THI Awards $250 K to Greek Startups that also Contribute to Society

December 31, 2020

ATHENS – The Hellenic Initiative (THI) launched the first annual Venture Impact Awards (VIA) online December 17.  $250,000 in cash prizes were awarded to young enterprises that combine commercial success, job creation and philanthropic support helping people on the ground in Greece. The awards were established by THI with the generous support of the Helidoni Foundation and the Charles C. Condes Trust. 

The special Web event was hosted by Marianna Skylakaki, Editor in Chief of athiNEA, and journalist Yiannis Moutsos of MEGA TV and included messages from representatives of each of the winners. There was also a surprise interview with Greek entrepreneurial hero Marcos Veremis.

The VIA strengthens Greece’s brightest and most talented teams that are also committed to social contributions, from helping Greece’s neediest to protecting the environment. When conveying congratulations from the judges THI Board Member Jeremy Downward said they enjoyed reviewing all the materials that were submitted. “The task to select 10 was difficult, and guess what, we failed … there are 14 winners.” THI Executive Director Peter Poulos thanked donors and judges “and all who spent much time preparing,” the endeavor.  THI Program Director Michael Printzos, described the criteria of the awards, whose 14 recipients were grouped in three tiers. 

The $30,000 group included: Wise Greece, whose Founder Melina Taprantzi explained helps 100 small farmers progress while also helping people living below the poverty line though food the farmers donate to soup kitchens; Enaleia, which Director and Co-Founder Lefteris Arapakis said cleans the Mediterranean though a network of 700 fishermen who collect plastic that is recycled and upcycled into new products; and the Proud Farm,  a group of largely young farmers whose president, Nikolaos Koltsidas, said produces dairy products goods with respect for the environment, animals and society

The $20,000 group included: The Staramaki Social Cooperative, represented by Manager Stefanos Kamperis; 3S School Synergy Snacks, which produces quality snacks while creating job opportunities for people with disabilities according to Efi Chrysou;   Impact Hub represented by Community Manager Helena Lamprou; Solmeyea, a hybrid AgTech company intersecting with CleanTech, BioTech & Agriculture, represented by Founder and CEO Vasilis Stenos; and PHEE, represented by Founder Stavros Tsompanidis.

The third tier of $10,000 awards included Stevia Hellas represented by CEO Christos Stamatis; AFI, which provides microfinance services according to  Michael Anotonoglou; Apiceuticals, represented by Nikos Roumeliotis; Recytrust represented by George Stengos; Incommon, represented by Maria Angelidou; and Elektronio  Wheels, represented by Anna Chlioura.

Harriette Condes-Zervakis congratulated the award winners and THI and said her uncle, Charles C. Condes, “would be proud of the dynamic ‘Ellines and Ellinides’” – the young Greeks – “who are breathing new life into the Greek economy,” and her son Pete Zervakis, added that “what I want the VIA award winners to know about my grand uncle is that he had a lifelong thirst for learning” and urged them to share that thirst as they move forward.  

Dimitris Georgakopoulos Co-Founder of the Helidoni Foundation, said its support for VIA stems from the foundation’s purpose: “to give back to Greece by helping to promote sustainable businesses that create jobs and reverse brain drain … with a broad awareness of the impact they have in their communities … that do well by doing good.”

THI’s Board President George P. Stamas, stated that the event “demonstrates again that the pandemic can’t hold back THI and it can’t hold back the Greek spirit.” He noted that the VIA, which he called the brainchild of Georgakopoulos and Zervakis, is “a logical extension of the principles on which THI was created: In very difficult times not just to feed people, but to teach them to fish.” 

THI’s mission is “Investing in the future of Greece through direct philanthropy and economic revitalization. We empower people to provide crisis relief, encourage entrepreneurs, and create jobs. THI is a global movement of the Greek Diaspora.

Visit them at TheHellenicInitiative.org/ http://onegreece.org and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thehellenicinitiative and Twitter: #OneGreece.


HEMPSTEAD, NY – The Hempstead AHEPA Family at the Cathedral of Saint Paul in Hempstead, Long Island, NY, hosted their annual Super Bowl fundraiser on February 11.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


‘Without Us, You Don’t Eat’: Greek Farmers Ride Some 200 Tractors to Athens to Demand Financial Help (Vids)

ATHENS — Greek farmers rode Tuesday some 200 tractors to the capital, Athens, demanding financial help from the government as cost of living spiked in the Mediterranean country.

ATHENS - SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader called on members of the Political Secretariat meeting on Tuesday to clarify whether they are doubting him as party leader.

WASHINGTON - The White House continues to warn Israel against expanding its offensive into Rafah, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip.

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Missouri prosecutors said Tuesday that two men have been charged with murder in last week’s shooting that killed one person and injured 22 others after the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.