The secret of success - Petya Balogh's advice for ÓE students

By EcoAction at May 22nd, 2024

Starting from the autumn semester of the academic year 2023, the Faculty of Economics at Keleti Károly has announced a new course for all students, called Proof of Concept Innovation Project. The 3-credit course aims to help students to implement and further develop their ideas. To do this, students will receive theoretical training and mentoring.

"We want our students to think innovatively. It's not enough to have an idea or a technical solution, you also have to think about who it is valuable to, how to bring it to the market and overall how to make it a successful business," said Dr Zsombor Zrubka, Head of the HECON-Health Economics Research Centre and one of the course lecturers.

On the initiative of Attila Fodor, one of the student leaders of the Kandó Kálmán Szakkollégégium, Péter Balogh, one of the co-founders of Startup Hungary, mentor, investor, one of the main characters of the TV show Among the Sharks, gave a lecture on April 26 at the Tavaszmező Street campus of the University, where the angel investor was welcomed by Prof. Dr. György Molnár, Dean of the Kandó Kálmán Faculty of Electrical Engineering.

"That's how you know something's an innovation: if you whisper it to someone, their head will explode." (Petya Balogh)

"People who have a kind of restlessness, a desire to always make everything better, will not be happy as employees in big companies," Péter Balogh, who became known as Petya, told Hírmondó. He added: "Sooner or later, they will find a career in entrepreneurship. The sooner they realise this, the sooner they can be successful. One of the key drivers of our society is technology, which is constantly driving us forward and regularly makes the impossible disappear and new opportunities open up. Big companies are not good at spotting these new opportunities, which is why small start-ups have a head start in creating something new. If you want to build a business, it's important to find a topic that is timely, where either the problem or the solution is new, because that's where you have the chance to grow big."

As to why tech startups should partner with the university, Petya Balogh said, "there is a lot of theoretical research at the university that is exciting in itself, but is looking for its way to the market. If you can find out whose problem your research solves and get it to the right customer, you can gain a significant advantage."

The businessman added that universities are better placed to find "partners in crime" to carry out a project. An inspiring environment, a willingness to help, a good understanding between teachers, researchers and interested students are all added value that explain why universities can become the epicentre of development.

Petya Balogh, who now manages his own listed company, STRT Holding Plc, added that the three most important things he would recommend for starting a startup are experimentation and flexibility in developing the idea, customer focus, because no matter how good an idea is, no one will need it in the end, and thirdly, it is important to get customers as early as possible and develop the desired product based on their feedback.


Start-ups are those early-stage start-ups that have a high growth potential but also a high mortality rate: most start-ups die before they can grow to a large size, which means that they are financed with high risk, the financial instrument being venture capital.

Business angels are recognised - and respected - experts in their field, investing in start-ups from a business perspective, but essentially on an emotional basis. They manage their own money, so there is no expectation of return from investors (but they still invest in companies for profit). They have a network of contacts and strong business experience, not necessarily from the start-up world, but they tend to finance early stage, risky deals that venture capital will not deal with because of their size and underdevelopment.

A start-up with a valuation of at least $1 billion is called a unicorn. The term was coined by investor Aileen Lee in 2013, referring to how rare it is for a startup to reach this status.