The 2022 summit will feature a presentation on the Texas-Hungary Venture Bridge program, launched by Austin-based venture accelerator Tech Ranch in conjunction with the government of Hungary. Gábor Markocsány, Consul at the Vice-Consulate of Hungary in Houston, and Kevin Koym, founder and CEO of Tech Ranch, will explore how the program connects promising Hungarian tech ventures with American counterparts, to the benefit of both.
“Most of our trade with Texas is in high value sectors,” explained Consul Markocsány. “The International Bridge idea builds on that, putting together local guys with local guys.” A successful pilot project saw Tech Ranch interact with more than 40 Hungarian technology companies, bringing some of their top people to Texas to experience the local business environment and assist them with finding local partners. Markocsány said while the trade bridge concept may be cliché, it is cliché for a reason. “They are essential for the small and medium-sized enterprises that are essential to economies.”
Hungary’s choice to partner with a Texas-based entity was no coincidence. “The US is one of our main non-EU trading partners,” Markocsány explained. “And every fifth dollar of trade or FDI we do with the US is with Texas, about the same value as we do with Canada.”
While the Venture Bridge highlights that Texas is important for Hungary, it also sends a message that Texas enterprises should pay attention to Hungary as well. Hungary’s value as a tech partner interconnects with the country’s other advantages. It has a strong educational system and well-developed occupational training similar to Germany’s. Hungary offers a great location and robust international business ties not only with other EU members but with the Middle East and North Africa. Americans are already a familiar business presence in Hungary. The US is the country’s largest non-EU investor, totaling more than $8 billion in investment supporting over 100,000 jobs. Serious about recruiting the right kind of investment and partners, Hungary has put into place innovation-friendly policies and R&D incentives to recruit high value-added projects.
For Hungary, participation in the Texas-EU Business Summit is an opportunity to showcase the maturation and globalization of Central Europe and convey to Texas businesses and entrepreneurs that the advantages offered by Hungary and its neighbors today are different from the ones that existed 30 years ago. “Today, we’re not really looking for job creation, we’re looking for upscaling. Here you will find great talent, great distribution and logistics, great marketing, and great quality of life,” Markocsány said.