At a ceremony held at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens on Wednesday, Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos presented trophies to the three winners of this year’s Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award (HEA). This brings the total number of winners to 14 since the award program was launched by the Libra Group on behalf of The Hellenic Initiative (THI) in 2012. The 2016 winners are: Blueground, Bubbllz and Raymetrics which span a range of commercial sectors from the hospitality industry to social media marketing to meteorology.
The winning companies will share prize funding of €1,250,000 and will be provided with an expert mentor and a range of business support services including legal, accounting, marketing, IT, communications and HR services. Ongoing support by the HEA and its partners – helping these start-ups to implement their business plans successfully – is an integral part of the award program’s mission to identify and encourage Greece’s most promising new business ventures.
This year, a total of 1,100 plans were submitted to the HEA – a record number of participants since the award program began. Each year winners are selected based on sustainability, innovation, financial prudence and potential for job creation in Greece.
Jimmy Athanasopoulos, Chairman of the Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award, commented: “The record number of applicants for this year’s award shows us that entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Greece. We congratulate all 1,100 participants who have demonstrated the courage and self-belief to turn their ideas into action. It was extremely challenging for the panel of judges to choose the eventual winners from ten superb finalists. We are proud to welcome the 2016 winners to the HEA family and look forward to working with them so that they can make a contribution to the Greek economy and add to the many hundreds of jobs already created by our past winners.”
The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award 2016 winners are:
A technology-enabled chain of serviced apartments, houses and villas created by transforming existing residential properties. The company functions like a hotel, but instead of all rooms being under a single roof, it operates individual properties spread across a city. Blueground (www.theblueground.com) serves corporate and leisure travelers in Greece, Turkey and soon in UAE. Applicants: Alexandros Chatzieleftheriou, Alexis Maragkos, Andreas Nezeritis, Penny Papaconstantinou.
Bubbllz (www.bubbllz.com) is a mobile application that rewards users’ social media posts along with a web marketing platform that enables stores, companies and brands to promote products and services through user-generated content. Users simply take a photo or selfie with the product they buy and a reward code is created. The picture is posted on social media and users receive instant rewards in the form of discounts, coupons, competitions, loyalty points and special offers. Applicants: Konstantios Batsiolas, Georgios Thraskias, Panagiotis Chatzidakis.
Raymetrics (www.raymetrics.com) aims to create a new, advanced and powerful 3D ceilometer for the aviation industry, aimed at providing additional data, essential for airports and meteorological agencies, such as Total Cloud Cover information (in 3D), Incoming Cloud Base Height, Planetary Boundary Layer Height (useful for weather forecasting and modeling) and Vertical Optical Range (VOR). Applicants: Nikos Kontos, George Georgoussis, Matthew Woollard.
The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award was founded by the Libra Group, in order to stimulate entrepreneurial spirit by supporting Greece’s most promising new businesses. It is administered on behalf of The Hellenic Initiative by the Libra Group which has committed €10 million to the program. Between one and five winners are declared each year.
HEA supporters include Piraeus Bank, Australia-based property investment and development company Jalouise Pty Ltd, Dimitri Goulandris and Onassis Cultural Centre. Among the winners’ supporters are Antidote, Intracom Telecom, Lykourezos Law Offices, Microsoft Hellas, Moore Stephens, People for Business, Reed Smith, SAP Hellas and White Room.