The Hellenic Initiative (THI) is supporting for the fifth consecutive year the “Greek Booth” at SXSW® International. During this year’s SXSW festival, from March 9th to 18th, 9 promising Greek startups will be hosted at the booth. The startups will be given the opportunity to showcase their products and services on an international stage, at one of the most cutting-edge technology and entrepreneur events in the world. In previous years of the festival, companies such as Twitter and Periscope have been introduced to the investment community, going on to become giants of the global tech industry.
For yet another year, through a jointly funded grant of $50,000 with the U.S. Embassy in Athens, THI is supporting Greek startups at SXSW, reaffirming its belief that entrepreneurship is a key element in building a new generation of creative and innovative business projects that can contribute to Greece’s future prosperity. Through their attendance at one of the most exclusive and high- esteemed entrepreuneurship conferences in the world, Greek startups have the opportunity to be inspired and grow.
During the four previous years, through THI’s valuable support in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy, more than 90 Greek startups had the chance to participate in SXSW®. Though their participation, they had the opportunity to exhibit their business models and ideas on an international stage which includes some of the world’s most successful investors, representing over 100 countries. Additionally, they were exposed to 35.000 panelists and entrepreneurs with a significant global presence. This year, the attendees will also participate in a pitching competition, further enhancing their skills in order to realize their potential.
Through the support of THI and the U.S. Embassy in Athens, the innovation and entrepreneurship of Greek startups has been recognized and supported by the investment community. Indicatively, online training and education company Schoox, has managed to raise a total $6,5M , further boosting and expanding its operations, currently employing over 40-45 employees in Thessaloniki. Furthermore, Gridmates, an energy donation platform, received the #2 prize in 2015, for the US Department of Energy in clean tech startups in the US, and was granted a prize of $105,000. This year, Ingredio, a highly valued platform offering identification of the ingredient toxicity in food and cosmetics will have the chance to impress the investment community and raise capital to expand its operations.
Michael Printzos, THI’s Program Director, stated: “Since its inception, THI has always strived to support innovative ideas and ambitious business ventures born in Greece. Exhibiting Greek entrepreneurship to a stage of highly esteemed professionals such as SXSW, and seeing the interest of investors in Greek startups is truly revitalizing. It reaffirms THI’s belief that Greece has tremendous potential and that innovative business projects can significantly contribute to Greece’s future prosperity”.
The U.S. Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, stated: “The resilience and strength of the Greek startup sector is one of Greece’s untold success stories and will be key to economic recovery. We are committed to supporting young Greek entrepreneurs and creating opportunities for them to network with counterparts from America’s vibrant startup sector. Innovation will be the theme of the American Pavilion at the 83rd Thessaloniki International Fair this year, where America will be the honored country. I hope to see some of these SXSW alumni and participants there, showcasing what they gained from this important experience.