Questions about the Mentor program


  • Companies must have traction – Simply because we can most effectively support your startup to scale if it already exists and you already have a minimal number of users
  • A complementer team of at least 2 – Together is better, but only full time members count.
  • Full dedication – In exchnage for the 3-month long acceleration we expect you to dedicate your time to progress. The team leader and at least one more person have to participate in the Mentoring Program for two days every week in Budapest during the whole period.


Do I have the option to get funding from Design Terminal?

  • We do not claim any ownership in the startups participating in the program, meaning there is no automatic investment by acceptance. You can acquire knowledge without diluting your startup. If you need further venture capital to grow, you will be able to receive investment from venture capital funds who are in close partnership with Design Terminal, in case your company meets the funds’ investment expectations and policies.

Does Design Terminal provide support for the teams after the program?

  • The best teams can get an investment, even during the program. The investor is not Design Terminal, but the angel investors, venture capital investors who are in partnership with us. We ensure that the lack of capital can not be a barrier to your business growth.

Do I receive a scholarship during the program?

  • Yes, but you’re not automatically eligible for it. The Mentoring Program is financed by public funds of the Hungarian State, therefore you need to comply with all the regulations prescribed. You have to apply for the monthly scholarship, which will contribute to your living expenses.

How do I receive this scholarship?

  • According to the „Rules of Taxation” in Hungary, the scholarship can only be paid to individuals who have a Hungarian tax identification number. After getting selected, we will request you this number. Without a tax number, we won’t be able to pay the scholarship, however, we can assure you that you will not be subject to any tax obligations and you do not have incur any payment obligations. This is just a technical solution to make the scholarship happen and meet our commitments regarding the Mentoring Program. The administrative burden of applying for tax identification number is assumed by Design Terminal.

When do I receive the scholarship?

  • You will receive the third of the whole amount at the end of every month during the Program. For this you need to have an international bank account number (IBAN) that used to identify payment accounts in international transactions.

Does this scholarship qualify as salary?

  • No, according to the social security law the Design Terminal scholarship does not qualify as salary or salary-compensation, nor as occupational activity, which means it can be received together with other social benefits.

Does this scholarship make me eligible for receiving extra child care allowance (GYED EXTRA)?

  • Only those female employees are eligible for extra child care allowance who are taking part time jobs, e.g. if someone applies for the mentorship program with a startup where she works at as a part-time employee, she could be eligible for both the special scholarship and the extra child care allowance.


If we’re accepted to the program where will we live during this period?

  • It is your responsibility to find a place to stay, but we can connect you with local landlords to ensure that you have quick access to trustworthy and affordable accommodation. If you have any more questions, let us know, we’re happy to inform you

Will anyone help us with all the challenges to move to Budapest?

  • Our wonderful team is here to help you, and ensure it will be easy to handle the moving and overcome the new challenges during the first weeks.


Does my startup need to work at the Design Terminal coworking space?

  • Well yes, and believe us, you’ll enjoy being close to the fire. Also, as we said, we expect active, consistent engagement that requires regular physical presence from at least two team members in our office during the mentoring program.

What type of office space is available?

The entrepreneurs will operate out of a coworking space just next to where the Design Terminal team is hustling. Each team will receive access to:

  • Shared workspace and desks
  • Free wireless Internet
  • Kitchen with refrigerators, a microwave, a toaster, and a coffee machine
  • Consultation rooms
  • Easy, fast and even serendipitous access to mentors
  • Table football

What else you provide besides the office space?

We will offer you

  • A 3-month long mentoring program with tailored workshops, a keymentor assigned to your team, P2P learning opportunities and introductions to the regional investment community
  • Personalized perks (credits, support programs) for each team from our partners
  • Lifelong support even after the end of the program
  • Support in follow-up investment process, together with Hungarian and international VC partners


What if I’m the only founder, and don’t have other full time team members?

  • It is an intensive program so we will always prefer teams over sole founders. Missing a programmer’s skillset from your team is not a reason to exclude your application, but you have to possess a plan on how you’re going to develop your product.

What if I can’t commit to working on this full time?

  • Our ideal applicant is someone who is able and committed to set aside the time needed to maintain a strong growth trajectory. This includes attending workshops (2 days/week), meeting with mentors, completing assignments, talking to users and using all of these activities to constantly iterate on your product. We think this is unrealistic for people who have a full time job. Be aware that if you do not complete the required assignments and do not have sufficient attendance, you can be fired from the program and/or your scholarship can be withheld.

What if I don’t have relevant skills for what I am trying to build?

  • Unless you have a plan for how you are going to acquire or hire those skills, it will be difficult. When applying make sure to highlight how you will fill these gaps.

Can I apply if I’m not from Hungary?

  • Anyone can apply to Design Terminal’s mentoring program from the whole world, as long as you and your team can work in Hungary legally for the duration of the program. We’ll help you with the visa process, thus that is not an obstacle.

Can I enroll in the program if I don’t speak English?

  • The workshops and materials produced during the program will be in English, and we require the application form in English too, thus English knowledge is a neccessarity.

Reasons for not considering applications

  • Single person company
  • Working on the project only part time
  • No sufficient traction
  • Non-scalable product / service
  • The complete lack of social utility


Who should apply?

  • Any teams who is working an idea or an early-stage startup with an innovative solution focusing on Sustainability & Environment, Health & Well-being, Education & Employment and Mobility. We focus on high growth potential, scalable businesses who already have traction and have a team spirit.

What type of startups do you accept?

  • Design Terminal is ready to receive innovative proposals in any field of technological innovation which are mainly in the early stages of development. We’re considering applicants who solve problems on web and mobile, or startups with a hardware element too. We can assist you in prototyping and manufacturing, with outstanding mentors from our university partners, MOME and BME. We want to work with smart teams with interesting ideas, and we recognise they come in all shapes and sizes.

Why should we join the Design Terminal Mentoring program?

  • Design Terminal’s ecosystem is based on solid ground. The acceleration modules, the accomplished network of mentors and investors, the alumni network from different creative fields were all progressively put together and thoroughly tested by 30+ teams in the past years. Plus we’re lucky the city of BUDAPEST is given, so we cannot ask for more.


What is your policy on intellectual property protection?

  • Protection of intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, copyright, trade secrets, etc.) in your concept is your responsibility and your responsibility alone. If you think you might have something that you might want to patent some day, definitely talk to a lawyer before submitting information about this idea to Design Terminal. If you think you may have intellectual property rights, and that may they contribute to the value of your concept, you should give serious consideration to consulting with an attorney before making any disclosures. Patent rights in particular can be severely diminished, or even lost, if timely steps for protection are not taken.
  • You, as a participant (or as a potential participant) in the Design Terminal program, should recognize that many of the steps and processes of this program could result in disclosure of your intellectual property.
  • Furthermore, you should be aware that Design Terminal does not require non-disclosure agreements or other obligations for confidentiality from anyone involved in the process.

Will you sign an NDA? How do I know you won’t steal my idea?

  • No, we won’t sign an NDA. No accelerator would at this stage. If we trust in your vision, you need to trust in our informal commitment to confidentiality. Please take the time and read THIS PIECE about the value of mere ideas.