Helping students with innovative ideas, startup firms, investors and business incubators meet and get to know each other – this is the goal of a new event series called MatchPoint, which recently held its first meetup at Semmelweis University’s Basic Medical Science Center (EOK). Around 50 people took part in the event, where four students presented their projects, inviting audience members to join the ones that best fit their interests, skills and experience. The goal of the event is to help idea originators build a strong, viable, diverse team of experts to implement their ideas, drawing on people from various scientific fields, as well as from academia and the private sector.

The idea for MatchPoint came from Sándor Erdős, a student at Semmelweis University, while the event’s organizers were Gábor Zentai, co-president of InCube, an entrepreneurship-focused student organization, Fanni Szilvás and Attila Miklya from Demola Budapest, Judit Jobbágy representing EIT Health Innostars, and Gabriella Sódar from Semmelweis University’s Directorate of Innovation.

The inter-university event provides an opportunity for representatives of various scientific fields to meet each other: students that either have innovative ideas or want to join an existing team, as well as startup programs that universities and incubators recommend especially for starting entrepreneurs, thus giving MatchPoint participants the initial push they need to implement their ideas and build a successful team. “For an idea to become reality, it is essential to have a strong team of diverse experts from various fields, and in our experience this is the first and most difficult step on the path to implementation. The goal of the organizers is to facilitate and make easier this process, by creating a multidisciplinary community,” said Gabriella Sódar, group leader at the Directorate of Innovation, about the initiative.

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Participating at the first event as partners were BGE Budapest Lab, the Budapest Enterprise Agency, Demola Budapest, EIT Health, ELTE’s Center for Innovation, the H13 Student and Business Development Center, Hiventures, Impact Hub, InCube, Semmelweis University’s Directorate of Innovation, and Start it @K&H.

As the first program point of the pilot event, the 50 attendees listened to a keynote speech by Róbert Horváth, representing Neticle Kft. At the center of the MatchPoint program is for participants to get to know each other and creatives on both sides to find their best match. Aiding this is a unique matchmaking methodology developed by trained psychologists working at Demola Budapest. Following the getting-to-know-you session and the introduction of the partners, four students presented their ideas and plans, which are in various phases of development, and the opportunities for implementing these ideas was also discussed with the inclusion of the partners present, said Gabriella Sódar. She noted that the plan is to hold such an event once every three months, always at different locations if possible. Soon there will be various content available on MatchPoint’s social media site, such as information on investors and incubators, while the tracking of ongoing projects, success stories, and the sharing of experiences will also be posted there, she added.

Eszter Keresztes
Translation: Tamás Deme
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University