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International recognition for Hungarian university startup program

The Hungarian Startup University Program (HSUP), which supports young innovators, has been awarded the "Most Innovative Business Development Project of Europe 2021".

The prestigious international award was presented to Krisztián Kölkedi, Deputy CEO of Express Innovation Agency, one of the founders of the program, on the occasion of the Young Entrepreneurs Week 2021, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology informed MTI in a statement on Monday. 

The award was founded by Jeune – European Federation of Young Entrepreneurs. 

HSUP is Hungary’s first unified higher-education startup program that brings together all players in the ecosystem as a common platform, from financial investors and entrepreneurs to universities, students, professional partners and mentors. The program promotes problem-solving through two semesters of e-learning training using a proprietary methodology. The optional theoretical course can be taken even with a smartphone. The young people with a winning idea or working on a winning team will participate in a practice-oriented, experiential second semester with a special scholarship so that they can focus on their project while studying. At the end of the academic year, the finished project will be presented to investors, business angels and incubators who will provide useful feedback and professional offers for the best ones to continue,” the ministry said.

Tibor Gulyás, Deputy State Secretary for Innovation at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, said that it is a great recognition that the Hungarian Startup University Program is being noticed at the international level. The government aims to strengthen the scientific and creative performance of universities by supporting individual excellence, and to encourage the development of new generations of R&D and innovation. The program was launched in October 2020 with 21 universities and more than 2,100 students. In 2021, it started with 27 universities and more than 4,000 students.

Krisztián Kölkedi said that student teams have so far earned nearly HUF 300 million in scholarships and more than HUF 100 million in investments with 100 successful projects; they have also finished on the podium at dozens of startup competitions. This academic year, students will receive nearly HUF 1 billion in scholarships, which will fund nearly 300 new projects.

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