Dreamicon 2023: Building Moldova's Future Through Startups and Innovation

On the 9th of December, in the heart of Eastern Europe in Chisinau, the Dreamicon 2023 conference marked a significant milestone in Moldova's startup landscape. This event brought together a diverse array of innovative ideas and visions, reshaping the nation's approach to technological entrepreneurship.

President Maia Sandu, attending the conference, highlighted Moldova's strengths and potential for growth in the startup sector. She stated: "Although we are a small nation, our strength lies in resilience, clear priorities, and rapid implementation, key factors for developing a dynamic startup ecosystem. Even in the face of challenges like the pandemic and regional conflicts, our spirit of innovation remains unshaken. The emerging landscape of Moldovan startups, supported by a talented digital workforce, holds significant potential. With advantages like a central location in Europe, affordable living costs, favourable tax policies, and robust internet connectivity, Moldova is ready to become a thriving centre for entrepreneurship and innovation."

The conference fostered a vibrant environment of creativity and energy, drawing in policymakers, international partners, startup founders, mentors, and investors from both local and international spheres. The agenda of Dreamicon 2023 was presented as a compelling pitch deck, guiding participants through various facets of the startup ecosystem. Key discussions included Moldova's vision as an innovation hub, addressed by Minister Dumitru Alaiba, and insights into identifying unicorn opportunities, presented by experts such as Emil Chichioi and Letiția Ștefan.

Laura Hruby from the US Embassy provided insights on international partnerships. Topics like building strong teams in startups and the importance of smart capital for growth were addressed by speakers like Siim Teller and Joyce Zhang Gray. Over 40 notable mentors and international speakers contributed to the comprehensive exploration of challenges and opportunities in Moldova’s innovation landscape.

Minister Dumitru Alaiba underscored efforts to foster a supportive entrepreneurial environment, highlighting reforms such as a 0% tax on undistributed income and extending the IT Park until 2035. In 2022, 11 startups secured $11 million in private investments, demonstrating the growth potential in this sector.

The conference also included an intensive matchmaking platform, facilitating valuable connections between local and international investors and startups. Innovative solutions were showcased by startups such as ViarLive, Robolex, Bloomcoding, and others, each contributing uniquely to the evolving business ecosystem.

The pitch competition was a key highlight, with startups presenting impactful technological solutions. Robolex emerged as the winner, securing a 30,000 euro investment prize for their artificial intelligence-based project.

The event witnessed over 350 registrations, with more than 300 participants, united by a shared passion for innovation. A dedicated team of 11 individuals from Dreamups and their partners orchestrated this impactful event.

The Dreamicon Conference is a part of the “Tech Clusters powered by MITP” program, supported by various international organisations including USAID, Sweden, UKaid, and the U.S. Embassy in Moldova. The initiative benefits from the ongoing commitment of the “Mozaic” Angel Investors Community and other key partners.

As Dreamicon 2023 concludes, the Dreamups team is already gearing up for the next edition. Pre-sale tickets for Dreamicon 2024 are now available, inviting participants to engage with leading international mentors, investors, and enthusiasts in the field of technological entrepreneurship.