Kanapé Pitch Vol. 50.
In the 50th episode of the Kanape Pitch, we are again reporting from the offices of Future Proof Consulting in a new hybrid way: part of the episode is recorded earlier, but the timing of the broadcast allows for the same live Q&A and the participants answer online in real-time.
The Tokeportal’s mission is to actively support and develop the startup ecosystem in Hungary, and each time, renowned experts share their experiences with the audience of the Kanape Pitch.
- Janos Moll | Youth Business Stimulation Association, President
- Balazs Horvath | Startup Grind, Founder
- Laszlo Csiki | Bizdev.hu, founder & business development consultant
The campaigners of Syrius and Recash will also present the latest developments and news on community campaigns.
Janos Moll – IVE (03:26 – 19:59)
Janos Moll, Associate Professor and Research Fellow at the Institute for Entrepreneurship Development at Corvinus University, mentor of the Tokeportal and President of the Youth Entrepreneurship Stimulation Association, will present the Association, which has helped hundreds of businesses to start up and be established. We talk about the organisation and its activities, which was set up in 2009 by university academics.
We find out that behind the relatively long name lies what at first sight may sound like a simple task, such as
- preparing for entrepreneurship,
- bringing ideas and capital together
- communicating the importance of young entrepreneurs to decision-makers.
With decades of experience, Janos Moll says that implementation faces serious obstacles:
- underdeveloped financial and entrepreneurial culture
- lack of trust, business ethics and prudence.
In our discussion, we will also look at why it is important to overcome these obstacles and why it is important to create legal certainty for investment, as the Tokeportal does. We also use one of Janos’s witty mottos: while you can start a Bt with good friends and a Kft with your own capital, you can do really big things with other people’s money – and that’s what Zrt. That’s what crowdfunding is for: while many small savings individually are not enough to start a business, the combination of them can make it possible to start a bigger one.
Syrius – The countdown begins ( 20:00 – 22:37)
Zoltan Toma, owner and campaigner of Syrius, comes in with some great news, or more precisely, numbers. According to last year’s figures, turnover reached 250 million HUF with a profit of 37.8 million HUF – which, although it sounds very good, Zoltan’s targets are not yet reached.
This year’s figures have already surpassed expectations, as by the beginning of March they had reached an order backlog of HUF 136 million, which, when added to orders carried over from last year, puts them at almost 40-45% of the full-year target of HUF 454 million. In addition, they are undergoing developments that will greatly strengthen the strength of the company’s brand: in addition to the Proficut system, they have also placed an order for a fine-jet plasma cutting table and a laser cutting table!
Although the campaign launch was planned for last year – which couldn’t happen due to the complicated process of company restructuring – they are now confident that if they reach their ideal capital position with the campaign, the company will soar, so Zoltan encourages everyone to invest money in the business alongside confidence.
Balazs Horvath – Startup Grind ( 22:39 – 41:20 )
Balazs Horvath, the founder of the international Startup Grind community, announced that they will work together with the Tokeportal to develop the Mentor Platform – which will be transformed into Mentor-Partner Platform in the near future – as both organizations aim to bring startups and their ecosystem together on one platform to facilitate business development.
Startup Grind, has grown in recent years to become the largest startup and entrepreneurial network in the world. Launched in the US in 2010 and now with an extensive global network, its aim is to provide a platform for startups and tech companies to meet and collaborate with a wide range of actors – making it easier for entrepreneurs to work together and for national ecosystems to grow through a wide network of connections. And the need for business and philanthropy to go hand in hand is growing.
A good example is the World Summit Awards, which for more than 10 years has been aimed at identifying and showcasing social, environmental and sustainability innovators. And in the WSA’s international field, Balazs and his team have entered their local Colibri Charity, a free browser add-on that automatically collects donations after online purchases, into the Top 15 European Young Innovators category.
As a result of Balázs’ work, several Hungarian startups participated in the domestic round of the EWC Entrepreneurship Competition, which was held in several countries. MedInnoScan, a medical diagnostic service with artificial intelligence, was among the entrants and successfully advanced to the next round of qualifying and was finally selected as one of the EWC Top 100 Entrepreneurs.
RECASH – when will it launch? ( 41:21 – 42:34 )
Sara Korchmaros, the company’s commercial manager, joins us to give us the latest developments on the RECASH campaign. The pre-registration of the community funding campaign, announced just a few weeks ago, has shown an interest beyond all expectations and the forecasts are already very positive, as the preliminary amounts to be invested have already reached the target set, which is now waiting to be implemented! It is particularly gratifying to see the realisation of what the Tokeportal always emphasises: investors become users and users become investors in a community financing campaign.
