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Diana Cîrloganu

3 months ago

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A retrospective (from Latin retrospectare, “look back”) generally refers to events or works that took place in the past.

January: We kicked off the year with big plans, already on the map as of 2019. So we were looking forward to a rockstar 2020! We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into.

February: Mega pumped. We were working on AgTechTM, from idea to funding, the agritech program developed in partnership with X by Ascendis. We built the program to serve the local community & support the new big thing in agriculture, empowered by technology.

March already came with a twist. One that would set most coworking spaces to a standstill. As the country was on full lockdown, we suddenly didn’t have much activity. That meant free time to.. #play. Considering the 113 events in 2019 and more than 3k people roaming around, 2020 was expected to be different.

April meant full hands-on experience with Startup Weekend Romania Online—the first attempt at a complex event fully organized in a digital setting, which ran surprisingly well. We did learn a lot! You can read the full story and insights right here.

On a local scale, we attempted to bring the local community into an online setting. We didn’t get that right! Our DigitalMembership — was that one thing we couldn’t get off the ground. Initially, in March, we tried various ways to engage the community.

We studied various platforms & tools to do so and decided on the value we thought a digital community would bring. We pivoted within various iterations of the digital membership, trying to offer valuable content to the members.

We grew the member base to about 50 people but failed to engage them. We ran everything from private events & post-event content, discounts & member-only perks, free tools & services;

May smelled nice. It had a coffee flavor all over it! granulR (granular) arose as one of those initiatives that is very close to our hearts. A specialty coffee brand to complement what we do as a coworking space and an events provider for the local community.

We’d end up learning the ins and outs of the specialty coffee industry, which meant catching up with a lot of history. We ended up building a fair brand of specialty coffee that would be close to the local community. That honest coffee that everyone would love.

We even made a fun video on a Friday, playing around with an outdoor setup.
You can browse through the online shop for locally freshly roasted beans anytime or drop by for a fresh cup of coffee and a chat. We’d love to entertain you!

June through September was thankfully supportive, as sunny days and outdoor work were all that we needed at Cowork Timisoara—The Garden. Timisoara is one of the centers of technology in Romania, so tech is everywhere. Taking that tech experience and perspectives to a further level is what we, as a community, need to develop in order to evolve in terms of innovation and delivery of new tech products.

October meant Prow. We started working on Prow in October 2019. Little did we know back then about what kind of a rollercoaster ride 2020 would end up being. Given that we’ve partnered up with the team at DigiTales, the ride is much smoother.

We outgrew our location at Tineretului and decided to let go. So officially as of Oct 2020, we closed our location there to offer our members an upgraded experience.

November was all Pow-Wow! We transitioned from what was initially planned as a 100% offline event to a 100% online event considering the opportunity — there were no local events taking place at that time that addressed the needs of the community, and the responsibility felt responsible to continue delivering quality content to the community to help it grow & flourish.

Kicking off Prow 2020, Luke Carbis held his presentation via VR all the way from Brisbane, AU.

You can read more about Prow 2020 and its retrospective right here.

Our main location, The Garden is the base for the operations that we run. It helped us a lot to evolve in 2020 as it offers outdoor seating spaces & a mix of compartmentalized spaces, meeting rooms & event space. Together with Orange Romania we even maxed out the wifi network, now covering the entire space both indoor and outdoor with super-high-speed internet.
Overall, 2020 was one hell of a rollercoaster ride that brought us two great initiatives that were delivered and will keep growing in 2021!

The Dome @ The Garden. Raining? Cold? Nonsense! We’ve got Wi-Fi, blankets, and a fireplace in a proper working setup.

2021 looks even more active already! Prow 2021 is on a roll, granule now has 3 varieties of coffee, and we’re bringing back Startup Survivor at a national scale and delivering InnovationLabs at a local level.
Bring it on!

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