Opening Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. David J. Kostelancik
at the Closing Session of the Lean Workshop for Entrepreneurs
PREZI House of Ideas
January 26, 2017
Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen! First of all, I would like to say thank you to the organizers, Mr. Sanborn, the Messzelátó Association, and all the team members, mentors, speakers, and participants for your kind invitation to the closing session of the Lean Workshop for Entrepreneurs.
What sets this Workshop apart is the intensive series of meetings, strategy sessions, and product development conducted with the help of prominent businessmen and program alumni as speakers and mentors.
In America, we say that all things come in three-s. And as many of you know, this is the third workshop — and the third time that the Embassy has proudly supported this important and unique initiative to prepare aspiring Hungarian entrepreneurs for real-life business.
Together with everyone involved with the workshop, the Embassy shares a commitment to growing and supporting a strong business climate in Hungary for small and medium enterprises. SMEs create employment opportunities and contribute to economic growth, as well as to the increase of exports of goods and services.
We are pleased to share in sponsoring this workshop and we celebrate its ongoing successes, as evidenced by so many outstanding program alumni who went on to become well-known entrepreneurs and thought-leaders in Hungary. In 2015, the United States imported nearly $3.5 billion from Hungary, and exported $1.8 billion to Hungary. These figures represent an already successful trade relationship, but we are confident that all of you will lead the way in expanding and diversifying this partnership.
And in one of the best aspects of the Lean Workshop model, we look forward to hearing what you learned from both success and failure as you return as mentors and serve as role models for the next generation. The Embassy can only offer so much support; the long-term success of any business or project in Hungary depends on the contributions of Hungarians like you.
I know you have been through quite a tough and exhausting — but at the same time very inspiring and rewarding – four months. I can only imagine your excitement now, as you prepare to present your Strategic Business Plans to a panel of expert investors and compete to be the winners of the workshop – so I promise I won’t take much more of your time.
I would like you to know that we are proud of you and look at you with high hopes for the future. We firmly believe that entrepreneurship and social enterprises are a driving force for any economy. Every engine needs a spark and we know that an entrepreneurial mindset can provide that catalyst.
I congratulate each and every one of you on completing this intensive workshop series and sincerely wish you to find that one spark, that one brilliant idea that will change your lives and hopefully make the world a better place.
That’s why, on behalf of our Public Affairs Section, let me invite all of you to a Happy Hour on February 8 at the U.S. Embassy. This will be the first in a series of “Exciting Synergies Cocktail Parties,” to which we invite diverse groups in the hopes that exploring differences will kindle new ideas and reveal new avenues of cooperation. My colleagues from our Cultural Affairs team will soon be in touch with more information.
For now, I wish you and all the best in your future endeavors. Thank you very much. Köszönöm szépen.