Global StartupCity

StartupCity Cluj-Napoca past initiatives

Global StartupCity Cluj-Napoca is part of the bottom-up #EiA – European Innovation Area – a initiative in which ecosystems from all over the world aim to offer innovative products  and services from startups and SMEs for creating a common, synergic, and connected space between all the Global StartupCities (new innovation ecosystems) – this is an alternative to the migration to established global poles, such as Silicon Valley, or other similar areas.

Within this initiative, each city has assumed a catalytic role in a specific market field, for which the local context provides optimal development conditions for startups and SMEs. Cluj has, since November 2020, been a part of the pioneer Health iArea (see Context below), officially launched during the Global StartupCities Summit @uniquesummit. The main activity of StartupCity Cluj in 2022 on the Global StartupCity component is the launch of a global call for the selection of startups in the field of MedTech and eHealth.

The Global StartupCities initiative is part of the bottom-up #EiA European Innovation Area and enjoys the support of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, as Honorific Global StartupCities Ambassador. 

This Multi-stage EU eHealth start-ups competition is a chapter of the Global StartupCity Cluj-Napoca affiliated with the Center for Health Innovation HIVE and it’s designed to help early stage health innovation entrepreneurs transform their ideas into world changing companies, faster and smarter.

Participants will have a unique opportunity to grow their business skills and global network through carefully designed trainings, mentoring sessions and evaluation stages. Start-ups who successfully complete the program will be able to take their venture to the next level!

The program includes 4 different stages the startups must get through in order to win the prize: 1-year mentoring by a high-profile IT Company offering tech support and 1-year support for pilot and validation within the healthcare system. 

AI-IoMT MedTech StartupCity Cluj-Napoca

AI-IoMT MedTech StartupCity Cluj-Napoca will be involved, through Cluj-Napoca City Hall and the Cluster of Education, in the pioneering action at global-EU level, called “Health iArea” within the historic bottom-up European innovation Area #EiA to accelerate the economic recovery after a pandemic. The #EiA is impulsed by the Global StartupCities initiative to support entrepreneurs and innovators no matter where they are: city, village or remote locations.
The goal of the “Health iArea” is to be a point of attraction for new economic opportunities for the city related to startups & SMEs with breakthrough health products/services for hospitals and citizens. The Area will give Cluj-Napoca a new global dimension and it will reinforce the European visibility in the following years as well, as happened with the iCapital prize, where StartupCity Cluj-Napoca did a historic achievement as the first finalisfrom an Eastern city and not a country capital in Europe.

The “Health iArea” is coordinated by the Global StartupCities initiative, with its founder Arturo Villar, and was created as a pragmatic innovation space with hospitals and a pool of health infrastructures between global StartupCities to accelerate innovative solutions with the patient centre stage through local hospitals.

The Global StartupCities movement is a pioneer bottom-up initiative. The executive tool is the historic bottom-up #EiA – European innovation Area as a geo-economic movement to support global-EU entrepreneurs and innovators with the largest public-private Global-EU Consortium* for innovation impulse by LOCAL innovations ecosystemS from among others: cities, villages, and remote areas.

*We are proposing a new type of Global-EU Consortium which is not a legal framework for a funding project or a tender, it is just a committed group of stakeholders, as a big TEAM, supporting specific annual global-EU activities.

For more information visit this link.

Málaga Summit | November 24, 2021

“StartupCities transforming innovation”


9 StartupCities from 8 countries across Europe will showcase their startup ecosystem with the aim of exchanging experiences, exposing good practices, and generating new business opportunities around four global accelerators: Market, Talent, Women, and Young.

Who is this summit for?

The @uniquesummit is a chance for companies with growth potential to meet with other organisations, public administrations, and investors to share ideas, present innovative solutions and boost the startup ecosystem in their territories.

Which StartupCities are organising the summit?

Co-organising StartupCities are Braga, Portugal; Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Cologne, Germany; Heraklion, Greece; Ostrava, Czech Republic; Valencia, Spain; Vantaa, Finland; Varna, Bulgaria and Malaga, Spain. All of them stand out for their innovation and their commitment to promoting dynamic entrepreneurship ecosystems.

Additional cities worldwide will have the chance to participate as co-organisers in the summit by submitting a video presentation of their top-notch initiatives on promoting startups and applying innovative solutions in their territories.

Find out more information here   |   Register for the event here


Meet the StartupCity Cluj-Napoca's Team

Innovation Team

The Global StartupCities initiative offers in each of the StartupCities a transversal innovation team as a primary contact point and communication. The innovation team are collaborating with any key innovation network at regional, national, and global-EU level. 

Cluj-Napoca’s team covers 4 different angles and each of our Innovation Team members joined the team with a wide vision in each of the components they cover.



Professor of Public Health & Chair of de the Department of Public Health, Director of HIVE Health Innovation Center – Babeș Bolyai University, expert-evaluator for the European Commission.

Ion-Gheorghe PETROVAI, MD


Medical doctor, marketer, trainer and community leader, focused on “bottom-up” healthcare innovation catalysing (through FreshBlood HealthTech) and university-led innovation (through GIPIA – Interuniversity Group on Innovation and Entrepreneurship). Hub Project Manager for the Romanian EITHealth RIS Hub in 2018-2020. EITHealth Starship Biodesign Fellow since 2017.



Zaki Milhem is a resident Psychiatrist, an entrepreneur and a researcher. A vocal advocate for digital literacy in healthcare, Zaki founded WakeZ, a digital therapeutic for sleep and has won innovation awards like Forbes 30 Under 30 and EIT InnoStarsSE. He also serves as Chief Innovation Officer for Iceberg Plus, market leader in innovation consulting.



Ambassador of technological innovations, promoter of sustainable change and startups mentor from ideation to MVP, go-to-market, access to funding.
10+ years of proven experience as a Project Owner and Project Manager in hardware and software product development, 500+ prototypes and projects managed.

Management Team

The Municipality endorses the Global StartupCity Cluj-Napoca’s Innovation Team and also designated representatives to ensure the access and facilitation of the local ecosystem. StartupCity Cluj represents the whole public-private innovation ecosystem of Cluj and it is a reality as ONE startup lead by the Mayor of Cluj as CEO of StartupCity Cluj-Napoca.

Mayor Emil BOC







Support Officer

#StartupCitiesSummit 2020

#StartupCitiesSummit was a virtual summit that brought together entrepreneurial cities and ecosystems from global-EU to showcase and share innovative solutions through a comprehensive online programme by top-level professionals from the public and private sectors.