Bridge Budapest

Bridge Budapest : We dream. We do. How to influence a pusillanmous society?

Budapest, HungaryBudapest
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We are a group of Hungarian entrepreneurs who work to improve our world and create jobs via globally-used products and rapidly growing businesses. We want to show that it’s possible to take ideas and turn them into products and companies that fulfill the needs of society and make dreams come true. Our vision is a Hungary that is confident in its knowledge and its results, plus a world that knows about it.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our mission is to inspire by stories of success and expose curious people to attain necessary skills.Our message is: a good idea, hard work and a bit of luck - is all you need to realize your dreams to influence your life. It’s a huge challenge in a fatalist and paternalist country where most of the people don’t believe that they might have dreams to realize. 9 of 10 people in Hungary among 20-35 youth think that only good connections need to achieve anything in their life and 48% of the youth would like to leave the country next day if they could because they don't feel they any chance to maximize their potential in influencing their own life. There is no evidence and self-confidence to believe they are able to change.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We are achieving our mission by offering a fully financed fellowship program for Hungarian university students (graduate and post-graduate) and journalists to gain practical experience, an insight and a big boost as well. We invite students and journalists from around the world to take up fellowships at LogMeIn, NNG, Prezi, and Ustream in Budapest and in Silicon Valley to show this is already possible to start global success from Hungary and this is not a question of magic, but hard work. We are targeting young talent, journalists and decision makers.We have other lobbi activities trying to influence the mentality of the corporate sector too by showing alternatives of a creative and productive working environment without fears.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We are sharing stories that encourage more people to take the step. In Hungary a few years ago it was not obvious to tell a global success story related to Hungary, the mainstream had no clue that they can have dreams. People far too often who don’t dare to believe in themselves, just blaming the past what did not happen. During our activity after a year we doubled the knowledge about the global success stories related to Hungary . (We have a research to show.) It was the first time in mainstream media that they started to talk about startups, the different attitude and mentality in a work environment which is about creativity not about fears etc.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We would like to be a role modell how indepent entrepreneurs of a country are able to contribute in their society, who deeply they can be involved by sharing their experience and giving back to their society and initiate change. We could generate a dialogue among the business, social and public characters and showed that without creative and successful global entrepreneurs, not just Hungary but Europe will be in bug trouble. We think that our role model is possible to spread in other countries who are dealing with these kind of problems with paternalist past.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The whole country has this problem with being competitive enough i a global competition among continents not just countries. We show examples/stories as solutions who this is possible the have the first step, not just blaming but dreaming and doing. Our goal is to give inspiration. We know that optimism alone is not sufficient to change the world. But without it there is no improvement. We all can be the voice that defies fatalism. Stories we tell, matter. They might become self-fulfilling. The fact that we are a group of entrepreuners makes the whole process credible and possible to build in oither countries too. It’s a long term process, so our activity will need innovations for lomg years to deep the possibility of change.


The Association has a fulltime employee and a half-time but all the founder companies are deeply involved in the Association’s daily life. Founders, so the management level is the board of Bridge Budapest. They are accepting the strategy of the Association and the CEOs of the companies are usually characters of public events organizing by Bridge Budapest or other cooperative partners. The marketing, communication and HR departments of the companies are also deeply involved in all the activities of Bridge Budapest. So this is a kind of special collaboration for achieving the common goals.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Organization: Kft.
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Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)


Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name






Organization Name Kft.

Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


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Hungary, USA

Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, BU, Budapest

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact

Not in a special country but as a rolemodell in any developing market, mainly in Europe

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Other: If you feel that your entry does not fit any of the above categories, please suggest another category name..

What awards or honors has the project received?

Nothing yet.:)

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

Partner 1
-Type of partner [business/social/public] Bridge Budapest
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner] We are/became non-profit organization, founded by the business part, the global success made startups related to Hungary.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] The motivation is the aim to influence a society where the roots of fatalism and paternalism are too deep to shake people being responsible for their life.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] As an NGO we own the credibility to organize the whole process building a movement and also a buzz for achieving our vision. We are building a bridge between the startup ecosystem and the mainstream.

-Partner 2
-Type of partners [business/social/public] Prezi, Ustream, NNG, LogMeIn
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner] As founder companies we believe that Hungary could be made more competitive by creative and globally successful young entrepreneurs.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] They want to give back their ambition, experience to the society from where they started their global success. Once is an exception, two is a coincidence but three is a rule - with the three of us there is no doubt.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner] We are fully financing Bridge Budapest and the fellowship program. All the founders are deeply involved in the whole communication process, sharing their stories with people to show it’s not impossible to relize your dreams.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

Among our 6 fellows of the first year 3 fellows started to build their own business, since they came back to Hungary from Silicon Valley. One of them was a guy who was flying for the first time in his life, at the age of 19 and he got such a big boost that he started to build his own business. In our first year we made 250 media impressions in Hungary with a topic which was not thematized in mainstream media. We had 200 applicants for the fellowship and selected 6. We published a book called Bridge Generation to tell the stories deeply. We published a videoblog with 13 other success stories next the founders’s and realized a whole TV-series on RTL2 in Hungary with 32 entrepreneurs telling their motivation, ambiotion, failure and success. We made plenty of collaborations with all the members of the ecosystem and tried to influence public characters about the importance of this issue.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]


Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

The founder companies finances the Association. This is sustainable financially long-term. That's their decision.

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

Peter Arvai, the CEO of Prezi and founder of Bridge Budapest was born in Sweden but had Hungarian parents. In 2008 he decided to move to Hungary to establish Prezi with 2 Hungarian guys. At the airport, his uncle was waiting for him and asked him why he came for. Peter was telling happily he wants to make a startup. The ncle said you are crazy, go back to Sweden, this is nonsense to start any good thing from Hungary. Then Petr decided this impossible that a country has no self-confidence to realize dreams. So he decided to change. That’s how and why Prezi and a bit later Bridge Budapest started. Peter invited the other companies to be involved in this changing process to show a tendency.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

We are at the begining of this long attitude changing process and we found opened ears and eyes, so I can’t really tell any difficult barriers We could build a kind of social lovemark.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

This is a non-profit organisation, so a social project in an association form and the founding members of the association are Hungarian entrepreneurs with global companies behind them.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

By making the perspective wider in this horizont between the mainstream and startups, te traditional crporae sector realized that they can learn from our experience. So we are invited in many situations with them and educating their values and structure next to achieving the mainstream. It was not easy to understand in Hungary that there are forprofit companies who do not want to earn on a project, just simply change the mentality clima in a country to make it a better place to live. So Bridge Budapest infuences many parts of the society from young student through journalists to opinion leaders in politics and business life.

How did you find out about this competition?

Zsazsa Demeter, the leader of Hungarian Ashoka