The development and internationalisation of startup businesses are inconceivable without an innovation-conducive environment, a global network of contacts and support for building a corporate infrastructure. The Startup Factory concept was developed by the NRDI Office in cooperation with, and based on the suggestions of, the ITM, and taking into account the lessons of previous calls and the best international practices.
The call is open to technology incubators that were selected for funding or made it to the final round of selection in a previous call, and have at least three years of experience in incubation activities. The Startup Factory call enables the most successful incubators, as confirmed by objectively measured past performance and business plans, to continue their activities and preserve and further capitalise on accumulated experience.
The briefing quoted Tibor Gulyás, deputy state secretary for innovation of the ITM, who stated: technology incubators have the necessary market and professional skills, scientific methodology and extensive international connections, so their involvement is an effective means of supporting startups. Of the 10 project proposals, seven were selected for funding, receiving HUF 300 million each. The funds can be spent on the direct support of domestic startups in Budapest and four rural cities: Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged and Veszprém – the deputy state secretary added. He explained that previous programmes performed well, as nearly half of the over 120 incubated businesses are already generating revenue and the rest has attracted – partly foreign – capital investments in excess of the amount of public funding.
According to the briefing, 14 technology incubators received direct public funding between 2013 and 2016, primarily in life sciences, artificial intelligence, Big Data and Fintech. The funded startups also included suppliers of solutions in sports and educational technology, digital media and robotics. The participating incubators are required to keep track of the progress of the startups from the idea to prototype development and market entry. Having a sustainable business model and becoming suitable for second-round investment are also important requirements.
The ITM aims to increase the risk appetite of incubators by using co-investor funds, thus enhancing the market exploitation of the RDI results of startups with a high growth potential. The public funding strengthens the growth potential of the domestic startup ecosystem, and stimulate the emergence and implementation of innovative ideas – the ITM briefing reports.