Bogdan Iordache, Startup Spotlight: “The prize reached 225,000 euros”

Startup Spotlight competition has entered the last week of online applications. I talked in a video interview with Bogdan Iordache, founder of Startup Spotlight and How to Web, about how they reached a prize of 225,000 euros for the winning startup and what are the benefits for companies.
If in the initial announcement Startup Spotlight mentioned a prize of 100,000 euros for the winning team, now it has reached one of 225,000 euros from several investors in the Romanian ecosystem.

I talked about this news in more detail with Bogdan Iordache, founder of Startup Spotlight.

The Startup Spotlight competition turns into Startup Spotlight Online, a support program for startups that lasts two months, and will end with a private event, where the best startup of the program will win an investment of over 100,000 euros. The final value of the investment will be communicated at the end of September.

You can read an article in detail about Startup Spotlight in this article written by Oana Coșman.
Launched in 2011, the Startup Spotlight program was held annually at the How to Web conference. This year’s move to the online environment of the program will increase the value of the experience of the 40 participating startups, which have two months to organize private meetings with over 70 experts and investors in the program.

Among them will be Des Traynor (co-founder of Intercom), Marius Tîrcă (co-founder of UiPath), Mada Seghete (co-founder of, Marvin Liao (consultant and investor, ex-500 Startups San Francisco) , Raluca Panțiru (Product Manager at Fitbit), Bogdan Axinia (Head of eMAG Explore) and Raul Popa (co-founder and CEO of TypingDNA), other experts who contributed to the development of companies such as Shopify, Dropbox,, Omniconvert, but also specialists from the corporate area who collaborate with startups such as Monica Obogeanu (Orange Fab), René Schob (KPMG Startup Grow Pad), Ionuț Stanimir (BCR-InnovX), Dan Oros (Google for Startups), Mihai Frențiu (Tech ‘n Trade by METRO SYSTEMS Romania) or Sergiu Pop (Microsoft for Startups).
Moving the program to the online environment will increase the value of the experience of the 40 participating startups, which have two months to organize private meetings with over 70 experts and investors in the program.

Other statements by Bogdan Iordache in the interview:

a.For the online version, we realized that we can develop the program, to have a larger pool of mentors and companies. We also have a longer duration, not just two days like How to Web before.
b.We have two months, for 40 teams with almost 100 mentors. Which ends as Startup Spotlight in real life with a competition where we choose the best startup.
c.We have 225,000 euros, a “winner takes it all”. The winner takes the money on a convertible note. A convertible note means that the company receives the money and they convert it into shares in the first round of investments that the company makes.
d.The investment is supported by TechAngels, SeedBlink, Gapminder, Simple Capital and Transylvanian Angel Network.
e.We tried to bring one of the most consistent prizes in Eastern Europe to startup competitions.
f.The program starts on October 5 and lasts two months. It is a light touch program, in which we want the participating companies to be able to focus on the business they have and which have mandatory activities of only 6 hours in two months. The rest are just meetings with experts, investors, other founders and mentors.
g.We do not intend to have only one template, but to adapt depending on the company. It is important to give the founders time to work on their business. And to have maximum impact on the time spent in Startup Spotlight.
h.There is a lot of value and just by going through the program. You will meet some people and you will have insights that you will not be able to have otherwise. There is value in the program, in the competition and in the final prize.

Teams will also benefit from up to 30 private meetings and ask-me-anything sessions, pitch coaching, introductions to mentors and investors from the extensive How to Web network, all without overcrowding their program during the two months of Startup Spotlight Online. The startup program is customized according to the business objectives of each of them, without any mandatory activities during it.

More than 350 startups are expected to apply to the program by September 27, 2020, from which the 40 participants in the program will be selected. The program will begin on October 5 and end on December 4, with the private pitching event Pitch Day where we will find out the winner of the Startup Spotlight program and the 220,000 euro investment, offered by Seedblink, TechAngels, Gapminder Venture Partners and other private investors.
The 2020 edition of How to Web was scheduled for October 28-29. The organizers had announced plans for this year since the end of the 2019 event.

“For obvious reasons, this year’s edition cannot take place. Because we are not fans of the big events held online, we decided to postpone this year’s conference until things return to normal. All tickets sold are valid for the next offline edition of the conference “, said the organizers of How to Web, mentioning that all those who will choose to return the money can contact them for this.