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Budapest in the international top of emerging startup areas
08 October 2021
Modified: 11 October 2021
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The total estimated value of the capital’s startup ecosystem has increased by a factor of one and a half in one year, to over HUF 200 billion, according to the latest analysis of the Global Startup Ecosystem Report.

With this, Budapest has confirmed its place among the best of the emerging startup ecosystems. The report highlights as an important result that a significant number of early investments has been channelled into startups in recent years, thanks in part to proactive public engagement.

Startup Genome’s annual Global Startup Ecosystem Report compares and evaluates 250 startup ecosystems around the world The Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (NRDI Office) joined the international research as a partner at the end of 2020. The cooperation aims to make the growth of the domestic ecosystem more visible to foreign innovators and investors.

The 2021 report ranks the Hungarian capital city among the world’s top emerging cities and highlights its performance in artificial intelligence and financial startups as sectoral strengths. “The Ministry of Innovation and Technology and the NRDI Office contributed to our country’s excellent performance with strong policy support and significant funding from calls for proposals. Launched last year, the national university-level course attracted 2100 students in its first year. The Hungarian Startup University Program continued this year from September with the participation of twenty-six higher education institutions”, recalled Tibor Gulyás, Deputy Secretary of State for Innovation.

He added: “The government is steadily increasing its research, development and innovation (RDI) spending, which has already exceeded HUF 700 billion. In addition to Hungarian creativity and internationalisation processes, targeted government programmes such as the Startup Factory for incubators or Hiventures’ early-stage capital investments are also stimulating the further expansion of the Hungarian startup scene, which employs 20-25 thousand highly skilled professionals.”

The Startup Genome analysis also confirms the good practices of the NRDI Office and therefore the Ministry for Innovation and Technology and the Office intend to continue the technology incubator programme combining investment with knowledge through calls for proposals this year. This makes funding predictable for programme participants. An important aim is to expand the range of participating incubators and to fund sector-specific incubators. Examples include life-science, medical technologies, manufacturing-oriented technologies, cyber-security, etc.

Startup Genome’s analysis provides a number of reasons why an international startup should choose Hungary. An important advantage is the availability of a highly qualified workforce with up-to-date practical knowledge in science and technology. The central geographical location, the lightning-fast startup establishment process, low corporate tax, and the low cost of living combined with a high quality of life also explain the growing popularity of Hungary in the startup world. The report highlights the performance of artificial intelligence and financial startups as sectoral strengths. It mentions the importance of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy in innovation and highlights the Almotive startup, the largest European self-driving car developer with $70 million in venture capital funding. Other notable startups include software technology developer Bitrise, electronic payment solution provider Barion and education startup Codecool.

Updated: 11 October 2021
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