What I saw at Techsylvania 2018

5 min read
Article by Andreea Gherba
Research Analyst

At the beginning of the week I rode my bike to the center of Cluj, to visit Techsylvania: the leading technology event in Eastern Europe. It’s my first visit to the conference so I’ve  made sure to bring empty bags and be ready to fill them up with a good portion of inspiration.

Reading about some of the speakers, I expected to find loads of new technologies and startups ready to contribute to economic dynamism by spurring innovation and injecting competition. But surprisingly, the event brought so much more, – I had the strong impression that it wasn’t so much about possibilities, as it was about necessities. The necessity to innovate towards what people need, instead of what we want. This year the participants were all about what tech should do to fix the world!

Techsylvania started in 2014 and grew from 400 attendees in the first edition to 800 in the second one and this year they had more than 1600 participants. What started as a gathering place for the region’s foremost creatives, technologists and innovators, where in-person inspiration is being passed on, ideas and knowledge are shared, projects and collaborations are started, is now one of the leading events focused on technology in Eastern Europe.

Why Cluj?

While taking prinde on the fact that Cluj was selected by Huffington Post as the 3’rd city that will shake up the art world of the future, the city is still defined by it’s heavy density of tech talent. Just to have an idea of the size, in a city of less that 500.000 people, we have over 20.000 tech professionals, working in the software, hardware and the tech startups in Cluj and every year over 4000 computer science and engineering students graduate from the two major local universities.

Techsylvania emerged from this background and helped Cluj learn from and network with the best and brightest tech minds from all around the world. This year we saw speakers such as: Xuan Jin (Cloud Architect Head of EMEA at Alibaba) who presented the success story on how Data Technology Enabled AI Solutions in China, Newton Howard (Director at MIT Synthetic Intelligence Lab) who pointed out the Long Term Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Katherine Manderfield (Director of Content Strategy and T. Brand Studio at The New York Times) who highlighted the importance of brand content and how crucial is for it to live and breath on its own channels.

Tough strong in tech talent, the local software companies are still struggling to find a way out of the outsourcing model. That’s why, the tech industry in Cluj both needs and must create its own business acumen, using whatever expertise is available. And events like Techsylvania do a great deal in bringing an outside view on how to grow an ecosystem and in creating more opportunities for the local businesses, by connecting them with the major hubs of innovation from Europe, US and Asia.

Event speakers from across the seas have been impressed by what they’ve seen here in Cluj and they are happy to spread the news:

“If you want to get a pulse of tech innovation, ecosystem, talents in Eastern Europe, Cluj is one of the most exciting places right now”. – Joyce Shen , Director of Emerging Technology Partnerships and Investments – at Thomson Reuters

Any benefits from attending a tech event?

Learning something new isn’t the only benefit to attending this type of conferences, I promise. What I appreciate most is that you get to hear inspiring keynotes from some of your industry heroes, network with equally passionate professionals, and the chance to position yourself as an expert in your field if you play your cards right. So make a note, attend and don’t forget to:

Tapptitude at Techsylvania

This year, Tapptitude was one of the local partners at Techsylvania. We loved having the opportunity to interact with awesome tech people from all over the world  and staying up-to-date with the latest industry news, investment opportunities and new products. I always agreed that core connections must bridge smaller, more-diverse kinds of groups and cross hierarchical, organizational and geographic lines. Thankfully, Techsylvania has it all.

Core relationships definitely result in more learning, less bias in decision making, and greater personal growth and balance. And the great part, the speakers, guests and participants model a positive behavior, and because those around you are enthusiastic, authentic, and generous, you will be, too!

Need more insights? 

If you missed some sessions or the entire event, no worries, as I took some notes and impression on the conferences I attended. See them and I’d love your feedback after you read it.


Andreea Gherba Research Analyst

Research analyst, writer, painter. Love to convert words into drawings, to see through them and get to the meaning hiding behind. Enthusiastic about colors.