KINCS Smart Family Festival: results announced in a competition for startups supporting Hungarian families

On November 25, 2021, the KINCS Smart Family startup competition ended with a solemn award ceremony and festival at the Millenáris: 44 of the 80 applicants made it to the finals, 17 of them were awarded by the jury. Businesses that receive grand prizes and special prizes offer smart solutions to families that make their daily lives easier. All the finalists presented themselves at the festival, and valuable professional roundtables were held on the connection between families and innovation.

The Mária Kopp Institute for Demography and Families (KINCS) opened a Family Innovation Center as a unique initiative on the International Family Day, on May 15, 2021. KINCS Smart Family Centre works with economic and social organizations to create as many valuable, smart solutions for the support of families in Hungary as possible. The Centre has announced the KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix 2021 competition: startups were invited to apply with projects that make life easier for their families and help their well-being.

Innovation has already received attention in almost every area of life, so it is essential for Hungarian families as well to have access to modern, smart solutions. The goal of the KINCS Smart Family Centre was to create a platform that supports and catalyzes developments that make the life of families more comfortable. By supporting the smart solutions of Hungarian startup companies, the KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix 2021 startup competition has contributed to give more space to innovation in the lives of families. 

Startups could apply in six categories:

  1. Social and community innovations for family relationships
  2. E-health - new medical technologies to keep families healthy
  3. Education of the future - modern educational technologies for different generations
  4. Smart family homes
  5. Family cash register - financial awareness in the family
  6. Music and creative solutions for the family - opportunities for fun and development in quality time together

The incoming applications were evaluated by a renowned professional jury: Katalin Novák, Minister for Families; Marcell Béres, Director of Innovation and Portfolio Management of Béres Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Gergely Nagy Böszörményi, Founder of Brain Bar, Head of Design Terminal; Éva Hegedüs, CEO of Gránit Bank; Jörg Bauer, CEO of the Tungsram Group; Prof. Dr. Petra Aczél, Senior Researcher at the Social Future Research Center, Professor at the Corvinus University of Budapest; Péter Ratatics, Managing Director of MOL Hungary and Tünde Fűrész, President of KINCS.

After a professional and formal review of the entries, the startups who made it to the semi-finals were able to present their developments and business in the form of 3-minute pitches (presentations) in Hungarian, followed by questions from the jury.

Of the 80 entrants, 44 startups advanced to the finals of the competition, where the jury awarded 17 prizes. In addition, the 44 startups have won the Smart Family Package Award, which provides them introduction and promotion opportunities for half a year.

At the KINCS Smart Family Festival, Gergely Ekler, Strategic Secretary of State for Families said that collecting, processing, presenting and promoting good practices provides an opportunity for businesses and startups that play an active role in business innovation to develop smart solutions and features that help families.

The Secretary of State stressed that when he participated in the evaluation of the applications as a professional jury member, he was surprised to find that he did not use many other easily accessible tools, applications and products in his own family that would make their lives easier, better and more practical. He called it a special pleasure that he was able to make this recognition within the framework of such an internationally unique initiative, which is working with the Hungarian economic and social partners to create as many valuable and innovative solutions as possible that support families. He called it inspiring that the KINCS initiative has the broadest possible understanding of innovation and offers effective solutions that strengthen family relationships, help keep families healthy, provide different generations with modern tools for lifelong learning, and make life more convenient. These solutions save time, strengthen financial awareness as well as provide fun and development opportunities for families.

Tünde Fűrész, President of KINCS, spoke about the fact that more than 80 applications were received for their call, and together with the applicants they were able to prove that conscious, smart solutions and innovation must be present in the everyday life of families.

Piroska Szalai, Head of the KINCS Smart Family Centre, drew attention to the fact that international surveys of the world of startups say that 30 percent of them work for the population, the majority develop solutions for the business sector. The award was targeted at those population developments out of the mentioned 30 percent that can focus on families.

