The first leg of our November journeys brought us to Cluj-Napoca, Romania, home of a very vibrant Mozilla community and native IT talent. Diane was joined by Scout Brian King as part of Open Web, Open Business, an event produced by the local Mozilla Rep team.

Brian kicked things off with an overview of Mozilla’s current open web initiatives, focusing on HTML5 and Firefox OS. Drawing off of a recent post by Mozilla Evangelist Christian Heilmann, Brian debunked many myths about HTML5 and exposed the opportunities that it and Firefox OS present for developers around the world.

Brian highlights the benefits of using open web technologies for developers and consumers.

Following Brian’s summary of the tools and resources Mozilla is offering developers in these areas, Diane shared the ways that WebFWD complements this with its offerings of business teachings, tools and resources to enable developers to build not just products but full-blown businesses on the open web. After a brief break with delicious treats, the crowd of about 50 local developers, students, press and startup enthusiasts reconvened to hear a panel of local entrepreneurs share about their experiences starting a business in Romania.

Our esteemed panelists.

The panelists represented a range of business fields: Enterprise Resource Planning, software testing, Microsoft consulting services, running a co-working space in Cluj… and even developing custom race cars! Despite this variety, the panelists found some areas of agreement: doing what you love and are passionate about, and defining success more broadly than just making money.

This stellar event attracted the attention of the Romanian TV program, Transilvania Live, who invited Diane & Brian in to share more about Mozilla and WebFWD. If you speak Romanian or can hear behind the translator, you can check it out here ;).

Diane and Brian grabbing their 14 minutes of fame.

Overall, the energy, talent and climate in Romania served as a huge encouragement to both of us — both Brian in his Community Manager hat, and Diane in her entrepreneurship, WebFWD hat. If our experience told us one thing, it’s that the dynamic, committed community members on the ground are the ones to help make it happen!

Just some of the fantastic Mozilla-loving community in Cluj.