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Cosmin Manea

My story

I was born and raised in Romania (in a city next to the black sea, Constanta) and moved at the age of 18 to Dubai with my family where I did my undergraduate in AUD (American University in Dubai). Right after graduation I have joined Philips Electronics in Dubai in a Management Trainee Program for 12 months and then joined IE Business School in 2013 for a dual specialization MIM program. Right after graduation I joined a startup called Vound that eventually failed and then continued with another startup, InstaShop where I have been for the past 5.5 years.
I am now departing InstaShop, after the successful sale of the company to Delivery Hero for $360M to focus more on personal projects and more urgent matters that I believe in.
I think it is our responsibility as a generation to focus more on projects that have nature and sustainability at core in order to tackle global warming and years of damage on the environment.

Founding Partner at InstaShop



Current Location

Dubai, UAE


What skills do you consider are needed to succeed in your personal and professional life?

I think confidence is a big one, as everything you want to do in life you need to believe in yourself, in the project and work hard towards your dreams. Another important one is analytical thinking; if you ask the right questions the answers will come to surface. With these 2 I think anyone can succeed in any field or projects they want to.

How did IE help you get to where you are today?

IE helped and shaped me in many ways:

  • Entrepreneurial spirit within the program. This is the reason why towards the end of the program I took the decision to work only in the startup environment and not join multinationals
  • Group projects that helped me be ready for the real world (decision making, critical thinking, project building, etc; are all skills you develop during group projects)
  • Madrid! The beautiful city and lifestyle that helped make friends for life

What is one thing you wished you knew when you were a student?

That I should be more confident, focus on joining early stage startups and make sure that as an employee I always work for salary + equity/shares.

Do you have any advice for IE alumni who are looking to go into your field?

Jump into in and do not overthink it. If you have an idea, create an MVP start selling it to family and friends. If people are willing to use it, pay for it, then you have a starting point and continue from there, step by step.