Friday, 26 May 2023

European Business Angels Network Annual Congress 2023: The elite of the startup community meets in Thessaloniki


European Business Angels Network Annual Congress 2023: The elite of the startup community meets in Thessaloniki

European Business Angels Network Annual Congress 2023- The elite of the startup community meets in Thessaloniki

Αthens, 26 May 2023 | For the first time, Greece hosted the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) Annual Congress, attesting to the maturity and potential of the Greek startup ecosystem. The event, which took place in Thessaloniki, brought together 300 business angels from around the world, as well as venture capital funds, associations and local startups.

The EBAN Congress 2023 is the flagship event for the European startup scene and a key opportunity for startups to connect with investors. Held 24-26 May, the Congress was organized by Enterprise Greece in collaboration with EBAN and the Hellenic Business Angels Network (HeBAN), with the support of Beyond.

The central theme of the Congress was AI and how technology will shape our future. The issue was explored over three days in nine workshops and nine panels, and addressed in keynote speeches by international experts, business angels and leading business executives. During the Congress, 34 local startups pitched their ideas to potential investors, and networking events provided further opportunities for business angels, venture capital funds and accelerators to connect with Greek startups.

On the last day of the Congress, invited guests toured the BEYOND EXPO, taking place at the same time in Thessaloniki. BEYOND EXPO is one of the initiatives to support the development of the city as a technology and innovation hub for the wider region.

Underscoring the priority the Greek government places in innovation and technology as keystones of the country’s economic development, the Congress also welcomed the participation of Adonis Georgiadis, Minister of Development and Investment; Stavros Kalafatis, Minister of Macedonia-Thrace; Kostas Fragogiannis, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, responsible for Economic Diplomacy and Openness. The Congress was also attended by Panayiotis Ketikidis, Co-founder of HeBAN, member of the Executive Committee of EBAN & President of Thessaloniki Innovation Zone.

Janne Jormalainen, President of EBAN, stated: “The European Angel Investors met in Thessaloniki and were introduced to the thriving Greek startup ecosystem, which offers great opportunities and even greater potential.”

Marinos Giannopoulos, CEO of Enterprise Greece, stated: “Hosting the EBAN Congress 2023 in Thessaloniki was an excellent opportunity for the Greek startup ecosystem to network, present new ideas and raise investment funds. The Congress also provided a venue for showcasing Greek startups and the many advantages Greece has as an innovation hub, including research facilities, data centers, recently established in the region, expanding broadband networks, and e-Government services, among others. We are deeply grateful to all those who contributed to making this event such a success, and especially to EBAN for trusting Enterprise Greece with the organization of their annual congress.”

The Executive Director and Member of the BoD of Enterprise Greece, Betty Alexandropoulou, stated: “The Greek innovation ecosystem is expanding rapidly, driven by a highly educated workforce, with particular strength in STEM fields; Greece’s geostrategic location; the country’s quality the infrastructure, and robust support from the Greek government, which offers incentives and other programs and has helped foster a stable business environment. In 2022, more than 50 Greek startups attracted funds amounting to €325 million, and 19 of them -- the highest number so far -- made successful exits. Enterprise provides ongoing support to further develop the Greek ecosystem through various initiatives, such as the co-organization of the ΕΒΑΝ Congress 2023.”