Danube Cup 2024 Hungarian Final winners announced

On 17 April, the BME FIEK and the BME U[S]3 group organized the Hungarian final of the competition series founded eight years ago by the BME and the Corvinus University of Budapest.

The event took place in the BME U[S]3 space, 10th floor at BME Building Z and in the MNB Innovation Space, which was created with the support of the MNB. Not only the venue for the finals, the 10th floor event space, was packed with competitors and audience, but also the live streaming space on the 8th floor of the building, which can accommodate up to 60 people, so more than 130 people watched the final on the spot, while a further 180-200 watched it online on YouTube.

In an inspiring atmosphere, 8 startup teams - PrepBox, CASAR, uMix3D, stArt, Noted, Bootz, GPSolar and BridgeAID - presented their ideas in 3-minute pitches to the professional jury, the audience and the online viewers. Each pitch was followed by questions from the jury, which the members of each team could answer together.

This year, the organizers broke with the established conventions of the innovation ecosystem in several ways, which was reflected in the makeup of the jury. Members of the jury: László Sabjányi (CEO of BOLT Hungary), Dr. Judit Hegedűs (Harvard alumni, METU lecturer, European Innovation Council expert), and Ágnes Dudás (Head of Innovation Management Department at BME FIEK, Chief Intellectual Property Advisor at the Budapest University of Technology). Feedback showed that the quality of the jury members’ questions greatly contributed to the success of the event.

The popularity of the competition is shown by the fact that this year, twice as many startup teams entered the Hungarian final of the Danube Cup as last year. The 8 teams that made it to the final in Hungary were selected by the BCE and BME U[S]3 experts and the Danube Cup founders from the 16 teams that entered, on the basis of the video pitches attached to the entry.

At university idea competitions, innovation, novelty, usefulness and the professional work invested in the development are typically the criteria based on which the jury selects the winners. The difference between the Danube Cup and the usual pitch competition model is that the Danube Cup places particular emphasis also on the results of the market research and the research on idea validation carried out, the lack of which often causes a startup failure.

The experienced jury had an extremely difficult task, since the novelty of the ideas was unquestionable, and thanks to a series of preparatory workshops before the Hungarian final, market research was no longer an insurmountable task for the teams.  The preparatory workshops were held by BCE and BME lecturers. At the workshops, the sessions on market research, idea modelling and pitch techniques were led by Gábor Dehelán and Viktor Borbély, who teach the popular BME courses on Starting and Managing Innovative Businesses and on Startup Management.

From the intriguing and innovative startup ideas, the jury selected four teams (two from BME and two from BCE) as the best, following the guidelines set by the founders of the competition:

The winning teams from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics:

 - StArt

 - BridgeAID

The winning teams from Corvinus University of Budapest:


 - uMix3D

The four teams above have got the opportunity to represent Hungary at the Danube Cup 2024 international final in Austria. The final will be held at the JKU (Johannes Kepler Universität) in Linz in May this year, where these Hungarian teams will compete on the international scene against 16 projects from 6 other (so 8 in total) universities.

Last year, the international final of the Danube Cup ended in victory for the BME, as the Gellit team of bioengineering students won with a fully-fledged pitch. Their triumph thanks to the work of Pál Danyi, János Vecsenyi, Gábor Delehán, and Viktor Borbély BME lecturers, who prepared them for the competition.


More information about the Danube Cup: https://danubecup.eu/hu/



Photo: B. Geberle