ATHENS – The Hellenic Initiative (THI) has launched the Venture Impact Awards (VIA), a new program that offers cash prizes valued at $25,000 each to companies producing returns while having a measurable impact on society. Since its foundation in 2012 in the midst of the Greek economic crisis, in addition to prioritizing job creation, THI has sought ways to reward those enterprises that from the beginning are committed to giving back. VIA does that with material and moral support to promising startups finding themselves cash-starved during the COVID-19 pandemic.
VIA will provide immediate economic stimulus to startups seeking capital to expand and create new jobs vetted by a team of judges. Award winners will be selected based not only on their ability to generate financial returns but also on how they address critical markets and how they solve a range of social and environmental problems. The VIA will act as a tool that promotes early-stage impact investing designed to help companies produce returns while having a measurable social impact. VIA has been added to THI programs like Envolve Greece, Venture Garden, and the Athens Venture Fair, which have worked with high-growth startups since 2012, helping them raise capital, get advice, and expand their markets.
The awards, which were established with the support of the Helidoni Foundation and the Estate of Charles Condes, will be presented at a special year-end online event and the program is now open for applications at https://ventureimpactaward.com/application/.
The deadline for applications is set for Oct 30.
The startups will be vetted by a team of judges and award winners will be selected based not only on their ability to generate financial returns and which offer a strong value proposition in sectors like Software & Deep Tech, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Agro & Food, Tourism & Real Estate, but also for their work addressing critical social and environmental problems. Awards will range according to the quality of the applications received.
Harriette Condes Zervakis stated, “It was the wish of my Uncle Charles Condes to support an organization in Greece working to create jobs and reverse the brain drain. We are thrilled to be establishing The Charles Condes Venture Impact Awards in order to fulfill that wish and support innovative Greek startups.”
Dimitri Georgakopoulos, Founder of the Helidoni Foundation and THI Board Member, believes, “resilience in times of stress is one of the hallmarks of great enterprises, but helping young firms weather storms like COVID-19 demonstrates THI’s commitment to building and strengthening an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Greece where not only the strongest, but the best also survive.”
George Stamas, THI’s Board President, said, “We could not do a Venture Fair this year because of COVID, but we want to do an online event because we need to support cash-starved startups and even more importantly, to reward those who make an impact on society.”