Gábor Vicze is the CEO of Innomine and a BLOCKCHERS project partner. He says that his main objective is to inspire and enable innovative people and teams (and their companies) to support their global growth. He likes to think about new business models, invent new ways to create value for customers and users and build new business opportunities. Recent focus is about digital transformation (industrial automation, digitization of manufacturing and Industry 40).

He also has 15+ years of extensive professional and practical experience in digital industry; out of that 10 years obtained at multinational consulting and IT companies focusing on international innovation related project management, leading international, cross-functional teams. Experience in public finances and strong background in public policy.
He co-founded and/or partnered multiple companies, started several initiatives on developing innovation ecosystems (incl. accelerator and SME development programs) and has broad international exposure (co-founded Innomine in Silicon Valley). As a senior innovation strategy expert, he often acts as mentor, coach, public speaker.

Innomine already has experience in accelerating SMEs and start-ups with projects such as IRSUS and OpenAxel. What is your analysis on the evolution and potential of DLT/ Blockchain based technology companies in Hungary and the rest of CEE?

Hungarian (and CEE) start-ups have good command of technology (including new technologies like blockchain) but they have little connections with international markets; this is a small, fragmented community of high-tech developers and they have difficulties to find clients, run pilots in real environments. There are great innovative start-ups and solutions, but in the same time the potential end user SMEs are lacking management and language skills. There should be more opportunities to reach trainings, networking, funding and skill improvements to create a marketable product from an outstanding idea. But these can only be impactful only in a learning-by-doing format; no classroom trainings are needed but jointly implemented projects.

How can the BLOCKCHERS contribute to the Eastern European blockchain ecosystem?

Major contribution will be to connect start-ups with traditional SMEs both in Hungary and within the EU and through the mobilization through the ecosystem. The supported start-ups and SMEs will be able to introduce themselves properly on the markets, absorb the needed business skills and be part of a vibrant, international knowledge community. These individual start-ups and SMEs will influence their environment as well, meaning that the project can boost the EU blockchain ecosystem. Supporting these start-ups and SMEs, top international business mentors (experienced managers of Innomine and ZABALA) will provide customized coaching upon needs of the projects, start-ups and selected SMEs. Another partner, Alastria, the first multisectoral consortium promoted by organizations and institutions -as a sandbox- will provide test environments and access to multinational companies. The project is supported by Frankfurt School of Blockchain Centre as well, who will provide an exclusive blockchain, technology based course during the BLOCKCHERS’ Implementation. That’s why start-ups will receive top level international network, visibility and individual support from the most knowledgeable players in Europe.

How and why could it be a great opportunity for start-upsand end users to develop new solutions in Eastern Europe?

On top of winning equity free funding, start-ups and end-users will benefit from international visibility and network. The outcome of the project will be useful for traditional companies, and through BLOCKCHERS project a community is generated, which can be a great network in the future, which is a much-needed part especially in Eastern Europe.

In your opinion, which sectors can show up with BLOCKCHERS?Is it sector related?

Blockchain technology is not sector related, but of course there are pointed sectors of the BLOCKCHERS program like Industry 4.0 and Mobility & Transport. Food & Retail and Media are always hot topics, new solutions are coming up every day, just like in Media sector. Legal & Compliance and Health are the most expected as related to everyday, but if a start-up is thinking more out of the box, they can apply in category Other.

SMARTis the biggest innovation conference in Hungary where you were part of a panel discussion about EU financing. What is innovative now, how can a start-up / SME be innovative?

We participated in SMART, which is the biggest digital innovation related conference in Hungary with 1.000+ participants. The main conclusion was that in Hungary there are plenty of great teams, ideas and start-ups in seed. But when they are starting phase (also financing is available) they usually miss to scale – due to missing skills (international marketing, biz dev, management etc.), scaling is the major issue. BLOCKCHERS can address this issue very well with international network, recognitions, visibility, partners.