ZayaAI, RongoDesign and iBrand Development are the startups that won the first edition of Startup Reaktor and soon will list on Rōnin investment platform targeting amounts starting € 50,000. Thus, Startup Reaktor becomes the first incubation platform in Romania to automatically lead validated startups to private funding.

Startup Reaktor is an incubation platform created to connect hundreds of early-stage tech startups, scaleups, investors, accelerators, corporate networks, universities, and the media from Central and Eastern Europe. The platform was designed a national consortium by ROTSA - Romanian Tech Startups Association in partnership with Techcelerator and Rōnin and has recently concluded its first edition.

The winners of the first edition Startup Reaktor are:

  • RongoDesign - combines mycelium technology and recycled agro-industrial waste to provide a healthier and more environmentally friendly construction industry by taking inspiration and innovations from nature. To grow their mycelium, they are seeking commercial and agricultural byproducts that would otherwise end up in the garbage.
  • ZayaAi - has the purpose to improve & accelerate the interpretation of image data to ease the diagnostic process for pathologists. Built for scale and ease of use for pathologists, Zaya is a unique cutting-edge A.I. software, proprietary clinical-grade deep learning architecture based on convolutional neural networks that is tailored to pathology, achieve results on par with experts, reduce errors caused by fatigue, save labs costs, speed up and maximize pathologists’ capabilities in diagnosis of diseases that doesn’t yet have been addressed by any other competitor in digital pathology market.
  • iBrand Development - is an international platform for creating castings and searching for models around the world. Cross-platform application on Android / iOS operating systems designed for show business. The application acts as a platform for searching and booking models, building your portfolio, and working directly. iBrand is a show business community that includes everyone who is in one way or another connected with the stage, photography or podium.

Startup Reaktor was launched in 2022, and in its first edition, selected 17 technology startups from over 100 applications from Romania and Southeast Europe. The entrepreneurs learned for twelve weeks how to validate their idea, develop and internationally validate an MVP, legal aspects of starting a business, how define and analyze their competition, create a marketing plan, how to get funding from business angels, crowdfunding or grants, how to access growth programs and how to expand internationally.

The program used practical examples and case studies presented by experienced mentors from Central and Eastern Europe.

After the incubation program, seven startups were selected to participate in Demo Day with the regional jury of investors, where teams competed to be selected for crowdfunding campaigns on the Rōnin platform.

The winners of the Demo Day are ZayaAI, RongoDesign and iBrand Development.

“Romania has a major deficit in the area of research and innovation, ranking last in the EU, according to the latest European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) report. On the entrepreneurial side, one reason may be that in the early stages of a business, the incubation part is lacking. This part is not consistently addressed by any large university city and that is why Startup Reaktor comes as a national and even regional incubation platform because we have had startups from the region included. And we believe that we have reached a performance that from an incubator we can take some of the startups directly to the funding stage”, states Răzvan Cherecheș, regional director ROTSA.

"Through the Startup Reaktor platform and program, we want to contribute to increasing the ability of founders to validate their MVPs in international markets before moving on to successive rounds of investment and go-to-market acceleration. Having a history of strategic collaboration since 2018 with GapMinder and Google for Startups we have noticed how valuable the collaboration between relevant actors in the tech startup ecosystem is, especially now that the incubation and MVP generation stage is addressed in this program. On this stage of problem validation and product-market-fit the effort in assisting startups is consistent and we are glad to be able to collaborate more organizations within the Startup Reaktor consortium of initiators coordinated by ROTSA. Going forward, startups can consider this Startup Reaktor experience as a launch platform for their products and can count on Techcelerator to further support them in their upcoming acceleration and fundraising efforts for their products," said Cristina Țoncu, Co-Founder & Programs Partner Techcelerator.

“These types of programs are very important for the startups future development. The community they are able to access long beyond this program are a valuable source for the future development of the ideas. In addition to raising funding, Ronin's vision is to continuously improve the professional level of founders and their teams in order to make them more investment ready. At the same time, Rōnin operationally supports startups, post-investment, with the help of its community of experts, in achieving the business goals defined by them in their business plan“, Ovidiu Ghiman, Co-Founder and CEO of the Board Rōnin.

The next Startup Reaktor will be launched in the coming months and startups from Central and Eastern Europe are expected to apply. Refers the website for further details: