Overview is a Brussels-based fintech start-up with a clear objective to assist communities in Kenya by building digital finance products that promote socio-economic development.
Further away in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Angelo Astilean had a business idea: he wanted to create a digital map of the trees and green areas in his hometown to promote environmental awareness. He heard that Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs could help him develop his business plan by collaborating with experienced professionals.
Thanks to the great work done by the sending organisation “Institutul Postliceal Phoenix”, represented by Ms Mihaela Vonica, engaging with Mr Hans Pauwels, the CEO of Overview, was a swift and efficient process. During the 5 months period, both entrepreneurs found ways to mutually benefit from this experience by leveraging on each other’s strengths. The Overview team had a data scientist to develop a prediction model and other statistics for their day-to-day business, whereas Angelo could refine his business idea in a fast-growing start-up and in an international environment with significant opportunities.
Angelo was included in the daily routine of Overview and Hans was of great help in creating the business model for Cluj Tree Map. Moreover, the two entrepreneurs had mentoring sessions on ways of doing business and different possible markets. With Hans’ introduction, Angelo established international connections, such as Mr Bert Cattoor, the CEO of Geckomatics, with whom he wants to apply for Synchronicity, a Large Scale Pilot initiated by
the European Commission. This way, the idea of mapping urban trees could receive funding and support from a European consortium of cities and businesses interested in developing shared digital services.
As a data scientist, Angelo performed statistical analysis activities. During the first 2 months, he worked on a sample database, while in the next 2 months he used the entire data from an Overview product. In the final month, he assisted Hans with obtaining descriptive statistics of business and financial metrics for their product. As the initial exercises were developed on open data, the results can be viewed here:
All in all, Angelo was very satisfied with his Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs experience in Brussels. Looking back, he was happy with the decision to participate in this amazing program, since his initial expectations were definitely exceeded and he learned a lot during the 5 months period. The exchange between the two entrepreneurs was successful and they agreed to remain in touch for possible collaboration in the future.