Investor and philanthropist George Soros announced a gift of $7.55 million to help support the newly established Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at CEU Business School.
Speaking at an Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation event, in Budapest, Soros said: “I view this donation as an incubation grant to support and accelerate the groundbreaking initiatives now under way at CEU Business School. In today’s world, we need more entrepreneurs who are also trained professionals. The ability and desire to commercialize novel ideas and to create new businesses—even new industries—is as important as any initiative today.
The new institute’s activities will include sponsoring a Round Table Series to address important issues related to entrepreneurship and innovation management, developing targeted curricula, conducting research, offering specially designed executive education, and operating a new Business Accelerator Lab to nurture regional startups and to educate aspiring entrepreneurs in launching and managing successful and scalable new enterprises.
“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Soros for his generous support of such a key element of our strategic mission—to be an academic leader in entrepreneurship and innovation management, especially for our region,” said CEU Business School Dean Mel Horwitch. “This important gift will accelerate our pace as an academic innovator and allow us to move in new directions. It strengthens our capacity to help create new businesses and industries and to serve as a scholarly, educational and development engine for the region.”
In addition to Soros and Horwitch, panelists at the round table, titled “The Prospects for Budapest as a Modern Entrepreneurship Hub,” included Borbala Czako (Ernst&Young/HBLF), Imre Hild (HILD Life Annuity, OTP Life Annuity, Primus Capital), Laszlo Urge (ThalesNano), Peter B. Zaboji (European Entrepreneurship Foundation), Marton Szoke (Yahoo/Indextools), Ivan Halasz (Finext) and CEU Business School professor Gyorgy Bogel. The panelists agreed that Budapest possesses significant creative and entrepreneurial talent, but will not become a world-class entrepreneurial hub without three elements that the newly established institute will help provide: more local and regional professional training, a wider and more sophisticated understanding of how to create new businesses, and greater access to capital and to markets.
Founded in 1988, CEU Business School became part of Central European University in 2002. The School adheres to principles of excellence as defined by the best business schools in the world. It aims to be a continuous innovator and a portal for bringing best practices into the region and emerging economies generally.