Hungary on Cusp of Tech Company Boom

Budapest is poised on the edge of becoming a major player in the high-tech startup marketplace. With successful companies such as Prezi, Ustream, NNG, LogmeIn and Gravity on its resume, the Hungarian capital has been buoyed to do more for its smart, newbie companies to help them succeed as well. With innovation, smart government policy and simple hard work, Budapest is hoping to become the technology hub of the eastern region of Europe.

Recently startups galore have been popping up in Budapest due to favorable government policies such as financial aid, excellent infrastructure, the central location of the city, and a large number of qualified workers. Berlin and London still far outpace Budapest in terms of centers of high-tech businesses, but due to the success of several high profile companies Budapest has attracted major interest as well as expectations as a future startup capital of the region. The Hungarian government is ready, willing and able to give the needed boost to the fledgling companies:

“The challenge for the government is to make Hungary the startup center of Central and Eastern Europe by the year 2020,” said Zoltan Csefalvay, secretary of state for the economy.

The Hungarian government has therefore earmarked a nice sum of 450 million euros ($575 million) to support these companies over the next six years. The companies are also receiving substantial tax incentives, while four of the most successful of the companies, Prezi, Ustream, LogmeIn and NNG, launched Bridge Budapest, an organization to help introduce tech startups to the business world.

One feature of the companies involved in Bridge Budapest, explained Veronika Pistyur, director of the group, is that although they want to conquer the world of technology companies, they do not want to leave their homeland. Therefore, Bridge Budapest gives scholarships to young, talented techies to go study and/or work in Silicon Valley, the great world center of technological development, and then come back to Hungary and set the world on fire, from home.

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