Hidden Champions
Congratulations for the excellent conference on hidden champions in CEE at the WKO in Vienna. I like this research initiative that highlights the great economic contributions of entrepreneurial and international oriented local firms in CEE and makes them known to a broader audience.
Arnold Schuh,
WU - Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Austria

Conference on Hidden Champions in CEE

HC PanelCEEMAN in cooperation with IEDC-Bled School of Management and Austrian Federal Economic Chamber has organized a unique conference on “Hidden Champions in CEE and Dynamically Changing Environments” in Vienna, Austria on 17-18 November 2011 at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

Inspired by the bestselling book of Hermann Simon Hidden Champions of the 21st Century, the conference has highlighted business stories, strategies and challenges of “hidden champions” from Central and Eastern Europe - highly innovative, differentiated and specialized small to medium size companies holding lead market positions in narrow market segments internationally. They successfully ride on a wave of global competitiveness and even in times of economic turndown demonstrate the capacity to grow.

Hermann SimonResults from research on hidden champions from CEE, conducted by a group of management education institutions from the region under CEEMAN leadership and in cooperation with RABE-Russian Association of Business Education and Polish Association of Management Education FORUM, were also presented at the conference, along with insights from other regions.

The event has brought together over 130 participants from 31 countries - hidden champions and other business leaders, business thinkers in the area of economic growth, international entrepreneurship and innovation, venture capital funds and other investors, management educators, and government officials. It has enabled an exchange of viewpoints, insights and ideas addressing developments down the championship road and beyond, more specifically: economic, technological, and social importance of hidden champions; growth and financing issues; competitiveness, cooperation and cohesion; as well as leadership and sustainability aspects. The conference has presented a unique opportunity to network, share perspectives and experiences, learn, build new partnerships and help enhance business and social cohesion in CEE and beyond.  


Conference presentations

Europe needs more hidden champions

Wolfgang Waldner 

Are hidden champions a global phenomenon?

Hermann Simon

Hidden Champions in CEE and dynamically changing environments

Marek Dietl and Melita Rant

Parallel session 1: Benefitting from sectorial advantages vs. creating new sectors

Irina Skorobogatykh

Dmitry Chernenko

Zlatko Pavicic

Zhanna Musatova

Parallel session 2: Leverages of innovation of HC from CEE and emerging economies

Peter Baloh, session summary 

Parallel session 3: Business environment and context for hidden champions to grow and sustain

Tamara Bobakova and Janka Taborecka-Petrovicova

Dilek Cetindamar

Rein Riisalu

Bogdan Rusu

Panel: Leadership challenges 

Ian Sutherland

Panel: Financing growth and development down the championship road and beyond

Mirna Marovic