HEA final 10 illustrate trends in Greek entrepreneurship

Athens, Greece: May 31, 2017 – The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award (HEA) has announced the 10 finalists of this year’s award for start-up and early-stage businesses, competing for up to €1,250,000 in funding, mentorship and business support services by HEA’s network of sponsors and partners. HEA’s panel of judges, comprising 10 experienced entrepreneurs and executives, carefully scrutinised each business plan, leading to the selection of the 10 finalists, based on sustainability, innovation, financial prudence and job creation. This year’s finalists active in six different sectors, including education, medical technology, food & beverage, fashion, tourism and technology. For the second year running digital, creative and information services have the strongest representation, with tourism coming second. These two sectors account for 36% of this year’s submissions.

In the 2017 competition, more than 4,000 people participated, with 1,250 teams submitting business plans for consideration –  a 12% increase on 2016, indicating that the entrepreneurial scene in Greece is highly active. Moreover, the geographical spread of participants is not restricted to major commercial centres with almost 35% of entries originating from Western Greece, Central Macedonia and Crete.

During its five-year history, HEA has received over 3,850 applications from more than 10,000 individuals and teams and has announced 50 finalists and winners. The 14 past winners are active in 11 business sectors and have already created many hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in the Greek economy, actively contributing to the “brain gain” of the country. The total investment associated with HEA Winners to date stands at € 17,420,000. Through HEA’s educational programmes, seminars, webinars and interviews, HEA’s impact has extended to more than 20,000 people across Greece. In the years ahead HEA hopes to maintain its support for start-up businesses, creating a fertile environment for entrepreneurship in Greece.

Alexandros Nousias, Director of the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award, commented: “The growing number of business plans submitted to the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award over the last five years, is a tribute to the enduring will of the Greek people to transform the Greek economy. These people are not just innovative, they are brave – choosing the most challenging of career paths: to create a new business from a standing start. The 10 finalists of HEA 2017 are inspiring examples of how a contemporary entrepreneur should think and operate. We applaud them all.”

The HEA 2017 Finalists are:

1. 100mentors – 100mentors (www.100mentors.com) is an online platform which actively connects young students with industry role models globally. 100mentors offers students customized interaction including: selection of target industry, nomination of their mentors and control over the conversation agenda.  Schools & universities use the 100mentors software to empower and connect their students, enhancing critical career & academic decisions. 100mentors currently connects 21,000 students from 270 schools & universities in 17 countries with 2,500 mentors from over 800 companies and universities worldwide.  
Applicants: Elina Bazinas, Yiorgos Nikoletakis, Miltiadis Zeimpekis.
View finalist, 100mentors in this link.

2. Allcancode – Allcancode (https://next.allcancode.com) is an online educational platform which cultivates technological and programming skills through interactive games. The platform enables users to both acquire core skills and create and publish their own games or apps. With Allcancode anyone can learn how to access the latest technology, write code and publish working applications without any prior computer coding experience.
Applicants: Kostas Karolemeas, Spiros Alvertis, Ersi Spathopoulou, Dimitris Karatzaferis, Vangelis Bagiartakis.
View finalist, Allcancode in this link.

3. BET Solutions – BET Solutions (www.betsolutions.gr) offers innovative solutions in pharmaceutical and medical research through technology and software products in the non-invasive in vivo preclinical imaging phase of new drug or biomolecule testing. BET Solution’s technology is unique internationally, combining small dimensions, high performance and low cost, making imaging accessible to all researchers, thus opening new paths in modern medicine.
Applicants: Maria Georgiou, George Loudos, Panagiotis Papadimitroulas.
View finalist, BET Solutions, in this link.

4. Fresh Strips Fresh Strips (www.freshstrips.co) provides low-cost, ‘smart’ packaging solutions that inform consumers about the safety and quality of their food products. The product of extensive research and development, Fresh Strips is a plastic sticker attached to food packaging that provides information about the products’ exposure to heat. In the event of excessive heat exposure, Fresh Strips changes colour permanently, indicating the food is no longer suitable for consumption. Fresh Strips provides assurance to food producers, retailers and consumers regarding the safety of heat-sensitive goods. Fresh Strips is recognized and supported by several companies and organizations, including Merck, EY and HighTechXL.
Applicants: Marios Chryssolouris, Koen Nickmans, Fanny Tsironi, Marianna Giannoglou, Alexandros Matthiessen, Katie McMullan.
View finalist, Fresh Strips in this link.

