Despite the traditionally male-dominated startup ecosystem, women founders in Hungary are breaking through the barriers and making a name for themselves. And with this article, The Recursive begins to map the female-led startup landscape in the V4 region, starting with the first 20+ Hungarian women in tech.
According to the Hungarian Startup Report 2020, 26% of Hungarian startups have a female co-founder, and only 12% have a female CEO. Nevertheless, as the Startup Monitor Report from 2018 highlights, Hungary’s 23.7% female distribution of startup founders is still well above the European average of 15.6%. Moreover, recent data from Pitchbook shows that Hungary has one of the highest shares of venture capital deals involving female founders over the past five years.
The increase in female entrepreneurship is a positive sign of progress toward a more diverse and inclusive startup ecosystem. With more access to funding, resources, and mentorship, we can expect more female-led startups to make waves in the coming years.
This article presents only the beginning of mapping out Hungarian women in tech. Please, feel free to contact us with updates or names we should add to the list: [email protected]
20+ Hungarian women in tech to watch
Maria Balogh-Mazi & Anett Soti - DreamJo.bs
Maria Balogh-Mazi is a seasoned entrepreneur with over ten years of experience in project management. In 2018, she co-founded DreamJobs, a platform for personalized job postings, and has been president since 2021. The startup raised €323K seed round in 2020. Moreover, Maria is a co-CEO and CMO at STRT Holding Zrt. investment fund.
Anett Soti is a second co-founder of DreamJobs and an experienced professional in the marketing and HR sectors. Besides DreamJobs, Anett co-founded the biggest HR festival in Hungary, HR Fest, and currently acts as a second-generation lead at circular textile manufacturer Yee Chain Int. Ltd.
Réka Bittera & Csenge Tassonyi - Briefly
Previously working in marketing, project management, and account management, Réka Bittera co-founded and became the CEO of a team management, talent pool, and HR services platform Briefly in 2019. The startup secured $600K pre-seed funding in 2022. Réka was selected among the famous 30 Under 30 Hungarian Forbes list in 2022.
The second co-founder and COO at Briefly, Csenge Tassonyi, has experience in project and campaign management and business development. Together with Réka, Csenge was chosen by Hungarian Forbes for the 30 Under 30 ranking in 2022. She has previously worked for companies like Google and Uber.
Mirtill Megyeri - Zyntern
Mirtill Megyeri is a seasoned HR professional with more than ten years of experience in talent acquisition, engagement, and leadership with internal and external stakeholder management. In 2017, Mirtill co-founded a career platform Zytern that helps internships and fresh graduates find job opportunities. The startup raised €271K in seed funding in 2020 and is already used by over 3000 companies.
Kata Ludvig - baoba insurance, BankZee
Having an experience across a wide range of corporations and startups in the marketing field, Kata Ludvig co-founded her first FinTech company BankZee, an age-adaptive family banking solution and safe marketplace for Generation Z, in 2018, and two years later, Flight Refund Ltd., a company helping airline passengers collect compensation. In 2022, Kata founded her current startup, a B2B marketplace for geodata-driven micro-insurance solutions, baoba insurance, and secured a €100K pre-seed investment in 2022. For her various achievements, she was recognized on the Hungarian Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2020.
Retail & E-Commerce
Kinga Jentetics - PublishDrive
Kinga Jentetics has been working in the marketing field for over ten years. During her Ph.D. studies in Budapest, she co-founded PublishDrive, an intelligent self-publishing platform for publishers and authors to distribute and manage ebooks, print, and audiobooks in a single place. She closed a Series A round in 2022, raising $2M. As a CEO, Kinga was nominated multiple times, including the European Forbes 30 Under 30 ranking.
Zsuzsa Kecsmar - Antavo
The co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Zsuzsa Kecsmar established her company Antavo in 2011. Working in various radio stations as a radio producer and broadcaster and as a member of the Forbes Business Council, Zsuzsa entered the loyalty tech sector with Antavo, an Enterprise Loyalty Cloud providing technology to manage experience-based, paid, and lifestyle loyalty programs online, in-store, or on mobile. The company closed a €10M Series A round in late 2022.
Anita Breuer is a seasoned professional with 30 years of experience as a co-founder and CEO of an advertising agency and media company. She has been the co-founder and CEO of an EdTech startup Logiscool offering coding and digital education for kids and teens since 2013. In 2021, the startup raised ~$800K Series A round.
