PRESS RELEASE: The Hellenic Initiative announces a new grant to the MITEF Greece

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Athens, 3 June, 2015

The Hellenic Initiative (TΗΙ) announces a grant to the MIT Enterprise Forum Greece, as part of the organization’s commitment to promoting entrepreneurship in Greece and help promising startup companies gain access to international business environment and opportunities.

THI’s grant will support the participation of 10 Greek startups to a residential start-up workshop for Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation by MIT, in Massachusetts, USA. The 10 participating startups derive from the 25 semifinalists of MITEF Greece Startup Competition, currently in progress.

The one-week workshop, which will be  taught by Dr. Luis Perez-Breva, co-director of MIT Innovation Teams, aims at helping participants build commercialization strategies for cutting-edge technologies by combining business analysis with technical insights. Participants will discover how to judge a technology’s commercial potential through the effective process of science and technology commercialization.

Apart from MIT students, participants of the workshop will include entrepreneurs and researchers from Greece, Russia, Portugal, Turkey, Israel, and Spain, who will be given the opportunity to exchange experiences about the hurdles they face in their own countries, as well as methods they have found to get around these obstacles. The program will provide, thus, a meaningful connection between entrepreneurs in countries that are at different stages of developing a startup culture and innovation ecosystem.

Furthermore, the 10 participants from Greece, together with the rest of the workshop’s participants, will have the opportunity to meet with potential investors and tour facilities in Boston.

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Cocktail Reception during for MITEF Greece Startup Competition’s semifinalists with business executives, entrepreneurs and potential investors in Massachusetts, USA

Michael Printzos, THI’s Program Director, stated: “This grant is an indicative example of THI’s constant efforts on the promotion of entrepreneurship in Greece, during a period where it is mostly needed. This time we join forces with the MIT Enterprise Forum Greece, through offering to some of the participants of the organization’s competition the ability to participate to a workshop taught in one of the most prestigious institutions globally, the MIT, thus offering them valuable supplies for their future steps”.  

Katerina Saridaki, Executive Director of MITEF Greece, added: “This is an excellent learning opportunity for 10 startups of the MITEF Greece Startup Competition. During the workshop, Greek teams will work closely with an international group of entrepreneurs in the vibrant technological and entrepreneurial MIT community. At the same time visits to Boston firms, networking events and other activities organized by the faculty of MIT and MITEF Greece’s local advisors will open the path for collaboration between Greek companies and the US business community. We would like to express our thanks to THI for appreciating the value of this effort and supporting both MITEF Greece and the 10 Greek teams who are looking for opportunities to connect with the global entrepreneurial scene”.

Participants’ testimonials:

“A cocktail event organized by Marina Hatsopoulos was an excellent opportunity to meet with Greeks and non Greeks based in Boston within the entrepreneurial and start up ecosystem. I pitched 14 times in that evening and got strong leads for a legal firm, potential investors and business partners for us. Marina was very helpful and offered to refer me to a number of other parties – investors, and she did. Much obliged in deed for her continues support.” Athanasios Ladopoulos,  Founder/CEO of e-learning Industries Ltd- MyeTutor

From day one, I adopted a whole different state of mind, as Dr. Luis Perez-Breva tried to show us the right things we should do and discuss in order to maximize our profit, from our product to everyday conversations. Eventually, the last day I had reworked some major aspects of our project as a CTO, something that I had the chance to transfer back to the rest of the company. I kept contact with a possible investor for our company; two MIT professors and a post-doc research scientist who want to collaborate with me. Also, I got proposed for a job in Boston. The trip was a life-changing experience! A big thank you” Barmpakos Dimitris, COO at Hermes-V

“It was a life & mind-changing experience. We were exposed to a different mentality and attitude towards business and life in general. The interaction with MIT students and staff has proved highly constructive for isMOOD, and put me into a new way of thinking and dealing with problems. I would suggest that next time, people visiting should have more time to get prepared for the trip (make contacts & arrange meetings). In general, the experience was great!” Anna Kassimati, Operations & Services at isMOOD

The trip to Boston was an amazing opportunity to attend a workshop that aimed to provide compiled experience rather than information and therefore it was extremely helpful to me. Meeting people to pitch to as well as people with a genuine interest in what we do, really gave me the opportunity to fine tune aspects of my pitch. More specifically: The hole trip was well organized and the workshop focused on experience rather than information, thus vastly differentiating from other“, Alexandros Kostopoulos, President & CEO at reportbrain Limited

“Some significant achievements were accomplished during our trip to Boston: the bootcamp was an excellent experience for building added value for our companies, there was a very important feedback from successful high-tech companies. The CEOs shared their experience with us, giving us valuable information for our next steps and we had the chance to network with a large number of potential investors and make significant contacts” Evangelos Papas,  Founder of RTsafe

“We had the chance to visit successful startups and see their infrastructures, discuss about the obstacles they tackled throughout their journey and get feedback regarding our business ventures. We had an extra opportunity to meet with investors and professionals, which gave us remarkable experience on pitching our business idea to different people, receive significant feedback and develop a global network.” Paris Ziogkas, Co-founder of TomoTECH

Louis did an amazing job (at least as far as it concerns me) trying to change the perspective we had for innovation and innovation generation process and our mentality about investors. The content of the Boot-camp was mind-blowing and Louis was continuously making re-adjustments to follow up with our progress and maximize the outcomes for each one of us. I think that this program must be a prerequisite for everyone who wants to call him/her-self an innovator and/or want to be part of a Start-up.” Lampros Mousselimis – Trustporter

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