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Greece’s Best and Brightest Young Entrepreneurs Shine at THI Venture Fair

ATHENS – The Hellenic Initiative’s (THI) Venture Fair, an American-style ‘pitch event’ that brings together some of Greece’s most dynamic startups and interested international and local investors, was back live in Athens on July 11. The hosts and judges were impressed with all 10 participating companies, which elevated the status of the ultimate winner of the $25,000 prize, Feel Therapeutics.

The companies are looking to raise from $2-5 million and each one was well-prepared to present their ideas, visions, and business plans. It can be said that all were winners as they had opportunities to impress potential investors throughout the day.

This year the Venture Fair is part of the ATHINA2022 celebration of THI’s founding in 2012 and the highlights included a fascinating panel on ‘Global Energy in Transition’ led by Aris Candris, THI Board Member and past CEO of Westinghouse, and valuable presentations on ‘Mindfulness’ by the organization ‘Breathe’. There was also an informative panel discussion of the rise of the dynamic and famous Greek firm, Skroutz.

President the THI Board George Stamas told TNH, “we’re thrilled to be here at the Grande Bretagne, where 10 years ago – today – President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and a few of us launched the dream.” Stamas emphasized, “it’s not just the funds that we raise and distribute…it’s a culture of understanding…of brotherhood…we are in this, with Greece, for the long haul. Greece’s victories are our victories; Greece’s progress is our progress. ‘Oli mazi! All together!’ – that’s what this has meant.”

Chairman of the THI Board Andrew Liveris told TNH that in the past, “we have been good as a Diaspora helping Greece when it’s in crisis, but what we wanted to do with THI was first respond to the crisis, and then go beyond the crisis – ‘it’s not the war, it’s the peace,’” he said to illustrate the challenge of establishing stability and resiliency as characteristics of the country – which appears to be happening. THI speakers that day spoke of the goal of helping to build “the New Greece,” and Liveris noted that THI’s overall message is “we are not coming here to tell you what to do, we are coming here to work with you.”

THI’s leadership was bursting with pride in the 2022 participants and Greece’s startup firms in general, who in a few short years are now seen as world class. Among the things Greece’s startup community has gained from participation in Venture Fair and THI’s new Connect the Dots mentoring program is the appreciation that its OK for pioneers to fail – that they can build resilience to get up an try again. “That is the basic reason the U.S. is so good at entrepreneurism and innovation,” said Liveris.

It is clear speaking to THI Board members and staff that the personal dimension of their motivation is very strong. “It’s my life story,” said Liveris. “I feel I have come full circle. I feel a sense of satisfaction honoring my grandparents who made the arduous journey from Kastellorizo to Australia. It’s really an honor to be helping their mother country.”

Stamas and Liveris thanked everyone involved with Venture Fair, especially the judges, several of whom travelled far to Greece to participate, as well as THI’s Program Director in Athens Michael Printzos.

The best advertisements for the success of THI’s endeavors are media reports of the triumphs of the startups it has supported: Blueground, which THI featured in 2016, is on its way to becoming a Greek unicorn. Shortly after Think Silicon appeared at the 4th VF in 2018 it was acquired by Applied Materials, and a few months ago Spotawheel raised 100M EUR to expand in the market for used cars.

The vetted companies that are invited to participate were prepared by THI consultants. The 2022 winner, Feel Therapeutics, impressed the judges as the developer of biomarkers and digital therapeutics that bring objective data and measurement to the way practitioners diagnose, manage, and care for mental health patients.

THI invites you to visit the websites of all the participants, which include: Bespot – www.bespot.com, Bibecoffee – www.bibecoffee.com, Feel Therapeutics – www.myfeel.com, InAccel – www.inaccel.com, Meazon – www.meazon.com, Moptil – www.moptil.com, Morphoses – www.morphoses.io, Pobuca – www.pobuca.com, Superbo – www.superbo.ai, and 100mentors – www.100mentors.com.

 

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