MITEF Greece announces the winners of the Startup Competition 2019

MITEF Greece announces the winners of the Startup Competition 2019

On July 3rd, MITEF Greece, the Greek chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum Global, which has been supporting Cyprus Seeds since the inception of the program in 2019, organized its Award Ceremony 2019 at NCSR Demokritos.

A judging panel composed of local and international distinguished business executives and investors heard the startup pitches, asked questions, rated and finally selected the winners of the competition from the General Track and the Energy & Mobility Track.

The  MITEF Greece Startup Competition 2019 winners from the General Track are: 1st  – Twiddle,  2nd – AidPlex – and 3rd  PD Neurotechnology. Winner of the Energy and Mobility Track is Bunkering at Sea.

The three winners received a cash award and different in-kind awards, but most importantly they enjoy the opportunity to build their global network through the MITEF Brand.

Held for the 5th consecutive year, the MITEF Greece Startup Competition recorded another great success, showing that young entrepreneurs are a dynamic force actively contributing to the prosperity of Greece and of the technological and scientific community at large. During the competition, through a series of designed hands-on workshops and mentoring sessions, the participant companies had the opportunity to acquire new business skills and develop international contacts and collaboration opportunities to develop their businesses on a global scale.

Vassilis Papakonstantinou, the Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum Greece, opened the ceremony welcoming the audience and outlining the variety of activities implemented locally: “Our main four programs address the different needs of our target audiences:

  • Events aiming to inspire and connect. For the past couple of years, we redirected our resources to international events, primarily in Boston where with the help of a group of dedicated stakeholders like Marina Hatsopoulos and our Consulate, we are building bridges between the Greek tech ecosystem and the global tech community.
  • Our Hands-on workshops are designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those coming from academia, to understand the opportunities and challenges.
  • The” Tech Insiders Club” is an effort to help businesspeople and investors understand technology better so they can have more efficient discussions with startups.
  • The Startup Competition is our flagship program that brings together hands-on knowhow and global networking. It has been acknowledged as one of the top technology acceleration programs in the country. Including the current cohort, we have accelerated more than 110 Greek startups.”

Papakonstantinou concluded his speech with a vision statement: “Greece has the entrepreneurial DNA, skilled engineers and scientists, a healthy research output and local sources of funding. We now need to focus more on technology transfer and strive to bring more of this output to the global market. This is where MITEF Greece can help the most by bringing global knowhow and global networking to all members of the Greek ecosystem. This is how we can make Greece a technology hub by 2021. This is how we can make technology the next shipping for Greece”.

Following Mr. Papakonstatinou’s introduction, Ms. Irit Ben-Abba, Ambassador of Israel to Greece and Ms. Monica Cummings, Counselor of Public Affairs of the U.S. Embassy addressed the audience with welcoming remarks to the teams.

The 12 finalist teams presented their business ideas in front of an audience of about 300 people, including representatives from foreign diplomatic missions, local and international investors, academics and journalists. The judging panel evaluated the finalists based on two criteria: a) their innovative value proposition and b) the potential to scale in the international market.

Following the 12 pitches, three keynote speakers intervened:

-Prof. Jerome Schaufeld from the WPI School of Business, founder and first Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum shared his amazement about the great pitches he heard, saying that “When we started MITEF I would never have believed that 40 years later I would be in Athens witnessing all this”.

Aimilios Chalamandaris, co-founder and CEO of Innoetics recounted his atypical and extraordinary voyage which took him from his research lab to being acquired by Samsung, the thrill of having their software running on a billion devices and the opportunity of establishing a global research center in Greece.

Andreas Androutsellis-Theotokis, CEO of Innate Repair and runner up  of the 2018 Competition, who also recounted his adventures from the early days in the research lab and the discovery of the cancer regeneration pathways, to the MITEF Greece Startup Competition 2018 and his plans to bring cancer fighting drugs to the global patients.

The MIT Enterprise Forum Greece Startup competition 2019 was made possible by the support of sponsors and strategic partners:

Hellenic Petroleum – exclusive sponsor of theEnergy and Mobility Track of the competition.

Stavros Niarchos Foundation – founding donor.

U.S. Embassy in Athens, EY, Bodossaki Foundation, Alpha Bank,  Signal Group, Tiresias and Elpedison – supporters.

Athenaeum Intercontinental, Boutari, Drakopouolos and Vassalakis, NSCR Demokritos, Désiré, Eventora, Heineken, Best Party –  event supporters.

Alba Graduate Business School, KornFerry|HayGroup, Playxis, POTAMITISVEKRIS, Sylipsis –  strategic partners

Mindspace and Moosend – Community partners

Ekathimerini, epixeiro.gr, startupper.gr, startup.gr, reporter.gr: Communication sponsors