5. Kindred Honey Soda – Kindred Honey Soda is a craft beverage with Greek honey and lemon. It is based on a recipe with rich heritage as a homemade remedy among various ancient and modern civilizations. Kindred has recreated this unique honey-based formula as a refreshing drink for health-conscious people. The company describes it as a “perfect blend of modern lifestyle and traditional heritage in an all-day beverage.”
Applicants: Manos Smyrlakis, Nikolas Smyrlakis.
View finalist, Kindred Honey Soda, in this link.

6. Kooreloo – Kooreloo (www.kooreloo.com) is a new designer bag and accessories brand that combines a modern aesthetic with selected elements that derive from Greek and Mediterranean heritage. Characterised by the use of local materials and traditional weave, Kooreloo has created fashionable accessories for modern women – as well as men – that can suit any occasion. Within the second year of its operation, Kooreloo has achieved an impressive global reach with presence in more than 80 upscale boutiques around the globe.
Applicants: Lila Karagianni, Alex Krassanakis.
View finalist, Kooreloo in this link.

7. Tech Τalent – Tech Talent (http://www.socialinnov.gr) is an educational and recruitment platform which enables recruiters looking for ICT professionals to identify and hire the right employees. Tech Talent offers free technical training programs for individuals, allowing them to develop their computer programming and other digital skills. Additionally, it provides an online platform where job seekers can register their competencies allowing recruiters to match suitable candidates to vacancies.
Applicants: Dimitris Kalavros-Gousiou, Filippos Zakopoulos, Ioannis Sclavos, Chris Andreikos, Konstantinos Politis.
View finalist, Tech Talent, in this link.

8. Quizdom Education – With more than 2,000,000 downloads in Greece and a popular TV game show, Quizdom (www.quizdom.com) started life as a trivia game for mobile devices and is now transforming itself into an e-learning platform. In Quizdom Education, students can learn and prepare for tests and exams by playing tailored quizzes against friends and fellow students. The questions are based on past and current exam syllabuses. Combining technology and entertainment, Quizdom Education aims to make learning both fun and effective by using the success factors of the original Quizdom game.
Applicants: Christos Tsounis, Triantafyllos Xylouris, Konstantinos Ploumidakis, Valentina Marousopoulou, Pavlos Rizos, Aristeidis Moiras.
View finalist, Quizdom Education in this link.

9. Welcome – Welcome (www.welcomepickups.com) redefines the way people travel by offering an online platform for a personalized and integrated travel experience. Welcome provides travellers with reassuring and informative transfer to and from airports or ports, equipping them with essential items for their trip (SIM cards, museum tickets etc.), and connecting them with hand-picked service providers for activities during their stay. Welcome connects travellers with an online ‘buddy’ providing valuable advice throughout a trip. The application is already active in 9 destinations and expects to “welcome” more than 200,000 travellers in 2017.
Applicants: Alexandros Trimis, Savvas Georgiou.
View finalist, Welcome, in this link.

10. WOVER – WOVER (http://wover.me)  is a mobile application developed by Mobiltron that provides a personal emergency alert system. With WOVER, users can create their personal emergency network and stay connected to the individuals and organizations who will be the first to respond in the event of an emergency. The system also features an artificial intelligence (AI) engine that analyses a variety of data inputs to detect anomalies in everyday activity, that could indicate existing or impending personal emergencies. WOVER aims to help individuals enjoy active, safe and peaceful lives.
Applicants: Stavros Schizas, Vassilis Papakonstantinou.
View finalist, WOVER in this link.

