News agency AFP has published an article presenting the upcoming start-ups of Hungary, showcasing the success stories of the likes of Prezi, LogMeIn and Ustream. The article also included an interview of Ustream’s chief technical officer Gyula Fehér, while it generally presented the start-up scene of Budapest in a positive light.
Talking about the possibilites of the city, Gyula Fehér said that “with all the available talent, we thought we would do better here instead of being just another start-up in Silicon Valley”. It is common knowledge among IT start-ups that Budapest has capital, well-trained engineers and low salaries, all the qualities that a small, up-coming enterprise needs.
According to the article, while London and Berlin may have more start-us currently, the stories of Prezi, LogMeIn and Ustream showcase the potential of the city. “There’s a lot of money that is only waiting to be invested, and few credible start-ups. In San Francisco, it’s the other way around,” said David Ottlik of Synetiq, a start-up specializing in neuromarketing (measuring emotions and brain activity to predict consumers’ reactions).
Prezi CEO and co-founder Péter Árvai says that the high level of science education in Hungarian schools also means there is a wealth of talent that can be useful for start-ups, adding that low wages also make a difference. “Hungary trains between 8,000 and 10,000 young engineers every year. And they work from EUR 800 (250,000 HUF), which is considerable less than other US or European start-up hubs.
While there are many decisive factors on attracting the right talent to Budapest, one of the often forgotten draws of the city is the ambition and creativity that resides here. The article closes with the rather optimistic remarks of Prezi CEO Péter Árvai:
A hundred years ago, Budapest looked like Paris, with a collection of Nobel prize winners and cafes. Then World War Two happened and the communist regime came along. We are starting to see a noticeable release of creative energy again… There’s just as much ambition and creativity here!
via AFP, photo public domain