Over the last four years, the most representative members of the Greek entrepreneurial and investment community meet in one of the biggest startup events: the final Judging & Award Ceremony of the MITEF Greece Startup Competition. This year the celebration of technology and entrepreneurship took place on June 28th, following the positive momentum that has spread the local investment ecosystem through the inauguration of the Equifund, the new fund-of-funds program. World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) was represented by Maria Hala, Greek Senator in the Global Women Leaders Committee of the Grand Assembly.
The Greek chapter of MITEF proceeded with its fourth annual acceleration program and although around 80 – 100 startups have been initially applied, after a six month program of extended mentorship and coaching the 25 semifinalists were elected, which ended up to 10 final startups. The judges’ panel was represented by members of the local venture capital community, as well as, by experienced angel investors and entrepreneurs.
But what made this annual ceremony completely different were both startups’ sector allocation, as well as, the more business oriented profile of all Teams, both winners and losers. Actually, half of the Teams were life sciences oriented, with Medtech and Agritech prevailing. The winner was AJM Med-i-caps (https://www.ajmmedicaps.com/), the Medtech venture that has designed and manufactured a product that consists of a screening capsule, aiming to fight one of the most frequent types of cancer. Second prize was received by Innate Repair (https://www.innaterepair.net/), the Biotech and Medtech startup with the intellectual property on novel cancer therapeutics with a starting focus on aggressive brain tumors. Last but not least, the third prize winner was the already VC backed Agritech startup, Augmenta (http://agileagr.com/), which aims to save more than 15% of farmers revenue with their “EyeQ” product that allows applying the optimal amount of fertilizer and pesticide, in real time.
The Greek startups community has also to support this type of scientifically advanced Teams, in order to eliminate the brain drain effect that has dramatically emerged after the economic crisis period. It has also to be taken under consideration that the majority of startups have a more investable profile, with even more efficiently structured business models and ready to expand professional Teams.
Last but not least, the Greek entrepreneurial ecosystem, which during 2017 has received more than €100ml in total investments, seems to be in an extremely positive stage, representing the most dynamic and promising part of the local economy. Yet, the Greek angel investors’ community has to further be supported through accreditation schemes and tax incentives, in order to more efficiently contribute in the expansion of the local seed and startup ecosystem. But as Nicholas Negroponte, Co-founder & Director of MIT Media Lab proposed during his opening remarks on June 28th, we should better “Don’t focus, but think big!!”
The MITEF Greece Startup Competition is an acceleration program that aims to identify promising Greek technology startups and accelerates them to the global market. The acceleration process lasts throughout the whole year, with around 80-100 startups being originally accepted for the training, out of which roughly 25 teams make it to the 3-month semifinal round. The semifinalists are then whittled down to 10 final startups who get the chance to pitch live during the final event.