– Ends –

About the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award:

The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award was founded in 2012 by the Libra Group on behalf of the Hellenic Initiative, to support established and budding entrepreneurs by providing funding, support services and mentorship for start-up businesses. The Libra Group has committed €10 million to the programme which will help entrepreneurs in Greece to generate economic growth in their homeland. The award partners are Piraeus Bank Group which has contributed to the training and education of participants since 2014 through its subsidiary, Excelixi Center of Sustainable Entrepreneurship and the Australian based property investment and development company, Jalouise Pty Ltd.

Amongst the winners’ supporters are Antidote, Atradius, epixeiro.gr, the Institution for Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (I.A.D.R.), Intracom Telecom, Ioannis Vassardanis & Partners Law Firm, Kyvernitis Travel, Lykourezos Law Offices, Microsoft, Moore Stephens, People for Business, Reed Smith, SAP Hellas, SATO, Onassis Cultural Centre, V+O and White Room.

www.hellenicaward.com

 


Past HEA Winners

2016 Winners:

1.      Blueground (www.theblueground.com) – A technology-enabled chain of serviced apartments, houses and villas created by transforming existing residential properties.

2.      Bubbllz (www.bubbllz.com) – A mobile application that rewards users’ social media posts and, via a web marketing platform, enables brands and vendors to promote products and services through user-generated content.

3.      Raymetrics (www.raymetrics.com) – A company that aims to create a new, advanced and powerful 3D ceilometer for the aviation industry, aimed at providing additional data, essential for airports and meteorological agencies.

2015 Winners:

4.      Yoleni’s (www.yolenis.com) – An online delicatessen that enables European and American customers to purchase authentic products from every corner of Greece. Soon to begin a chain of Greek gastronomy around the world.

5.      Smart Guide – A wearable electronic mobility guide that senses nearby obstacles and obstructions for the blind and visually impaired. This innovative product will be produced in the facilities of “Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece” by employees who themselves have impaired vision.

6.      Heliix (www.heliixinc.com) – A ground-breaking technology which converts thermal energy into electricity. The company’s first implementation of the technology, Phaethon™, is a device that can reduce a household’s annual electricity costs by up to 30%.

2014 Winners:

7.      Anassa Organics (www.anassaorganics.com) – A company that produces and markets premium herbal teas and infusions, addressing Greek and global markets.

8.      e-satisfaction (www.e-satisfaction.com ) – An independent platform that records e-shoppers’ entire online shopping experience from browsing through ordering to delivery – set to become a comprehensive e-commerce rating tool.

9.      Open Circle (www.opencircleproject.com) – A web-based community/ platform, where visionary entrepreneurs present their business concepts in order to promote collaborations with prospective investors through equity crowdfunding.

10.  RTsafe (www.rt-safe.com) – A medical technology company presenting a revolutionary approach to optimising the effectiveness of radiotherapy for cancer patients while minimizing the likelihood of harmful side effects.

2013 Winners:

11.  Stella Mare (www.stellamare.gr) – A seafood processing and marketing business which is targeted at both domestic and global markets.

12.  Casa Parlante (www.casaparlante.gr) – A “Living Museum”, depicting the everyday life of a noble family in a historic 19th century mansion in Corfu.

13.  Different & Different (www.differentanddifferent.gr) – A innovative catering company and culinary academy.

14.  Rabt (www.rabt.co) –A technology start-up that helps media companies to increase audience retention by automatically analysing preferences and recommending video and other content most likely to engage individual users.


About The Libra Group:
he Libra Group is a privately-owned international business group that controls 30 subsidiaries active in 35 countries across six continents. It is focused on six core sectors: aviation, energy, finance and diversified, hospitality, real estate, and shipping. The group is wholly-owned by the Logothetis family.
For more information, visit the website: www.libra.com

About The Hellenic Initiative:
Our Mission: Investing in the future of Greece through direct philanthropy and economic revitalization. We empower people to provide crisis relief, encourage entrepreneurs, and create jobs.
We are The Hellenic Initiative (THI) – a global movement of the Greek Diaspora.
Visit our website: http://www.TheHellenicInitiative.org/ , http://onegreece.org
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thehellenicinitiative
Follow us on Twitter: @THI_OneGreece

For further information, please contact:
Maria Gatsou
V+O COMMUNICATION
Office: +30 2107249000
Email: mg@vando.gr