CEU InnovationsLab was named Best Accelerator and Incubator in Hungary at the Central European Startup Awards competition on Sept. 27 and will represent Hungary in Sofia, Bulgaria in November at the Grand Finale of the CES Awards.
CEU InnovationsLab was invited to enter the competition and was then shortlisted by a jury of Hungarian experts along with four other incubators: Kitchen Budapest, Design Terminal, Drukka, and the Women Startup Competition Incubator. The jury and the public voted for the final winners for the country.
“CEU InnovationsLab entered the CEE startup ecosystem very recently with a mission to become a major player in furthering knowledge-based, ethical entrepreneurship,” said Andrea Kozma, iLab manager. “We believe that disciplined entrepreneurship is a key factor in success. CEU iLab is a non-equity, free-of-charge incubator. We offer a safe environment for our students and alumni to experiment their entrepreneurial skills and we contribute to their success by pulling in all the necessary resources from our robust academic offering. Our international faculty community with experience at major global universities, such as Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard and others, as well our international student and alumni network, uniquely position CEU’s iLab to help its ‘born global’ projects to succeed.”
CEU InnovationsLab was the only university-associated incubator shortlisted, and the youngest among the nominees with only a 16-month history. During this short time, the CEU InnovationsLab teams have gained significant attention within their respective industries with their innovative new solutions and sophisticated and ethical business approaches. Several teams were featured in Forbes magazine and one team – AbsoRice – received the “Innovative Startup of the Month Award” earlier this year from the Hungarian Ministry of National Economy. A July 2017 Forbes article named three of the InnovationsLab’s fintech startups among Hungary’s top 20 most promising.
The CES award is an acknowledgment of CEU InnovationsLab’s commitment to a disciplined entrepreneurship coaching method that relies on CEU’s high-quality academic programs. Through the InnovationsLab close collaboration with three of CEU’s professional MSc programs, Kozma and her colleagues have built a university innovation ecosystem entirely unique in the region. The three programs are the MSc in Business Analytics, Europe’s first big data masters; the MSc in Finance, a cutting-edge international finance masters; and the MSc in Technology Management and Innovation, Central Europe’s only tech “MBA.” The latter two programs have now also teamed up to offer a Fintech Management Dual Degree, the first such offering in the region.
“This is an incredible success for the CEU InnovationsLab and its manager Andrea Kozma,” said Head of MSc in Finance Peter Szilagyi. “Starting from nowhere, she has built up Central Europe’s premier university incubator in just over a year, surely an unprecedented achievement. The CEU InnovationsLab was one of just four university incubators across all of Central Europe to be nominated, in the face of massive competition by a plethora of incubators with much greater financial and professional clout.”
Vote for CEU InnovationsLab to win the Best Accelerator and Incubator Program in CEE here.
Photos from the Sept. 27 event available here.