At only 24, Vlad Tudose launched his own start-up and already received his first financing support. He is competitive, fond of simple and smart ideas and he likes to spend his time working on useful projects. He is constantly involved in something because he likes to keep his mind busy with interesting things.
We know Vlad as “the guy that kept threatening us with his project”. I met him last year at Start Me Up summer school. He impressed all of us with his perseverance and determination to make things happen and his rational, yet cool ideas. We didn’t know much about him or his long term plans, but we were confident that he wasn’t going to give up and that we shall soon hear of him and his projects. And we were right.
His story begins in a usual way for a Romanian student: “a business student at Bucharest University of Economic Studies”. In his second year he got tired of all that theory he was learning in school and realized that he wanted to make something productive. Therefore he became “the student with no work experience searching for a job” and got lucky with Adulmec.ro start-up. There he met a remarkable environment, true mentors and fell in love with the online domain and its opportunities.
After two years he left Adulmec.ro and became “the foreign student with a scholarship”. He graduated an Innovation Management Master program at Rotterdam School of Management in Netherlands. At that point he decided it was the right time to pursue his dreams and became once again “the student that kept threatening people with his project”.
He decided to be an entrepreneur because the idea of being responsible for his own future and working for something he truly believes in suited him best. Moreover, it was his project, he was enjoying it and he was making his own rules. This is how he became “the Puzzled.by guy”.
Puzzled.by is a Q&A online platform that gives people the chance to ask quantitative questions and receive answers from others with common interests. His objective is to build a community that shares opinions on different interesting subjects, helping members in making their daily choices based on collective intelligence. People can also satisfy their curiosity or receive feedback for their business ideas.
The inception of his idea happened by accident one day when he was looking to question a business idea he had at that moment. He discovered that the alternatives were either expensive or affected by the subjectivity of his friends’ network, especially if he used Facebook. His decision to develop Puzzled.by started from a true need he discovered and a problem that didn’t have an available solution. He was lucky to find the perfect business partners to begin this project among his friends: a developer, a planner and a designer.
With Mickey, Balazs and Lau on his team, they began working on the project. They grew organically and reached the point when they had to pitch their idea in front of investors. The feedback they received was positive: they were excited by the product and its functionalities. The first offer came from an American investor to which Vlad presented his prototype at a friendly coffee meeting. Since then, they have worked for free and from the desire to develop something they owned.
It wasn’t long before they got to the investment: $50 000 from an American group of angel investors. The moment they accepted the investment they realized things were about to change. He had to organize himself better, making this project a central point of his life, not just something he was working on with passion in his spare time hoping to get better. This investment made them to decide that it is time to pursue this idea forward.
Today, Vlad works on developing Puzzled.by to be a disruptive product. He wants to compete in international contests, to be proud of his creation and to see the benefits of his platform. On the long term, Vlad hopes to continue working at Puzzled.by with the same enthusiasm and also to develop other projects with his team.
Vlad wishes to see more young people being conscious about what a start-up involves, people passionate about entrepreneurship that continuously experiment, test ideas and methods and apply them on the market. “Start something, anything, especially a small project that has a beginning and an ending. This way you will have a starting point and, once you gain confidence in your abilities and skills, you can start a bigger project. Keep on going!” Vlad recommends to those wanting to follow his steps. “All you have to do is get out of your comfort zone and start doing something!”