Laszlo Csiki – Bizdev.hu ( 42:36 – 1:02:50 )
Laszlo Csiki, a mentor at Tokeportal, specialises in business development, business advisory and capital raising advice. He mainly focuses on funding opportunities for start-ups, as in their case it is not only difficult to access capital, but also to access capital that they can actually use in a meaningful way, as different capital is needed in the early stage than in the more mature stage, especially as in the start-up phase often the 4F is not available (family, founder, “fools” and friends’ wealth) or is not sufficient to develop a truly innovative product.
On the capital supply side in this country, players are typically distinguished according to their investment preferences. A very large number of domestic institutional investors do not finance the product or service development phase, but only open their doors to start-ups after they have a market-validated product, a business model and initial revenues. And in this country, non-reimbursable grants are subject to strict preconditions and are often not available to start-ups.
There is also a huge difference between money and money. Every business, but especially a start-up, needs to know its specificities and opportunities and choose the timing, amount and form of funding accordingly, as this is critical for its future. It is therefore worthwhile to seek expert advice on this, which is often free or at minimal cost at start-up.
Laszlo’s own business, bizdev.hu, is a kind of strategic consultancy that helps set a realistic and sustainable growth trajectory based on the data collected from companies. The growth achieved in the past and realistically targeted for the future, in addition to maximising turnover and profits, is also critical for the financing of the company, as it determines from whom, when and under what conditions the company can raise additional funds.
#Meet our guests
Janos Moll | Youth Business Stimulation Association, President
After university, I worked in retail, first as a shop salesman (there was store manager Laszlo Baldauf, founder of CBA), then in store accounting, store management and finally network development. That’s where my first credo comes from: get to know, get involved in the direct (physical) implementation, gain experience, with enough theoretical preparation you can learn about business processes, system characteristics and problems in a very short time and most of the time you can find solutions for improvement and development.
During my career I have worked in many sectors: retail, wholesale, service institutes, industrial companies, from foot-worker to unit manager and deputy CEO. In terms of work areas, from shop sales, to work organisation, investment preparation, finance, accounting, business start-up, business organisation and then to the position of CFO. This is where my second credo comes from: do something different, more than what you are entrusted with, get actively involved in the life of the organisation, make yourself a leader (entrepreneur and make yourself an entrepreneur), stay in good contact with your subordinates, help them (to develop) and make use of their skills, their motivations, their knowledge.
I have also taken up teaching/research positions at various universities, participated in the design and introduction of several subjects, developed several research topics, and produced teaching materials. These have led me to the title of Associate Professor. I am a founding member of our association and the Spin off Club. After I retired, teaching was retained in the BCE Small Business specialization full time and teaching correspondence course. Hence the third credo: keep educating yourself, educate others, care for young people, teaching teaches. I consider it extremely important to develop the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills of young people!
Since I was young, I have been playing sport regularly, sometimes in clubs and sometimes as an amateur. For example, with a group of friends, we played football every Monday night for 30 years. As an adult, I sailed competitively for more than ten years. I now play tennis regularly (with friends who have become friends over the decades from high school and university!), swimregularly and ski in winter. From spring to autumn I cycle around town whenever possible. Hence the fourth caveat: life is more fun with a good physique, but even if you don’t do sports, have some hobbies with regular, sustained company of friends. Stick to your hobbies and keep your friends!
I love the arts (film, museums, concerts), I like to cook and run the family kitchen regularly, and – as a 20th century holdover – I read a lot, but I try not to get left behind and out of the digital rush.
Balazs Horvath | Startup Grind, founder
I started my career in tourism and continued in marketing and sales. Taking advantage of the opportunities offered by technology, I got deeper into mobile app development and different digital platforms, which was also my entry into the startup world. In recent years, I have been involved in the launch of several international startup communities and initiatives in Hungary, such as Startup Grind Budapest, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, and the World Summit Awards.
This year, we launched the Tech In The City platform, which brings together our different activities and allows us to work with more areas and partners to build and develop the entrepreneurial, startup and innovation culture in Hungary. In addition to building the entrepreneurial and startup community, we want to help and support the Hungarian ecosystem through educational and networking activities such as the soon to be launched European Startup Universe Hungary. Our priority is to provide all young entrepreneurs and start-ups with the right information and resources.
Laszlo Csiki | Bizdev.hu, founder & business development consultant
Bizdev.hu was born in the same spirit
If I had to highlight one very important lesson I have learnt from the past years, it is this: most business leaders do not see the wood for the trees, i.e. they do not plan ahead enough to see what is waiting for them two steps ahead. In many cases, strategic goals are not defined, and even if they are, the concrete steps to reach them are not defined. This is true for start-ups and, unfortunately, in many cases also for companies already on the market, with a turnover of billions of euros. For the former, the lack of a strategic approach leads to a rapid collapse, while for the latter it leads to fluctuating turnover and falling profits.