mi-INTERVIEW

Currently the President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Atlanta-based Stone Soup Technologies, Brad Constantinescu is also the CTO of various tech-based start-ups.

An expert in Artificial Intelligence and Software architecture and development, he was the CEO of a Romanian Internet company at the age of 22. Read on to discover his journey to success, as well as gaining some tech-based business insight from an expert.

Q. As a 22-year-old myself, can you please lend me some insight into how you became the CEO of an Internet company at the age of 22?!

A. I was still studying my Bachelor’s at the University of Bucharest when I was hired as IT support to a company that handled 30-40 big client accounts. I noticed issues regarding the communications between the sales team and the technical team. I always like to do a job properly, and at the time, the company was not operating effectively, so I escalated my concerns to the directors.
Alongside my IT work, I started being entrusted with management responsibilities. Quite quickly, I was pulling a lot of strings to cancel the company’s debt and to make it more efficient. They fired the previous CEO and replaced him with me. Eventually I left to focus properly on University and after my Bachelor’s, I pursued a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science.

Q. Tell us a little more about your various start-ups.

A. I am the CTO of HealthWitz, an AI-powered health start-up; CTO of 2MinuteValet, a parking management start-up; and the CEO of Housepedia, a real estate technology start-up based on AI.
The real estate start-up was my idea, whereas with the parking start-up, we were reacting to a gap that people had observed in the US market. We want to transform the whole process of valet parking by migrating from a cash-grey market to a transparent, mobile market.
As for the health start-up, we are working closely with a doctor who is passionate about technology – I like to work with professionals in the relevant field. As investments, these start-ups have not quite taken off yet – there is a constant learning process.

Q. Stone Soup Technologies is based in Atlanta – are you living in America or in Romania now?

A. Neither! I live in South Africa, as my wife is based here for her work. A lot of my business I can do remotely, but I do fly frequently to Romania and also to Atlanta. It’s very tiring and also means that you lose a couple of days’ work.

Q. That leads me to my next question – how do you juggle all your various start-ups as well as acting as President of Stone Soup Technologies?

A. I don’t! I manage by working very long hours – between 12 and 16 hours every day. This is why I am planning to reduce my involvement by training up other people who can do what I am currently doing. That way, I can delegate and focus my technical involvement on just one start-up.

Q. This is a fairly broad question, but can you give some advice on what tech-based strategy could be crucial in the early stages of an entrepreneurial start-up?

A. Well it depends entirely on what type of business you are launching. For instance, if your business is consumer-driven, social media is vital. However, in a B2B environment, it is less so.
Technology is important in scaling businesses – you need to work out what technology will help you both grow and scale your business. There are always gaps in the market that can be filled, but a good execution of your business can be far more important than the initial idea.

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