Since 2015, Dorka Horváth has been the CEO and co-founder of BOOKR Kids, a reading-based EdTech platform helping kids acquire better native and/or second language skills. Her startup secured a €1M seed round funding in 2021. Additionally, Dorka became a Female EdTech Fellow in 2022. With a degree in finance and a new media studies Ph.D., she worked as a marketing manager and columnist in the publishing industry prior to her startup journey.
Dóra Pálfi - imagiLabs
After studying neuroscience and computer science in Abu Dhabi and Stockholm, Dóra Pálfi has worked as a developer at Morgan Stanley and as a UX Designer at Cisco and has substantial experience teaching programming to children and teenagers. Dóra co-founded imagi, a coding platform to empower students and teachers to learn to code with pixel art, where she is a CEO. In 2021, Dóra was recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Bernadett Czipó - Water MiniLab
After graduating from biochemical engineering in 2020, Bernadett Czipó co-founded the CleanTech startup Water MiniLab and became its COO in 2019. With a mission to protect the environment and the purity of our waters, the solution allows an accurate and precise measurement of water quality and various chemical parameters. Water MiniLab closed a seed round of $600K in late 2022.
Rita Andrássyné Farkas - HeatVentors
Rita Andrássyné Farkas graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2016 and completed her graduate program in E.ON in 2018. The same year, she co-founded and became the CEO of Energy Tech startup HeatVentors, a thermal energy storage tank based on phase change material technology called HeatTANK.
Liz Madaras & Krisztina Levay - Poliloop
With a background in bioengineering, chemical, biomolecular, and biomedical engineering, Liz Madaras (Erzsébet Madaras-Koncz) has been working in science since 2015. In 2020, she co-founded as a CEO a startup Poliloop, which focuses on curbing plastic pollution by working on integrating the plastic life cycle. The solution makes non-biodegradable plastics microbially biodegrade, turning the byproducts into valuable end products. The startup raised a $2M seed round in 2020.
With a pharmaceutical engineering and chemistry degree, Krisztina Lévay is a second co-founder and CTO at Poliloop. Establishing the startup during her Ph.D. studies, she has four years of experience managing all aspects of the technology functions, from literature, research, and research experiment design to team management.
Emese Pancsa - COMPOCITY
Emese Pancsa founded her waste management company COMPOCITY in 2018 to provide a gamified sustainability service for companies who want to transform their food leftovers into value and reduce their carbon footprint. With her background in economics, environmental design, and product design, she has designed a composting robot and app that playfully gives impact data together with community building. The startup secured pre-seed funding of €340K in 2022.
Anna Bereczki - SMAPP LAB
Since 2019, Anna Bereczki has been a co-founder and Head of Agriculture at SMAPP LAB, a developer of digitized traps used to predict various points of defense against pests. She has been interested in environmental protection since age 14, graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Crop Sciences in 2021.
HealthTech & FitTech
Anna Zsofia Kormos & Dora Pelczer - ARTEMIS
Anna Zsofia Kormos has a background and over ten years of experience in the fashion industry. She co-founded ARTEMIS by Alpha Femtech in 2020, aiming to develop smart wearable clothing and an app to relieve period pain for women using heat and micro-vibrations. The startup raised over ∼€130K in a pre-seed round in 2021.
Experienced Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the design industry, the second co-founder of ARTEMIS, Dora Pelczer, has a background in photography, design, and modern and contemporary art. Dora’s skills cover various areas, including photography, fashion marketing, Adobe Creative Suite, InDesign, and editing. The team’s goal is to help women worldwide by alleviating period pain and educating young women about the mechanisms of their own bodies.
Eszter Ozsvald - Notch
Eszter Ozsvald is an experienced founder skilled in motion capture, product development, manufacturing, operations management, biomechanics, and sensors. In 2010, Eszter relocated to the US for her studies at NYU. She founded her startup Notch in 2013 and has since, as a CTO, developed a hardware and software platform for motion analysis and motion capture products for digital wellness. Notch provides users with a personal trainer powered by wearable technology, fitness experts & celebrities that guides you through workouts with live audio feedback.
Zsófia Tóth - Volteum
Zsófia Tóth co-founded the startup Volteum, an electric fleet optimization software, in 2019. With a background in energy engineering and physics, she worked at the Student Association of Energy in Hungary for over five years. The solution enables companies to use EVs in their fleets easily, effectively, and economically as internal combustion engine vehicles. Volteum secured a seed round of €1.3M in late 2022.