| Entrepreneur with a focus on ethical media, digital transformation and open web
Dragos is the founder of UPGRADE 100 [a hybrid media and digital transformation media and events platform built around the (former) iCEE.fest festival – since 2012], the main shareholder of Thinkdigital [a digital media network based in Bucharest, RO], the initiator of Ethical Media Alliance [a non-profit organisation which aims to redirect some of the funds from digital advertising space in Romania towards journalistic projects that serve the public interest] and the elected president of BRAT [the largest Romanian organisation that brings together more that 150 major companies such as online publishers, advertisers, media agencies and players from the radio, print and outdoor].
- He is / was a partner in several other significant ventures:
Project Agora (programmatic advertising)– exit 2019, Tailwind (ad tech & mar tech)– exit 2019, Douleutaras (services marketplace)– exit 2021, Oveit (access management and NFT Ticketing), Streams.Live (live shopping). He also participates @ Underline VC – investments in other early stage Eastern European tech startups.
He is currently serving as the President of BRAT where he was elected in 2018 by the representatives of the largest media companies, advertising clients and agencies.
- Founded back in 1998, BRAT (the Romanian Bureau for Transmedia Audit) is the national media and advertising industry auditing office monitoring and measuring performance of websites, OOH, radio advertising and the print press in Romania.
His passion for media stems from his early career as a journalist [he previously was a reporter and later on editor-in-chief for the Belgian radio station Radio Contact, then, the Swiss publisher Ringier and American tv station ProTV -> between 1996 and 2004].
- Before his entrepreneurial career, Dragos was managing the digital media and print business units of two major (back then, between 2005 and 2010) Romanian press groups: Publimedia / MediaPro and Realitatea + Catavencu. He conceived or coordinated the launch of 20+ media projects and new formats in digital, radio, TV and print – some of them still on the market, others closed as a result of economic crises and/or due to the disruption generated by technology in the last decades.
He is active as a key opinion leader on social media [FB, In, TW] where he posts about tech, digital transformation, startups, media ethics or social issues and hosts a radio show about tech / digital culture called UPGRADE 100 Live @ Radio Guerrilla.
- In 2021 and 2022 he launched, in partnership with the Romanian representative of the European Commission and EIDOS Foundation, the EIDOS Talks series – to tackle the complex challenges faced by journalism and fake news in the big tech era, then the DIGTALINATION series – in partnership with Aspen Institute Romania [to overview the progress of digitization of public services in Romania] and the educational hybrid media project IQ DIGITAL [digital transformation for local SMB’s] – together with BCR / Erste Group and Vodafone.
In 2023, he initiated the non-profit movement called Ethical Media Alliance – which aims to help journalistic startups and investigative journalists to obtain funding and viable business models, in an digital media space where social media platforms and large tech companies do not reward quality and responsible content, but mostly the “efficient” content (that is not necessarily real or with a positive social impact, over all).
[This page was last updated in June, 2023]