HunBAN’s New Initiative for First Women Angels of #Budapest

How can the number of women among the founders of innovative new business and among angel investors be increased, as women represent an untapped source of talent in Hungary and Central Europe (CE) in these two areas? This is the one-million-dollar question the upcoming first Women/Business/Angels conference and interactive workshop is going to answer in Budapest on 6 October, 2017. The four major co-working offices of Budapest and several female business organisations have joined forces to mobilise available intellectual power to collaborate and find the best solution in half a day. The invitation is signed by all of the above organisations, as well as the Hungarian Business Angel Network (HunBAN) represented by its President, Antal Karolyi, and its first female angel investor member with Fortune 50 Public Affairs experience, Eszter Szabó. Antal and Eszter will also moderate a workshop to be opened by Candace Johnson, President of EBAN. The workshop is planned to be the first of a series to alter the current wealth accumulation patterns by connecting women with men as angel mentors to help innovative companies.

HunBAN was launched in 2016 to fill a gap in the Hungarian innovation ecosystem, with the goal to build a closely collaborating regional network.  From day one its president and board worked to involve more women in the organisation, recruiting Eszter Szabó to help get more women to join. Eszter launched the Women/Business/Angels initiative with the aim to engage women to learn from already active angel investors, the majority of whom are men.

Why is this a novelty? In the Central European post-communist economies, private capital accumulation started a mere 27 years ago with the change from a plan  ed economy to a market economy. Ever since, the region has turned into a strong location for cost-effective manufacturing exports for the world. Utilising its strong education system and the major global players operating on the ground, the region has started to build a stronger innovation ecosystem to boost the number of innovative local companies in the last decade.


Eszter Szabo: Corporate Communications, PA & GR Executive with 15+ years of experience in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) at GE (1996-2015) and in the Hungarian government. Honorary Professor at BGE, the leading business school of Hungary. Since 2016, a member of Krynica Economic Forum‘s Program Council (Poland) and co-chair of the Hungarian Female Leadership Roundtable. Involved in edUcate. Eszter is positive about Central Europe’s future as an emerging innovation hub in the digital era for the world. Find Eszter on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Antal Károlyi has been a business angel since 2010 and currently holds the position of President at the Hungarian Business Angel Network. Antal co-founded Traction Tribe, a tech accelerator. His portfolio includes a high-end loudspeaker manufactory, a connected car venture and a self-publishing portal. Antal’s previous experience includes working for investment banks in Frankfurt and London as a derivatives trader. Antal holds a PhD in statistical physics. Antal firmly believes that the CEE startup communities have great potential and he plays an active role in building them.