Când l-am cunoscut pe Emi, acum aproape doi ani, i-am prezis că va ajunge milionar la 30. Nu părea tipul clasic de whiz-kid wannabe. Emi chiar este un whiz-kid. Anul ăsta, în jelania generală căruia i-am ţinut şi eu isonul, e singurul pe care-l auzeam că dezvoltă, că vinde, că se dezvoltă. Între timp, Emi s-a mutat la Londra, unde tocmai a câştigat Seedcamp, una dintre cele mai prestigioase competiţii pentru start-up-uri. Concret, asta înseamnă o investiţie garantată şi nişte uşi deschise în locuri care-l vor ajuta să meargă mai departe. Mult mai departe. Deci Emi e în grafic cu predicţia mea. N-are decât 23 de ani.
Astăzi Financial Times îl portretizează pe Emi ca reprezentant al valului de antreprenori pe care Marea Britanie îi aşteaptă din estul Europei. Bravo, Emi!
By Bob Sherwood
When 24-year-old Emi Gal launched Brainient in Bucharest in 2008, he knew the company would not be based in his native Romania for long.
“I realised pretty quickly that if I wanted to do anything on the big stage, I needed to move to London,” says Mr Gal.
He is not alone. Mr Gal is at the forefront of an emerging trend for young, ambitious entrepreneurs from eastern European countries to locate their start-ups in the UK. (…)
More important, he says London’s network of investors and advisers gives him access to wider European and US markets, while the innovative digital technology hub in London provides “momentum and a vibe”.
Winning €50,000 ($63,089, £41,000) in seed funding from Seedcamp and joining the global entrepreneur programme run by UK Trade and Investment, the government department charged with boosting British exports and attracting foreign investment, have helped open doors in London. Overheads have increased but, like most of the new UK-based technology companies that have originated in eastern Europe, the company maintains a technical capability in its native country that keeps costs down.
“My costs literally tripled when I moved here,” says Mr Gal, “but it has paid off. I feel I have done more in a year here than I did in three years in Romania.”
Since moving to London, he has secured further investment and is eyeing an exit from the business in three to four years. (…)
Brainient’s “LayeredBrain” platform allows creators of internet video adverts to add interactive features for extra consumer services or revenue streams. So a car ad might, for example, include layers allowing consumers to click to order a brochure, play a related video game or book a test drive.
Mr Gal, who previously set up an online television channel in Romania that “failed miserably”, says the company was able to build the web-based platform in Romania but “we couldn’t make it work there because it’s a small market and the agencies are not up to date with the latest technologies”. (…)
In spite of the challenges of doing business in a foreign country, and the added costs of setting up in London, there seems to be no going back for the optimistic young entrepreneurs. As Mr Gal says:
“I will definitely found my next company in London.”