[Startup story] Conta25 | Rubik Garage Accelerator spring of 2023

[Startup story] Conta25 | Rubik Garage Accelerator spring of 2023

May 5, 2023

Conta25 is one of the 24 startups selected in the 2023 spring cohort of Rubik Garage Accelerator, from over 170 applicants from all over the world. Discover its story below. 

First of all, we would like to know who’s behind the keyboard.

My name is Ana Maria Rosca, CEO of Conta25.

After a decade of corporate experience, I decided to trust an entrepreneurial project. Two years ago I trusted a project called “Gradinita de manageri”, a project through which I got to know the CONTA25 project and a team of people. It was a more mature approach to the startup concept and it’s more of a spin-off. The energy of a startup combined with a lot of experience of business people.

Tell us more about your startup. What problem do you solve? Who’s your audience?

Conta25 is a management platform for accounting companies. It provides information about:

  • clients profitability
  • employee utilization
  • single communication channel accountant-client ( eliminating Whatsapp, e-mail, and phone)
  • centralized financial documents archive

What motivated you to create this startup? What’s your „why”?

I want to tell you what convinced me to take this step. I first participated experimentally in the “Gradinita de Manageri” project but I understood that great things are done with others. I think it’s important to understand and convey that. Solitary models in entrepreneurship are rarer than collaborative ones. Even when we read about or see projects that are led by one person, the important thing is that there is a team behind it. I am also one person, today Conta25 identifies with Ana Maria, but behind me there is a team, a network, advisors, consultants, friends, and clients, who also become part of my team. If I were to focus on one topic, it would probably be: doing things together, collaboratively.

The idea for the development of this product came from Code 932’s own experience in the financial management of IT programming projects. Code 932’s managers have found that when implementing programming projects, significant (and unfavourable!) differences occur between the initial project cost estimates and the final cost. The reasons for these differences are the occurrence of changes in the actual project development, which are not followed by changes in cost estimates. 

On the other hand, similar situations have been observed in the accounting firms sector. In the case of accountancy firms, for example, a price for services is agreed with each client based on the estimated costs of providing accounting services. Over time, however, as the client-firm grows, the accountancy firm’s costs move upwards without this being reflected in a change in the originally agreed price. For this reason, accountancy firms end up with unprofitable clients in their portfolios.

How is your startup different from competitors?

What differentiates us from the competitors is that accounting company clients have free access to the platform. Regardless of how many clients an accounting firm holds in its portfolio, they all have free access to basic financial indicators.

Tell us more about your team. 

We are lucky to have Andrei Danila as our main investor. Andrei is also the CEO of a local IT company Code932 from Iasi, so this facilitates access to their pool of talents.

Cezar is knowledgeable in the area of business processes and business development. 

I have gathered my experience working in finance & accounting, procurement, and commercial management. I consider myself a thoughtful and idealistic person that strives to have a positive impact on other people and the world around me.

What are your plans for your startup in the next 6-12 months?

For the next 6-12 months we plan to:

  • Reach 10k clients
  • Develop 2-3 add-ons (in-house or through partnership)
  • Develop & launch the mobile app
  • Raise investment

What are the biggest rewards of being a startup founder?

Making a difference: Many startup founders are motivated by the desire to make a positive impact on the world. Whether it’s by solving a pressing problem, creating jobs, or supporting a cause, building a startup can be a powerful way to make a difference.

Personal growth and learning: Building a startup can be a transformative experience that challenges you to learn new skills, overcome obstacles, and develop resilience and perseverance. This personal growth is incredibly rewarding and valuable.

What about the biggest challenges?

Being a project of digitalization of accounting companies, the main challenge is the reluctance of Romanian companies to adopt the technology.  

Of course, once we implement the product in a company, the perspective changes and our clients start coming up with development ideas because they understand how technology can help them in their business. This is the main challenge we face – technology acceptance. 

Of course, we also have the classic problems of a new business:  

  • gaining trust
  • the sales
  • adapting the product on the go based on feedback received

What made you apply to our Rubik Garage accelerator?

We applied to Rubik Garage accelerator because of the following reasons:

  • Access to funding
  • Mentorship and guidance
  • Networking opportunities
  • Validation and credibility: being accepted into a reputable accelerator program provides validation and credibility for any startup. This can help in attracting additional funding, customers, and talent.

Top 3 learnings of the accelerator until now?

  • Build a strong team – surround yourself with people who share the same vision and have complementary skills. A great team is essential to success
  • Embrace failure: failure is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey. Use it to grow and improve.
  • We should spend more time on the pricing strategy!

How was the bootcamp for you?

Interesting & intense experience. A lot of information in a short period of time. It was a confidence-building experience that helped me feel more prepared and motivated to tackle the challenges of building a startup.

It gave me access to mentors and experts from industry experts. This provided valuable guidance and support.

Also, it was a great networking opportunity – a great way to meet other founders, investors, and professionals. This helped build a strong network of contacts and potential collaborators.

Ana Maria Rosca

What do you like in the Rubikorns Startup Community?

The support and collaboration on the mentor’s side. #WeAreInThisTogether! 🙂

What message do you have for other startup founders?

Never stop learning. Entrepreneurship is a journey of continuous learning. Stay curious, seek out new knowledge and skills, and be open to feedback & advice.

We are all in this together, and by working together we can create a better future for ourselves and others.

We encourage you to support Conta25 and follow its journey on Linkedin and Facebook.

Stay tuned to discover the story behind the other startups from our accelerator! #WeAreInThisTogether

Rubik Garage is an equity-free acceleration program aiming to support startups from CEE get to their first paying customer, raise investment or go international.