A cluster is a tool for fostering innovation and a vehicle for boosting regional economic development. At least that is the theory. The reality has been somewhat different in Hungary. My organization, Pannon Business Network (PBN), aims to play a role in cleaning up the mess that is our current situation. But first, let me offer you some background on how we got here.
Clusters were first established in our region in 2001, following American and Western European examples. With four strategic branch focuses, typically top-down methods, fully publicly sponsored. The first two to three years were promising, then everything slowed down. The feeling of ’getting together’, the willingness to do something was very strong and stirring but real, business-oriented actions were missing. Than came the period of smaller, local-territorial clusters. However, this just meant an increase in quantity, rather than quality. The economy policy was very laissez-faire, resulting in dilution.
Continue reading ‘Clusters: Engines for innovation or money cemeteries?’
You already had a chance to read about the ICT Brokerage hosted in Brno on April 29-30 in the posts by Gunther Krumpak and Vlastimil Vesely here on nowEurope. I’m posting a few photos to show the atmosphere, audience and people networking in the Holiday Inn Brno. The Czech Innovation Day attracted about 140 attendees including guests from UK, Spain Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Ireland, Macedonia, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Greece, Italy, Denmark and four members of the European Commission.
Continue reading ‘The ICT Brokerage event in pictures’
I would like to express my support to ideas and arguments of Mr. Vit Skala in his post, Facilitators vs. Managers. I believe that a combination of sales activities and project management, as it is usual commercial practice, should be a model for cluster building.
Mr Skala suggests the following approach of cluster creation: A Facilitator should lead the project or cluster in the formative stages, and a manager takes the responsibility for the running stages. The approach which Mr. Skala suggests is already applied as a standard business practice in the commercial world for project delivery.
The ‘project’ is the predominant method for the delivery of products or services in many different industries. During the sale phase of the project, a sales manager (account manager or salesman) is the driver of the business case. His goal is to sell the project, to attract potential customers and to demonstrate the potential benefits and advantages of accepting his offer. He makes promises on behalf of his company. These tasks require very much the same talents, skills, abilities as a facilitator of cluster creation. (A cluster is anyway a project.)
Continue reading ‘Cluster is just another word for ‘project’’
Some days ago I met a person who told me about a very interesting, time and money saving product. He has developed a software solution to support IT enterprises and their administrative processes. This solution enables you to fill in data into predefined documents like letters, reports, offers, bills etc. without further programming effort.
His problem: how to find partner, how to spread his product and idea, how to find partners? If you are interested in his product or know similar products please share your experiences with us! In case you would like to know more about this software solution, please find information under www.tdiwiz.com.
Every once in a while I get contacted by a young entrepreneur – or team. They have some interesting new business or idea to show me. Usually, they are looking for funding. Alas, rarely do they find financial backing in Hungary. However, a handful of these businesses have gone on to Great Things. (For example, this one.)
I rather like the business model behind Prezi. In essence, it’s simplier, fancier version of PowerPoint (although the founders will probably wince when they read me saying this). Rather than executable software, Prezi is a service delivered entirely online. CEO Peter Arvai told me the service is still in beta, but Prezi is already attracting paying customers.
Continue reading ‘Is Prezi better or different than PowerPoint?’
For the past several years, I’ve been wondering if a facilitator and a manager can be found in the same person. Or are the skill sets for each position so dissimilar, that two different personalities are necessary? It would be great to solve this while we are thinking about clusters, but not only because of clusters. Facilitators may play a critical role in instigating some bigger cooperation initiatives or partnership projects among several private companies, or between companies and the public sector.
Continue reading ‘Facilitators vs. managers’
Please note that on the 28th of January not only the IT’n’T fair (27th to 29th) but also the very interesting event “Visual Computing Trends 2009” takes place in Vienna.
Those who come to Vienna could take the chance and visit both events!
Would be nice to see you there, Participation is free.
Continue reading ‘Event: “Visual Computing Trends 2009″’
In order to promote business meetings between companies at interregional and international scale, the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, together with its Enterprise Europe Network partners from 15 different European Regions, have combined their efforts to organise the third edition of the professional B2B platform “SME Forum”.
This year’s edition will take place for the second time during the professional trade fair “CONTACT” at the LUXEXPO Exhibition Centre in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on 27th and 28th November 2008.
Continue reading ‘SME Forum 2008: Luxembourg’s B2B matchmaking platform’
In Vienna, ICT enterprises benefit from numerous location factors, especially with respect to the work of service providing companies and universities but also clients, contractors and competitors.
An analysis of the innovation processes of the enterprises shows that they strongly focus on development and introduction on the market. It is less important for companies to permanently carry out research activities themselves. This lack of science activity strongly influences their innovation power: more often enterprises try to improve already existing products than concentrating on a completely different innovation process.
The main obstacles within innovation processes are high costs, economic risk and a lack of financial aid.
Continue reading ‘Innovation and knowledge exchange in Vienna’
I recently had a drink with two Hungarian entrepreneurs who are working on an interesting mashup. They’ve created a front end for Google that closely resembles the functionality of Startlap.hu (for my Hungarian-impaired readers, this translates as “start page”.)
Their creation, Godzi.hu (no idea what that means) is now in public beta. The functionality is, indeed, impressive. But how do the founders take this great idea and make it into a business?
Let’s start by talking about what Godzi does.
Continue reading ‘Godzi is a refreshing idea but will people use it?’