Hungarian attendees seemed more pessimistic than I did about what we saw this week at BarCamp Budapest, at least according to my random sample of conversation. I enjoyed thoroughly being one of the only foreigners at hand, along with TechCrunch Europe editor, Mike Butcher and a handful of presenters. The best English-language tweet of the day came from Julia Krysztofiak-Szopa (AdTaily).
with all due respect for the #barcamp #budapest speakers – powerpoint presentation suicide & u don’t have to speak magyarul to notice it.
The truth is I hardly watched any of the presentations, except to occasionally poke my head in the door. I had been lead to believe that at BarCamp, the audience is the content, and so I used this as my excuse to largely ignore the prepared program and talk with people about what’s currently happening in the Hungarian online market.
Everybody’s heard about Jeremie, and several people I met had a business idea in their back pocket. The ad recession hit hard last year, and revenues are down across the board. One local media agency, Arcus, recently imploded. I have the impression that a good number of talented people are knocking around for opportunities.
Continue reading ‘What I learned by ignoring the presentations at BarCamp Budapest and talking to the audience’
This week is ground zero for Hungary’s nascent startup market. Eight new Jeremie VC funds are still in startup mode, and literally any day now they will be flush with EU cash – roughly €160M all told – with four years to invest this money. What better timing for a startup competition?
The BarCamp concept isn’t new, nor is it new to Budapest. What is new is that this fifth edition of the Web 2.0 Symposium / Bar Camp Budapest features a startup competition sponsored by Budapest Bank. Each of six finalists will be given 10 minutes to present their business ambitions to a jury of professional investors. The first three finalists will win undisclosed ‘valuable prizes’.
However, that’s not why I’m going. I go to these kinds of events to meet the other attendees.
A cursory glance through this event’s attendee list suggests that I’ll be one of the oldest people in the room. I know most of the older generation of entrepreneurs and investors, but we are clearly the minority.
The one constant in Budapest is change. I played a small part in Hungary’s last startup boom (1999-2001) but I have very few preconceptions about what and who I’ll discover this Wednesday at BarCamp Budapest. This is a new generation.
I do find one thing remarkable, though. The conference materials are available only in Hungarian, but the two keynote speakers are English-speakers.
Continue reading ‘BarCamp Budapest is ground zero for Hungarian startups’