Mihai Sfrijan, King: “The market has evolved from outsourcing to products developed 100% locally”

mihai sfrijan featured

Romania is in a quite unique position on the game development market within the region, with four big multinational video game producers opening local studios here. But how did they influence the Romanian development market and the rise of a generation of brand new independent studios here?

We sat down with Mihai Sfrijan, Head of local studio at King, the Swedish game developer famous for Candy Crush Saga. The Romanian branch of the studio also developed Bubble Witch Saga, another successful title that made its first million dollars profit in just 41 days.

Mihai is the man behind the opening of the King’s local studio, as he worked for the company in Sweden and convinced them that Romania is the best alternative when they decided to expand. We’re happy to have King involved as a supporter of this year’s Game Development Track at How to Web Conference. (see more)

Dennis Cox, Ixia: “People tend to talk themselves out of things”

narrow it down

Jump! If you have an idea that you think is really awesome, do not spend more than a month researching around it; just do it! Coming from a serial entrepreneur as Dennis Cox, which made not one, but two successful exits in the same field — security, this should make you think.

Dennis’ secret to successful exit is not to have the exit in mind at all, but to enjoy building a great product.

You will find out more on the lessons that he has learnt over the years in his “Narrow it Down” talk at How to Web Conference 2014 Future trends & Entrepreneurship track.

Dennis Cox co-founded BreakingPoint in 2005 and served as its Chief Technology Officer until the acquisition by Ixia in August, 2012, for $160 million cash. At Ixia, Dennis is responsible for engineering and product direction.

Previously, Dennis was one of the founders of TippingPoint, acquired by the network equipment company 3Com (now a HP subsidiary) in 2005 for $442 million, and he is also the author of numerous patents on various topics from IP Spoofing to Network Processors.

Until the conference, get to know Dennis and his thoughts on security business, entrepreneurship, success and failure. (see more)

Marvin Liao, 500 Startups: “I see more consumer focused startups in Asia and Europe”

marvin liao interview

Like every year, How to Web Conference’s stage will host speakers from top accelerators around the world, who come to share their knowledge gathered in years of working with tech startups. One of our guests in the Future Trends & Entrepreneurship track this year is Marvin Liao, Venture Partner at 500 Startups,the VC Fund and Accelerator program based in Silicon Valley. 500 Startups was last year’s number one capital investor with 57 new deals, surpassing top VCs Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures.

Marvin was previously a client-facing senior executive in the media and technology space, in both large and startup growth companies (Yahoo!, China Search International, etc), having managing many large multifunctional teams across multiple countries and having acquired far-reaching experience.

He will be one of the panelists of “Startup lessons learnt the accelerated way” along with Marc Wesselink, Co-founder at Startupbootcamp Africa and Ignite’s co-founder Paul Smith at How to Web Conference 2014 Future trends and Entrepreneurship track.

We talked with Marvin about the most important lessons accelerator directors or mentors learn after dealing with hundreds of startups. (see more)

Meet the Startup Spotlight 2014 participants!

meet the participants

Today is the day, everyone, the day we announce the 32 participants to this year’s Startup Spotlight competition and orientation program!

The expert jury has finished evaluating the applications we’ve receive and now we’re ready to announce the name of the teams who will be joining us between November 19 & 22 in Bucharest, for a full 4 days of mentoring, pitching and meeting with potential investors, accelerators, and potential partners and advisers.

What’s fantastic about the applications we received is the level of maturity that these startups display. Teams from all over the CEE applied for a chance to reach their goals within the program, and they know exactly what they want. They come well prepared, with products already gaining traction and some even having undergone acceleration programs. Another inspiring fact is the sheer diversity of the products that were pitched to the jury, which goes to show that innovation can emerge in any field at any given moment, as unlikely as it may seem.

And now it’s time to congratulate the Startup Spotlight 2014 participants! (see more)

Jason Della Rocca, Execution Labs: “Game startups play by different rules, as the true value is in the games they create”

game startups

Games are part of our lives and essential component of learning process. We are more or less playing them all life long and no wonder that video-games market grew to an astonishing $93 Billion last year. Independent game development also took off with the arrival of the web and mobile platforms.

Eastern Europe’s game development market is booming, with a lot of indie studios entering the stage, so we had a discussion with Jason Della Rocca, one of the speakers at How to Web Conference 2014, Future trends & Entrepreneurship track, about what sets game development startups apart from the software development market in general.

Jason is the co-founder of Execution Labs, a first-of-its kind hybrid game incubator and go-to-market accelerator that helps independent game developers produce games and bring them to market. (see more)