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HUF 5.7 billion public funding for startup incubators
19 January 2024
Modified: 26 January 2024
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A decision has been taken in the Startup Factory funding programme, announced in October, to support the development and incubation of technology startups: 12 technology incubators across the country have been given the opportunity to invest their own capital in promising startups of their choice, supplemented by public funding, and to support them in achieving market success by providing capital and business know-how.

Startup FactoryThe Ministry of Culture and Innovation granted an increase in the budget for the programme, which was originally announced with a budget of HUF 5 billion, because more high-quality, internationally competitive applicants submitted their business plans than expected.

The key feature of the technology incubator programme, launched for the fourth time since 2013, is that public funding is channelled to startups through carefully selected private incubators, complementing public funding with the incubator’s own capital investment. As the incubator is putting its own capital at risk, it is in its interest to select and develop startups that have the potential for significant long-term success. This also puts public funding in the best possible place. This programme, based on the public-private co-investment concept, is an adaptation of the pioneering Israeli programme and the Finnish and Singaporean programmes based on it, which we are continuously developing based on evaluations and feedback from experts in the startup world.

This decision has given the most successful incubators from previous programmes the opportunity to continue their activities and to build on their incubation knowledge and experience. In addition to the old teams, five teams with early-stage investment experience that have not yet received public funding were selected. After formal processing, the project proposals were evaluated and ranked by the Incubator Evaluation Board, which was also enhanced by international experts, on the basis of personal professional presentations.

"The Startup Factory programme, which combines co-investment with capital and knowledge, has already proven to be the most effective public instrument to promote the development of the Hungarian startup ecosystem. The novelty of the current call is that incubators with sectoral specialisations (biotechnology, environmental technologies) could apply under conditions that take into account the specificities of these important areas requiring higher investment and longer incubation periods." - said Dr Zsuzsa Szabados, Vice-President for Corporate Innovation at the National Research, Development and Innovation Office.

So far, Startup Factory programmes have provided funding to nearly 200 startups, of which around 90 have received additional investment, mostly from private sources. There are more than ten startups that have already received foreign investment and have a combined turnover of more than HUF 10 billion.

Updated: 26 January 2024
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