BME launches a unique incubation programme in Hungary

The training course has been designed to provide BME’s students and young researchers with hands-on information on how to establish and launch a startup business.

“This cooperation offers mutual benefits to all the parties involved,” emphasized János Józsa, BME’s rector in his welcome speech at the press conference held for the signing ceremony of the cooperation agreement on the Startup Campus BME Powered by Hiventures project launched jointly by BME, Hiventures Venture Capital Fund Management plc., member of the MFB (Hungarian Development Bank) Group and Enterprise Hungary, a non-profit organization. Mr. Józsa added that this programme will provide BME with “expert knowledge”. The programme will provide students still studying at the university with hands-on knowledge of how businesses work in reality and the two companies will have the opportunity to directly meet young talents and even recruit them, ideally upon the completion of their master’s studies. The academic hopes that they will be able to present the programme’s results at the next conference of the rectors of European universities on September 13–14 2019 to be organized by BME.

The participants of the event representing the Budapest University of Technology and Economics included Attila Kotán, chancellor, János Pakucs, chairman of BME’s Innovation Board, László Lengyel, BME’s contact point for the Startup Campus project, director of BME’s Center for University-Industry Cooperation (BME FIEK) and Charaf Hassan, the head of the Department of Automation and Applied Informatics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (VIK).

“This cooperation helps future generations to have the confidence to implement innovative ideas,” said Sándor Uszkay-Boiskó, deputy state secretary for financial services at the Prime Minister’s Government Office explaining the importance of the programme and adding that equity financing for startup ideas is also significant for the national economy.

“BME’s programme is a new component in the startup ecosystem, which can set an example for other universities as well,” Zoltán Birkner, the president of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH) reminded the participants adding that higher education institutions and SMEs will need specific support in the new innovation environment.

“BME is a worthy partner of the initiative,” stressed Tamás Bernáth, chairman and chief executive officer of the Hungarian Development Bank who thinks the creativity demonstrated by BME deserves funding.

The three partners of the cooperation will share responsibilities with BME providing the location and the technology background, Startup Campus Incubator offering assistance in trainings and Hiventures supplying the funds. Enterprise Hungary will provide the incubation network, as Bence Katona, the deputy chief executive officer of Hiventures, explained regarding the cooperation while Zsolt Gémesi, the incubation head of Enterprise Hungary, reported on the programme’s two-year-long continuous success in London and expressed his hope that this success will continue in Hungary and that other universities will also introduce the training.

Zsolt Gémesi and Bence Katona)

The welcome speeches were followed by the signing ceremony. The cooperation agreement was signed by János Józsa, rector, Attila Kotán, chancellor, Kornél Kisgergely, Hiventures’ chief executive officer and Zsolt Kovács, Enterprise Hungary’s managing director. The event was concluded with a roundtable discussion.

Applications for the Startup Campus BME programme will be accepted until October 10 2018 followed by a selection process, after which the successful students will be notified on October 13 and the five-week (one session per week), free, English language training course (involving mentoring and education and experts with several years of national and international startup development experience) will start. The teams will have the opportunity to present their ideas to investors and corporate partners on DemoDay at the end of November where the best ones may be awarded funding of HUF 9 million.

For further information, please visit the project’s website.


Photo: János Philip