#WER19 stop number 7: Budapest, Hungary
The Women in Entrepreneurship Roadshow arrived at its 7th stop, in Budapest, Hungary on the 7th – 8th November, and warmly welcomed around 50 participants from the European and US startup ecosystem.
Kicking off with a dynamic networking cocktails, at the Start It @ K&H Startup Inkubátor. Hosted by György Dede, Start It @ K&H Manager, and Marc Dillard, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy, who set out their visions of what they hoped the WER project can achieve economically for women entrepreneurs in both locally and beyond.
The high-powered spirit of the roadshow continued into the next day, as WER welcomed two top local women investors; Veronika Pistyur, General Partner of Oktogon Ventures and CEO of Bridge Budapest, and Sára Vargha, Senior Analyst at PortfoLion, to provide an insightful look into the local challenges women entrepreneurs face in the Central Eastern European region, at the investors panel.
Pistyur stated that in order to rectify the issues that women entrepreneurs face, particularly with access to funding, the technology sector requires an overhaul in structure that included more inclusion for women to excel within it, although she has seen a change in the industry compared to five years ago.
She added that, “Women should stand up and say that we are not here to make coffee, but to be entrepreneurs!”.
Vargha also drew comparisons, with the neighbouring Baltic region, saying that “Eastern European countries need a local investor because is very hard to get international funding. In Baltics countries: entrepreneurs can get funding quite easy as they are supported by the government.”
Adding to this, she also highlighted that the harmony between investors and entrepreneurs is vital to a project’s or initiative’s success, “the process is very similar to dating because it is a long process, chemistry is very important. The relationship is like a marriage.”
Following on from the investors panel, participants were invited to get one-on-one advice from leading pan-European mentors, such as Dr Andrea Kozma, Director of the CEU iLab; Mary Alcantara, Deputy Managing Director of MKB Fintechlab; Nikoletta Szirmay, CEO of Enchanting; Réka Matheidesz, Brand Strategist and Project Design Expert; Vivien Szalai, HR and self-development expert; Kata Kevehazi, Founder of JOL-LET (WELL-BEING) Foundation; Diána Páti, COO of Impact Shakers; Judit Bozsánovics, Innovation Coach; Nóra Horváth Magyary, Managing Director at Communications Directorate of K&H Group; Mónika Alíz Mészáros, EU project manager at Budapest Enterprise Agency; Beatrix Bedo, Co-founder of Impact Hub Budapestl; and Gábor Dehelán, Lead advisor at Start it @K&H Startup Inkubátor.
Along with one-to-one mentoring and exclusive insights from leading investors, the women entrepreneurs participating in #WER19 Budapest also received $10.000 of AWS promotional credits valid for 2 years, $5.000 of AWS Business Support and $1.600 of AWS Training offered by Amazon, a main partner in the project.
The Women in Entrepreneurship Roadshow aims to support the growth of 300 female founders. With the last roadshow stop of 2019 taking place in Berlin on the 5th – 6th December, before returning with 3 more stops, to be revealed, in 2020.