Thanks to the partners joining KINCS, 17 awards could be granted, besides the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, several large Hungarian companies joined the program, and Tungsram, MOL and Design Terminal also offered special awards.

Winners and their prizes:

  1. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix 1st place (HUF 3,000,000):
  2. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix 2nd place (HUF 2,000,000): Fehérvár Hero
  3. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix 3rd place ( HUF 1,000,000): Money Mate application
  4. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Women's Startupper Special Prize (HUF 1,000,000): Erika Hackenberger - SMARTZILLA
  5. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Smart Youth Special Prize (HUF 1,000,000): CURION
  6. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Special Prize for Healthy Families (HUF 1,000,000): Potzak
  7. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Special Prize for Student Families (HUF 1,000,000): Praktikid
  8. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - MOL special prize (HUF 1,000,000): APHEX GAMEZ
  9. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Tungsram Special Prize (HUF 1,000,000): Green Drops Farm
  10. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Tungsram Ilex Innovation Marketplace Special Prize (annual membership worth HUF 180,000): Munch
  11. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Tungsram Ilex Innovation Marketplace Special Prize (annual membership worth HUF 180,000): Darts Matek
  12. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Tungsram Ilex Innovation Marketplace Special Prize (annual membership worth HUF 180,000): BOOKR Kids
  13. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Tungsram Ilex Innovation Marketplace Special Prize (annual membership worth HUF 180,000): Limbs-saver Application
  14. KINCS Smart Family Grand Prix - Tungsram Ilex Innovation Marketplace Special Prize (annual membership worth HUF 180,000): Compocity
  15. TREASURE Smart Family Grand Prix - Design Terminal Mentoring Prize: Pharmacist at the House - We Have Time for You
  16. MOL Limo gift (worth HUF 50,000): Let's Be Family
  17. MOL Limo gift (worth HUF 50,000): Move Out

After the award ceremony, the program continued with roundtable discussions. Among other things, representatives of large companies (Jörg Bauer, CEO, Tungsram Group; Klára Béres, Communications Director, Béres Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; Chairman, Béres Foundation, dr. András Orosz, Commercial Director, MOL Hungary and László Hankiss, Deputy CEO, Granite Bank) discussed how families can be focused on the world of innovation and what this means for business.

On the relationship between the scientific world and innovation, dr. Balázs Károly Solymár, Deputy Secretary of State for Digitalization and university leaders, Prof. Dr. Balázs Heidrich, Rector of Budapest University of Economics and Gergely Böszörményi Nagy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Moholy-Nagy University of Arts, shared their thoughts, emphasizing that strengthening value-based enterprises is the task of universities as well.

Under the title Smart Family Opportunities in Europe, actors active on the international stage (Enikő Győri, Member of the European Parliament, Csaba Borboly, Member of the Committee of the Regions and Gábor Deák, Member of the Supervisory Board, Wacław Felczak Foundation) discussed opportunities for European, regional and bilateral cooperation.

In the smart youth roundtable discussion, young entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to introduce themselves, among others by introducing their teachers and mentors (participants in the discussion: Anna Szalai, Managing Director, AIPA Nonprofit Public Benefit Ltd.; György Farkas, Director, Bálint Balassi Eight-Grade Secondary Grammar School - National Talent Center and Zsolt Zsigó, teacher, Nyíregyháza Vocational Training Center- Bánki Donát Vocational School).

In addition to the competition for Hungarian startups, a cross-border side event: the Székely Land Smart Family Pitch Competition was organized by the Consulate General of Hungary in Csíkszereda, in partnership with the Hargita Business Center in Székelyudvarhely, the Szent György Manager Club in Marosvásárhely and the CED Central European Economic Development Network Ltd. Regional Representation of Sepsiszentgyörgy for startups in Hargita, Maros and Kovászna counties. The online competition was held on November 4, 2021, with 11 applicants. The three winning startups were NiNiNaNa, Selected Bags and Wieb Toys Srl.

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