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Local economic developer finds eager students in Eastern Europe
WEXFORD -- Only a few years ago, Hungarian inventor/entrepreneur Tamas Vincze was a one-man engineering design shop restricted from free enterprise by his country's Communist government.
Yet here he was a few weeks ago, with a contingency of Hungarian entrepreneurs, touring Pittsburgh's business community armed with little more than product portfolios, entrepreneurial gumption and a much-needed interpreter. All had the so-called American dream utmost in their minds, and with the help of local economic development group Spedd Inc., they hoped to import that concept to Hungary.
The nonprofit Spedd (formerly the Southwestern Pennsylvania Economic Development District) has found itself -- and its Wexford-born business incubator concept -- immersed in an aggressive effort by economic development groups in Hungary to turn the once-Soviet Bloc country into Eastern Europe's free-enterprise hub.
They hope to do that, according to Robert Meeder, president of Spedd, largely by building up the country's small-business community through new global …