The Hungarian team of the Danube Cup network participated as a supporter in the one-day conference “InnoFest – from Ideas to Business”, organised by Corvinus Innovation Research Centre and the National Youth Council of Hungary. The goal of the InnoFest event was to boost as many young people’s interest in starting innovative businesses as possible. The Hungarian team of Danube Cup supported the organizers of the InnoFest event as award sponsor and with experts.
Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation in universities is only possible together, with joint forces. Therefore, the Hungarian member universities of the international Danube Cup network take every opportunity to cooperate with initiatives with the aim to train and encourage students to start their own innovative businesses, like in the case of InnoFest.
In the morning session there was a roundtable talk with Professor János Vecsenyi, co-founder of Danube Cup, professor emeritus at the Corvinus University of Budapest and lecturer at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), and Krisztián Kölkedi, who represented the Hungarian public sector. The methodologies of entrepreneurship programmes at universities and other organisations were discussed. Professor Vecsenyi talked about Danube Cup and its goals in detail, and Krisztián Kölkedi described the Hungarian Startup University Program (HSUP). They agreed that management studies at universities must cover the topic of starting a business, as it has been the case at Corvinus University and BME for years. HSUP mostly targets other universities in Hungary using EU grants that exceed HUF 1 billion. Danube Cup’s budget is much smaller, but it works as a part of an international university network. Professor Vecsenyi said that one (or perhaps the most important) criterion of start-ups is the potential for international growth, which requires going beyond the local and conducting extensive, international market research and business planning. The roundtable talk was followed by a presentation by Zsolt Gémesi, head of the z10 incubation centre at BME, about entrepreneurial incentive programmes aimed at young people, with a detailed look at the US.
The chair of the judges of the InnoFest business idea contest was Dr Pál Danyi, co-founder of Danube Cup network and associate professor at BME. The first prize was awarded to the Charitask software platform, which provides an innovative way to connect volunteers and those offering volunteering opportunities. HandExo, a team of secondary school students developing a robot that exercises the hand, was ranked second. The third prize and the Danube Cup Special Prize went to Foody Wood, a business that manufactures disposable and compostable utensils from wood waste – they were also invited as guests to the finals of Danube Cup in Vienna in May 2022. The InnoFest Special Prize was awarded to the Varázslóképző project for its experiential activity solution. In addition, all 7 teams were invited to the Danube Cup bootcamp in February 2022, which will focus on market research.
You can watch the conference here.
Congratulations to every team and the organisers of InnoFest.