The Association of Businesses and Industries of Greece (also known as SEV) and the non-profit organisation Endeavor Greece, have come together to create “Innovative Greeks”, a new international community of Greek businessmen and businesswomen with one common goal.
The goal is to create an open knowledge networking space, where world-renowned Greek entrepreneurs, investors and high-level executives share information, connections and resources with rapidly growing start-up businesses in Greece.
Through this initiative, Greek start-ups will have the opportunity to discover opportunities, collaborate with leading companies, exchange know-how tips and advice, explore new markets around the world and grow.
“The goal is to reach innovative Greeks that live in Greece or have immigrated abroad, and connect successful entrepreneurs, executives, experienced venture capital investors and representatives of governments and industries, to help strengthen Greece's innovation ecosystem, which will create growth and jobs in a more resilient economy,” explained SEV in a joint statement with Endeavor Greece.
“The ecosystem of start-up technology companies in Greece is developing very quickly and today, it has a total capitalisation of €4 billion, while it employs over 5,000 employees.
"Our imminent goal is to increase the capitalisation to €10 billion and open 50,000 new jobs in Greece for skilled young people, and also bring Greeks expatriates back to their homeland for great work opportunities.”
The inaugural community event kicked off with two international digital conferences, and overwhelming attendance and feedback from Greeks around the world.
More than 30,000 unique visitors registered and attended both conferences, along with pioneers Greeks in the fields of technology and innovation.
Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Minister of Digital Policy, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, the Deputy Minister of Development and Investment, Giannis Tsakiris, as well as the Deputy Minister of Research & Technology, Christos Dimas, attended the event and discussed issues of innovation and development in Greece during the post-Covid era.
The President of SEV, Dimitris Papalexopoulos, opened the online event by saying that “one of our top priorities at this time is to strengthen our collective ability to innovate, and to move to an economy of extroversion and high added value.”
“After all, through this path, passes the creation of a better future for the young and talented Greeks at a time when knowledge is the raw material of development and personal prosperity.
"Today, we are particularly pleased to launch the Innovative Greeks initiative, which aspires to become an innovation hub and a large Greek community, opening new avenues for the country and especially for our young people,” Mr. Papalexopoulos added.
Some of the leading speakers of the event included:
- Michael Kratsios, 4th Chief Technology Officer of the US at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
- Niki Trigoni, Professor at the University of Oxford, co-Founder and CTO of Navenio
- Jim Gianopulos, Chairman & CEO of Paramount Pictures
- George Yancopoulos, co-Founder, President and Chief Scientist of Regeneron
- Stelios Papadopoulos, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Biogen, Exelixis, and Regulus Therapeutics
- Evan Kotsovinos, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Infrastructure of American Express
- Dean Dakolias, co-Chief Investment Officer of the Fortress Investment Group
- Nicky Goulimis, co-Founder and COO of Nova Credit
- George Hadjigeorgiou, co-Founder and CEO of Skroutz.gr
- Alex Chatzieleftheriou, co-Founder and CEO of Blueground
Innovative Greeks is one of the many promising projects that have started in Greece in 2021, along with Greek Government’s “Greece 2.0” plans for the national recovery and resilience of the country after the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, presented the key principles of Greece 2.0, which consists of 170 projects, investments and reforms, that will mobilise €57 billion, add up to seven percentage points to Greece’s GDP, and create 200,000 jobs.
The plan also aims to shift Greece into a new digital era, install fifth generation (5G) mobile networks across the country and digital interconnection on the Greek islands, which are expected to attract the Greek diaspora and foreign workers to settle and invest in Greece.