Since its launch in 2016, the CEU InnovationsLab (CEU iLab for short) has helped nearly 80 teams with ideas or start-up projects to prepare for the challenges of becoming an entrepreneur and provided them with relevant answers to the questions that come with growth.
Combining curricular market needs and academic synergies, participants in the startup accelerator program can also audit relevant courses at CEU and work closely with students at the university through iLab's internship program and so-called 'Capstone' projects. In this way, teams can directly receive (among other things) legal, financial, or data analysis support from professionals who are also motivated to realize the startup’s idea. Mentoring is an important part of the program: CEU iLab's lead- and skills mentors come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, are practicing entrepreneurs themselves or senior corporate executives.
CEU iLab, which was named the best incubator house in Central Europe in 2017, is continuously developing its acceleration program, which has seen the program's one-year duration modified to six months. "Like our startups, we are a continuous learning organization. We've found that the first six months are the most important for the support system, the committed founders can prove the viability of their project in that time and can grow independently with less support. Of course, after 6 months, our teams will remain part of the iLab community as alumni, participating in events, workshops, and becoming permanent members of the network." - said Dr. Andrea Kozma, CEU iLab Director.
In addition to the Budapest location, the iLab will also be located on the CEU campus in Vienna. Teams participating in the iLab program will also be able to participate in the Entrepreneurship Avenue event in Austria, which will bring together major players in the Austrian ecosystem and which iLab will co-organize this year.
Participants in iLab's program will continue to have full access to the Budapest coworking office and the Budapest campus infrastructure, and the program will continue to be held in Budapest, in English.
Applications for the cohort, which will start in February, are open until January21 on the iLab website. The management team, which supported alumni teams BrokerChooser, Talk-A-Bot, Salarify, and others (without any qualifications or industry), is looking for teams whose solutions are internationally impactful, scalable, and sustainable.