If you’re a startup founder, investor, enthusiast or blogger from or interested in Central and Eastern Europe,, there’s a certain group on Facebook you’re probably a member of. No worries, it’s nothing shady: New European Startups is a closed Facebook group that has just celebrated gaining its 1000th member! I had the chance to talk to Moritz Plassnig who started the group more than a year ago, after Mini Seedcamp Ljubljana, and get his thoughts on the regional startup scene.
From Seedcamp to the Whole Community
Plassnig is the cofounder of the Austrian startup Railsonfire which is a a continuous deployment service for your applications. Plassnig started the New Europe Startups Facebook group in July 2011. after attending Mini Seedcamp Ljubljana which his colleague Florian Motlik described on Railsonfire’s official blog.
The group was even called “Seedcamp Ljubljana participants” in the beginning and Plassnig says that his goal was to stay in touch with all the people he met in the Slovenian capital. Although the group started quite actively, Plessnig decided to rename it after a few discussions with Ivo Špigel, as well as open it up to those in the startup community who weren’t present at Seedcamp’s event, targeting Austria and other Central and Eastern European countries:
Although everybody could join, it still has a strong focus on the startup community from the Eastern European countries.
Plessnig believes that one year ago most people as well as the press didn’t care much about the region, even though a number of promising startups were based in Central and Eastern Europe. He believes that the members have done a lot to promote the scene in recent months and notes:
There was London, Berlin and the Estonian mafia. The group was one super tiny step forward for the Central and Eastern European scene. Nowadays, the CEE scene is stronger than ever before. It’s especially better connected and has huge potential.
In Plessnig’s view, there is no sense in having separate communities, such as an Austrian, Hungarian, Slovenian or Croatian “mafia” (as the naming is conventional in the startup community), because the New Europe Startups group has shown that the members can and will work together. With the most active members od the community active in the now 1000 member strong New Europe Startups group – he might have a good point! Are you a member?