INTERVIEW | Alexandru Topor, CEO @ Prometheus Technologies

Prometheus Technologies is a start-up oriented towards the development of innovative software solutions in the field of financial education, registered in the EEN network by the MSP team.

The company participated in 2022 in the “Leaders in Innovation Fellowship Global” (LIF Global) program, developed by the Royal Academy of Engineering, with UEFISCDI as a partner.

LIF Global’s objective is to help participants develop their products and business by providing personalized mentoring, developing new skills and connecting to an international alumni network. Kids Finance is the solution with which Alex participated in the program. It is a gamified mobile application to prepare children for the challenges of the future, focused on financial education and smart management of their time.

With the help of the EEN mentor team from the Magurele Science Park Association, during the LIF program, Alex was continuously guided and supported with mentoring sessions, including by participating in the business plan development events organized online by LIF. The business plan and business model have been improved and brought to a new level that will allow it to attract new types of customers and thereby income.

I talked with Alexandru Topor about this whole adventure and how his business has evolved through the support received through the EEN network.

1. How did the enrolment process in the LIF program go?

The year 2022 was the first year in which the LIF program opened its doors to Romania. Being somewhat connected with the local partner – UEFISCDI, I had the opportunity to be among the first applicants. I recommend everyone to participate in the program and extract the most important benefits from it for their business. The application process is quite quick and easy for those entrepreneurs who have already formed a business plan, but it may present some key questions for those who have not yet finalized it. The effort within the program is on average 10 hours/week, with presentations, workshops and relevant assignments, over a period of several months. The program culminates with the residency in the UK, which is a differentiating element compared to other incubators and which, depending on the nature of the business, can be a real networking event in the area of CDI, business and access to investors from the Kingdom.

2. What were the main benefits of participating in the program?

The program has several components, which are quite diverse. The incubator part is very suitable for those from the academic environment who want to build a business. In the incubator, the necessary bases are presented to be able to establish and manage a business. There is even a simulator stage where, within a dedicated software, certain decisions can be made that have an impact on the profitability of a business. I think that the variety of elements that are at stake in a business, from product and sales to legal and finance, is important. Another important benefit from the program is the aspect of mentorship and residency in the UK.

3. What impact did participation in this program have and has on your business?

We managed to create the first contacts in the industry and in the R&D environment in the UK, through working visits and meetings in London and Cambridge.

The spirit of innovation and the way of working in an innovative organization were instilled in my company and we managed to submit innovative projects for European funding. I would say that the local mentor (from the UK) is a defining element that can propel you a lot. The Academy strives to find the best match between trainees and mentors, and in my case, Zoe West was an excellent mentor with numerous connections in the area of banking, fintech and investors. A concrete example is that he organized somewhere around 5 distinct 1on1 meetings, which are now being followed up by me. In one of the meetings I also managed to sign the entrance to an entrepreneurs’ club in London, on which occasion I received credits for AWS in the amount of 10,000 USD, against a much smaller amount of entrance to the club. This was perfect considering that our solutions are operated in AWS and secured us for at least 2 years. I also signed the first reseller contract with my mentor for our solution on the UK market.

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