Incubator 2023

Its not all about what you say, but rather how you say it 🙂
Self presentation, highlighting your passion, experience, achievements and qualifications, is s as important as presenting your startup!

I was delighted to visit Mediacor and meet with students/startupers of #Futureprofessions, and discuss some storytelling tips, presentation focus as well as practice self presentations skills.
The startups cluster is Creative Industries, including gaming, gamification of music and art and digital books and HR marketplace related to art students.
I wish the startups good luck in their coming international competitions and events.
🇲🇩This visit was a nice initiation of my new mission to Moldova, as Senior Consultant to FTA for Tech Innovation and Startup Ecosystem of Moldova.

Thanks Michelle Iliev- Senior Manager for Education and Future of Work for organizing the event. To Cristian Cerneanu- Senior Entrepreneurship and startups manager FTA, To Tam Tararam – Mediacor Project Manager.

YEP Moldova Women Accelerator Program 2023

I was delighted to meet with YEP Moldova women accelerator program, to Q&A topics of marketing, sales, business models and Go2Market. I enjoyed the vibe of motivation and hunger for success. Mentors are crucial for startups and businesses, but same as you’re not born an astronote, doctor or teacher, you’re not a mentor just because you have experience, and you should get trained.

🇲🇩I admire the progress and resilience of Artcor team, led by Viorica Cerbusca and program manager Margarita Ursu, as well as of the enthusiastic business entrepreneurs 🙂
Create your opportunities, don’t just wait for them to fall into your lap. Be focused and speak to the point. Make sense and don’t waste people’s time with mambo jambo and waving your hands.

Moldova Innovation Technology Park 2023

🇲🇩My first day in Chisinau was filled with meetings that resonated exciting beginnings.
I met with Natalia Donțu – CEO of Moldova Innovation Technology Park, and her team to discuss ways of promoting and commercializing the companies residing, as well as about next week’s exciting event of Moldova Digital Summit.

Later I met with Mary Nemciuc CEO of Technovator targeting the growth of local talents in project management as well as tech innovation and startups.
Later me with FTA team Doina Nistor and Sergiu Rabii whom I’ve met in Israel last month, as well as their team Cristian Cerneanu and Livia Ţurcanu, to discuss our soon to launch cooperation.

🔊I was delighted to meet with Mrs. Veronica Arpintin State Secretary of Moldova Ministry of Economy, encharge of private sector business, an open minded and straight forward lady, eager to discussed ways to promote training, framework and governmental funding of the local accelerators.
👏🏻Many thanks to Sergiu Rabii for facilitating and supporting my mission.

Startup Guide: How to Test and Market Ideas | Artcor 2023

🇲🇩 I have one last debt from Moldova I would like to attend to, even though it was near a month ago, and that is my visit to Artcor.

So you all probably heard about the amazing, ground breaking success of Startup Moldova Summit last month, and your kind feedback and backwind keeps blowing and pushing us to make the next event even bigger.
✅ See our newly released showreel: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1375492079968846
As it happens, one of my dearest friends in Moldova Viorica Cerbusca founder and CEO of YEP Moldova and Artcor, whom I’ve met in past years only outside of Moldova😊 was kind to invite me to conduct 2 sessions: first with a group of business owners that were about to participate in OFFF Barcelona, and with whom I’ve shared some marketing and sales pitching tips, to engage better with international markets.

📌 Takeaways:
– Speak clear and state your purpose and interest directly
– Smile😊 people tend to engage with smiling people
– Be ready to offer, not just to ask for
– Make an impact and leave a trail, so people can reach you.

The second session was a crash test for ideas of CreatTech startups participating in Artcor accelerator, were Ornela Ramasauskaite and I, shared our ArtTech expertise (by Ornela) and business expertise (by me).
It wasn’t easy but the startupers showed character, resilience and determination to present and answer tough questions.

📌 Takeaways:
– Know your business and be able to present it in simple words
– Your problem and solution need to make sense to more people than you and your team
– Don’t downsize yourselves, others will do it for you and for free. Push yourselves UP!
– ArtTech startups are not for decoration, they need to become a business and generate money
– CreatTech is not all about tech and innovation (my lesson to open up more)

In summary, I wish all participants best of luck in turning their good ideas into kickass startups. Hope to hear about your achievements and meet again soon.

Moldova Innovation Technology Park Meetup 2023

🔊I was delighted to join Ornela Ramasauskaite at Moldova Innovation Technology Park to meet MITP residing companies and exchange tips and practical tools regarding growing their businesses globally, emphasizing customer engagement, marketing and sales, scaleup as well as social interaction and advertising.

👏🏻Thanks Natalia Donțu and MITP team Daniela Botnariuc and Veronica Bucur for the invitation to meet and share. Looking forward to engaging in consulting and mentoring MITP companies towards global markets.

Startup Moldova Summit 2023

🇲🇩Startup Moldova Summit 2023 was a success.🏆

40 speakers and panelists from 17 countries, 20 VCs and investors and over 200 startups and guests joined us at Tekwill.

– Practice makes perfect!
– People smile and help people who smile and help 🙂
– Startupers are an amazing breed of people, regardless of language and geography.
– Moldova needs to accelerate, the world doesn’t wait!
– Hard work, determination, hope and dreams will get you place!
– Skin in the game & Fake it until you make it carry a meaning in startup world.
– Companies compete, startups unite!

👏🏻Thanks Natalia Bejan and Startup Moldova team, Cătălina Plinschi, Teodora Panuş and Sandu Mircea-Florin for the journey that started 2 months ago and resulted so well, for your hospitality and care. Proud of you and of being part of the team!
Natalia Donțu, Daniela Botnariuc and Moldova Innovation Technology Park team for inviting Ornela Ramasauskaite and me to share experience and offer practical tools to companies residing in the park to do better and faster.

Thanks to my dear friend Viorica Cerbusca and Artcor team of the invitation to meet ArtTech startupers and overall nice people.
There are tons of thanks and best wishes to many new friends I was delighted to meet and well as to meet again with ole friends.

👏🏻Thanks you Dumitru Alaiba Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy and Digitalization. I am sure we will meet again and pursue accelerating the innovation and tech startups and companies of Moldova.
Nice meeting Scott D Hocklander Mission Director of USAID Moldova as well as Sergiu Rabii and Livia Ţurcanu.

Pleasure meeting and getting to know the amazing lineup of speakers and panelists as well as startupers, you all gave the summit its brightness and shine.

✅See you later in the year and for sure in Startup Moldova Summit 2024.

Let your experience make a difference. Step out of your comfort zone and disrupt. Join me and other professionals at Tech Village 2019 to interact and boost your startups skywards.

TechVillage 2019

Enjoyed meeting with Vadim Brinzan, Moldavian Minister of Economy & Infrastructure, during TechVillage 2019 and discuss the key elements to enable promoting the startup ecosystem in Moldova. Hopefully soon more to come.