More than 1000 nominations, six categories, winners from five countries – these were the first Central European Startup Awards (CESA). The CESA is a series of events to recognise and celebrate the startup ecosystems of CEE and celebrated their grand finale in Budapest. The first and foremost aim of the awards is to bring together the region’s massive pool of talent, to encourage cross-regional dialogues and to place this flourishing region and it’s best minds on the global startup map.
Over thousand startups, developers and ecosystem supporters were nominated by the public for the very first CESAwards, which shows that there is eagerness and great potential in the CEE region. In overall six categories, the jury selected the following teams.
The first Central European Startup Awards go to …
Polish UXPin was named startup of the year. They won with their freemium design tool that aims to quicken up creative work. Moreover, the service wants to enhance collaboration and design discussion on theironline platform.
The Austrian startup Roomle won the category best designer startup. It provides a platform that helps people design interior and furnishing plans themselves. Roomle enables intuitive 3D graphic designing and has an augmented reality view for the interior space.
Speedinvest received the award for best service provider. The Vienna-based early stage seed fund has offices in Austria and USA. With funds of about 10M it targets seed stage companies from Central Europe in the internet and mobile sector. In addition to financial support, Speedinvest provides part- or full time entrepreneurs from their team to help the prospecting startups grow.
Not only startups but also outstanding people and supporters were awarded. Jan Rezab, CEO & co-founder of Socialbakers got the founder of the year prize. He has experience in the mobile industry, working with mobile content, games and services. His Czech company focuses on social media marketing, analytics and measurement.
Radu Georgescu, the Romanian winner of the investor of the year category has over 20 years of experience in founding and developing companies – Software, Internet, eCommerce. Successful exits include acquisition of RAV antivirus technology by Microsoft in 2003, ePayment business by Naspers in 2010 and Avangate by Francisco Partners in 2013.
CryptTalk’s talented team dominated the category developer hero in the CEE region. The startup has offices in Budapest and Stockholm and is responsible of building CryptTalk, a secure communication service that provides secure calling and instant messaging.
What the CESAwards are about
Central European Startup Awards is a collaboration between entrepreneurs from the CEE region and the founders of the Nordic Startup Awards. The two events share the executive team as well as a cross regional advisory and jury board. The awards recognise and celebrate the most outstanding tech entrepreneurial achievements in the region, and aim to build a bridge between the Nordic and the CEE startup scenes.
The national campaigns lead to a grand finale that was held at Google Ground, Budapest on the 30 May, where the regional ecosystem and the startups, all together more than 400 people, gathered for the much anticipated award ceremony.
The 2014 CESAwards was organized in a non-profit joint venture by IseeQ, Mobility and Multimedia Cluster of Hungary and Drobe Productions from Denmark, sponsored by companies like Interoute, Google, Facebook, White Summers, Mito and Starschema. The award ceremony was held in association with the sixth annual Hungarian Innovation Tech Show (HITS).