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The Hungarian Innovation TechShow (HITS) is Hungary’s top-tier exhibition and conference of tech innovation, each year showcasing the country’s whizziest new digital products and services to an audience of entrepreneurs, ICT professionals, investors, representatives of the media, and the general public. Established in 2009 and organized annually by the Hungarian Mobility and Multimedia Cluster, HITS aspires to be a focal point for the Central-Eastern European tech startup scene to show its best through interactive live demos. HITS’s exhibitors are each year selected through a highly competitive open call by an independent panel. Each exhibitor gets a chance to show and pitch her product in the limelight of the event. Dubbed as “Hungary’s CES” by the media, HITS is a good opportunity to see what’s cooking in the local tech industry and to rub elbows with the live wires of the region’s emergent startup and geek scene. steadfast top-level sponsor, Magyar Telekom, which has generously backed HITS ever since its inception in 2009.

An exciting part of this year’s HITS will be the Fintech&Sales Demo Day and the 21st “Körkapcsolás” conference, co-organized by OTP Hungaro-Projekt, the  Hungarian Project Management Association and the Carpathian Region Business Network. The Demo Day’s objective is to provide a platform for startups, spinoffs, and SMEs to interact and partner with corporations. This year’s Demo Day will feature corporations seeking innovative financial solutions and new products/services supporting corporate sales and marketing. The 21st “Körkapcsolás” conference, also held as part of HITS, will focus on the market-making relations among startups, corporations, and government agencies, and on project management techniques and methodologies for startup companies.

Another source of pride for HITS 2014 is that it will be held in tandem with the inaugural Central European Startup Awards. Inspired by theNordic Startup Awards initiated in 2012, CESA’s objective is to bring closer together the startup ecosystems of the Central and Eastern European region, recognize and celebrate the most outstanding recent tech entrepreneurial achievements in the region, and build a broad bridge between the Nordic and the CEE startup scenes. Following a region-wide campaign to find the best startups in six pre-determined categories, the top technology startups and ecosystem builders from the participating countries will gather for the Central European award ceremony in the evening of HITS. CESA is a coproduction between a host of local actors from the CEE region and the founders of the Nordic Startup Awards, which latter will be represented at the Budapest event both through its organizers and through some of this year’s Nordic awardees. CESA’s key partners and sponsors  are the National Innovation Office of Hungary,  Design TerminalWhite Summers Caffee & James, LLPMisys and Ustream.

This year’s event will be unique thanks to its location as well. Departing from our practice in previous years, we are bringing HITS to a district of Budapest that just a few short years ago used to be notorious for its poverty and high crime rate, but is now unstoppable in becoming the city’s next super-hip neighborhood. Our bet is that it is not by accident that Google – which opened its London Campus in the heart of formerly rundown and crime-ridden, and now fabulously buoyant and startup-heavy East London – has decided to open its Budapest Google Ground at the very location where our event will take place. Join us and catch the Budapest equivalent of the East London phenomenon early on!

HITS 2014, together with CESA, is the closing event of the Hungarian Startup Spring, organized by a broad coalition of professional organizations at the initiative of the National Innovation Office of Hungary.