The Hungarian National Trading House pays particular attention to innovation, as evidenced by its InnoTrade start-up programme helping innovative and promising enterprises to the global market.
It is innovation that makes Hungary competitive, said Zsanett Ducsai-Oláh, CEO of the Hungarian National Trading House, at Világgazdaság’s conference entitled “All the world is innovation.” HNTH’s InnoTrade programme is promoting this vision, by offering Hungarian start-ups planning to enter the international markets specific opportunities to exhibit and promote their products. The programme aims to assist innovative local companies to find external markets.
Zsanett Ducsai-Oláh said she has encountered a wealth of innovative projects in the past few years. Many of them started at universities. In her view start-ups spend most of their time on product development and lack the time to introduce their product to the world - hence the focus of the programme. “We are becoming a stable actor providing continuous support to project developers and companies”, she maintained, stressing that they cooperate with every player, incubators and companies with share capital alike, and that they are not competing with others. All they ask from the companies whose attendance at various international events they facilitate is to share their experiences with others.
The InnoTrade project targets those businesses which already have a product or prototype ready. The CEO highlighted that they need 45 days prior to any international conference for the professional selection panel to chose the candidates who will eventually receive assistance to attend the event. Once selected, the developers are briefed as well, she added. The selection panel’s decision is based on the purpose and justification of the product, and it needs to be based on innovation that is unique. There is also a personal element, as the panel scrutinizes the applicants’ motivation and preparedness.
As part of the InnoTrade programme, HNTH has so far taken 11 companies to the world’s three most important events, where some of them received orders in the range of tens of thousands of US dollars. Zsanett Ducsai-Oláh added that they have plans to bring start-ups to 15 events this year, including in New York and Boston. HNTH has helped Hungarian companies attend events such as CES and CeBit.