The Hellenic Initiative wraps up another successful Annual Venture Fair powering the next generation of startups in Greece
June 7, 2023
Celebrating 11 years of contributions to a better future for the country
Building on the successful momentum of the past editions, the 7th Annual Venture Fair pitching competition for startups was held on Tuesday, June 6, by The Hellenic Initiative (THI) at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, in Athens.
The Venture Fair, one of the largest startup events in Greece has become a platform for the country’s vibrant startup ecosystem and a magnet for investments and capital to Greece. Since 2015, a total of 72 startups have come on stage to present to this forum. These startups moved on to raise almost $500 million of investment, creating approximately 1,500 jobs in Greece.
A day of connection, valuable insights, and innovative ideas, this year’s Venture Fair brought together Greece’s brightest and most talented entrepreneurs with leading figures of Greece’s and the global business and investment landscape.
10 THI-vetted startup companies across various sectors pitched their presentations to an expert panel of judges drawn from THI’s Board members, major donors, supporters, and stakeholders. Advantis Medical Imaging, Clio Muse Tours, Dataviva, EVO Human Performance, Finclude, Finloup, Hosthub, Vimachem, Vimodji and Wecook were the competition’s participants.
A shortlist of 5 companies was selected followed by a short Q&A session.
Taking home the pitch competition crown (and $25,000 cash prize from THI) was Clio Muse Tours.
Congratulating the participating companies, THI co-founder and Board President, George P. Stamas, stated, “Our inaugural Athens Venture Fair took place in 2015. Since then, annually, we have selected the best and brightest among Greece’s burgeoning venture capital community and provided them a forum to present to, and received funding from a broad investor base that sees the opportunity that Greece’s entrepreneurs can provide. Congratulations to this year’s presenters and we wish them the best.”
As part of the event, a panel discussion was held, entitled Why Greece? Why Now?, featuring US Ambassador to Greece, George J. Tsunis, THI Board Chairman Andrew N. Liveris, THI Executive Committee Member, John Koudounis, THI Board Member, Jeremy Downward, and THI Venture Fair Chair & THI Board Member, Nikos Stathopoulos, who exchanged insights and views on Greece’s profile as an enticing business and investment destination and growing innovation hub. The discussion was moderated by Athens Correspondent, Financial Times, Eleni Varvitsiotis.
Nikos Stathopoulos, THI Venture Fair Chair, THI Board Member and Chairman of Europe at BC Partners, stated “The true potential of Greece lies in its remarkable human capital, entrepreneurial spirit, and unwavering determination. The Hellenic Initiative Venture Fair serves as a testament to the Diaspora’s collective commitment to fostering innovation, driving economic growth and building a brighter future for Greece. This year’s participating teams join a distinguished group of 72 others from past Venture Fair events, which collectively raised nearly $500 million in investment from Greek and foreign investors, while creating over 1,500 jobs in Greece.”
US Ambassador to Greece, George J. Tsunis, stated “It’s wonderful to be here today, at the Grande Bretagne in beautiful Athens. The global Diaspora has come to Athens to talk about regeneration, to talk about how to modernize and help Greece’s economy. Over the last couple of years, Greece has the fastest growing economy in Europe. And I expect that is going to continue. Investors have found Greece’s foreign direct investments to be at record levels, unemployment is coming down dramatically, they have a wonderful debt profile and it’s becoming a very dynamic economy. Greece and the US are working together to bring peace, stability, and prosperity to the region. We are here today to discuss ways to take the economic relationship to a new level. The United States is committed to making the US – Greek relationship stronger than ever across every pillar: intelligence, military, education, culture, and economy.”
The Venture Fair’s past success stories include some of Greece’s most successful start-ups, such as Blueground, Spotawheel, Natech, Think Silicon, and Accusonus.
Building on 11 years of impact, THI has become the largest Greek Diaspora organization in the world and has received support from thousands of Greeks, Diaspora Greeks and Philhellenes. In the process of fulfilling its mission of investing in, empowering, and encouraging a better future for Greece, THI has made direct investments of over $20 million to entrepreneurs, small businesses, nonprofits and social enterprises in Greece. On the social welfare front, THI has distributed over 2 million meals to individuals and families in need and has provided critical healthcare support to thousands of Greeks. With a strong focus on Greece’s economic development, THI has helped create over 4,000 jobs reversing the flow of young professionals out of the country and has supported over 200 startups gain access to capital networks and expertise.