Venture capital and startup valuation

Marius Istrate

Chairman of the Board - TechAngels Romania

Marius Istrate has been a business angel and growth adviser since 2020, with a focus on Romania and the CEE region. Marius is currently leading the TechAngels Romania group and he is actively supporting founders to build great teams, set them to perform, and scale the company culture. 


He is the ex-Chief People Officer of UiPath, where he grew the company from 100 to 3000 people in the span of 3 years, during its hypergrowth phase. He was previously the CEO of SkillValue, an IT assessment and IT recruitment platform. His Bachelor’s is in Electrical Engineering and Computers.

Course syllabus


The main challenge of an entrepreneur: funding his/her company. Funding options encompass loans from banks, equity from Business Angels and Venture Capital (VC), but also convertible notes. We will learn together – step by step - how to be successful in fund raising.


Still, the most valuable funding comes directly from your clients. This money not only serves as an initial validation for your business model, but also eliminates uncertainties regarding the company's valuation and potential dilution. Bootstrap your business as long as possible! We will study 5 client-funded strategies.


Entrepreneurship and startups are associated with innovation, energy, engagement. The large companies struggle to keep up with the pace of innovations coming from the startups. Large companies would like to see more intrapreneurship. We will have an open discussion on how to structure a vibrant ecosystem of startups around a large company, in the context of Romania.

Within my course, I will invite 2 Romanian founders to come and share their experiences on these topics.

My course allows students to get a short degree from Duke University (fully covered with my course).