Alex Butean

Fulbright-RAF Scholar, 2019-2020

From August to December 2019 I had the pleasure to be part of a group of Romanian professors that were selected to visit and study the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the USA.

I was a visiting professor at the University of Rochester in the state of New York but I traveled in many other places. Although I had many opportunities, my focus was on the following objectives:

● participate to the tech community events to meet new people and connect with the business environment;
● understand the mechanisms by which universities and research centers are actively involved in the development of cities and communities;
● work together with groups of investors to learn and contribute to the funding process for innovative start-ups;
● travel as much as possible and understand the American culture.

Professional takeaways

● Risk taking is a must. After meeting many successful entrepreneurs I realized that their experience is not coming from success but from failure and their most important characteristic is the ability to take risks.
● Universities are key players in communities. A university is a leader and an example in the local community. The role of the university doesn’t stop at providing education, instead it involves active implication into many problems and strategies at the local, state or country level.
● Good strategies are for the long term. Every short term action has to be part of a long term plan in order to create the maximum value out of everything.

Personal takeaways from the U.S. experience

● A new mindset. The positive attitude of the American society had an immense impact over my way of thinking and I returned home with a changed perspective regarding society and life.
● Diplomacy and tolerance. Living in a multicultural environment helped me understand the importance of listening and the value of cooperation in an international environment.
● Public services are not perfect anywhere, but the involvement of the citizens is a must for describing the problems and proposing solutions.

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