The Central and Eastern European tech startup scene is drawing attention from all over the world. 150sec, one of the most important tech startup publications in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) has been acquired by Espacio, the parent company of Latam.tech.
“We see a lot of interesting ideas and technology in the CEE region and this is reflected in the number of investors that are heading there,” said Conrad Egusa, CEO of Espacio.
“This interest, however, is not always reflected in the media coverage that these incredible startups receive. This is something that 150sec has been working to change – and that we will continue to work on here,” said Egusa. In line with this vision, Craig Corbett, will be serving as Chairman of the publication.
150sec was founded in 2015 by Adrian Pica and Agata Kukwa — two experienced leaders and entrepreneurs in CEE — as the first community focused website featuring startup, tech and events news in the region.
“Agata and I believe in the startups in Central Europe, and in the potential of entrepreneurs here,” said Pica. “When we spoke to Conrad and talked about the investments he planned to make into the editorial team and into 150sec, we felt it provided an important opportunity for the CEE ecosystem and its media here.”
The acquisition reflects the similar advantages and challenges faced by CEE and LatAm ecosystems. With rapid growth, low cost of business, and increasingly competitive innovation strategies, both regions aim to move to an innovative service-based economy.
This switch requires plenty of coordinated efforts from the private and public sectors, one of the most pressing issues faced by Latin America.
The most competitive hubs in the CEE, according to the Global Innovation Index, have been pouring a larger share of its GDP into research and development, leading innovation in the region and attracting entrepreneurs with a positive outlook for the competitiveness of their products.
These are full of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship endeavors, making them centers of innovation in the region, not unlike Buenos Aires, Santiago or Medellín, where Espacio is based. These lead the way for the region to move forward, yet need more investment from their surroundings in order to become an economic priority.
The difference is that Slovenia, for example, invests more than the EU average and twice as much as the CEE average in R&D. Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia are also following this trend. In the meantime, most of the CEE and LatAm are still dependent on business partnerships instead of government funding for research and development.
This is only one of the many parallels between these two worlds; while the CEE ecosystem is years ahead of its New World counterpart, the successful story of its recent past resonates on the latter.