Greece’s young start-up entrepreneurs: a positive case-study

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the Greek business climate has little in its recent history to look for in successful case studies and inspirational role models.  But there is an exception, and this is precisely why the fairly small, but growing start-up ecosystem in Athens is so critical, economically and symbolically for the country. Out of the dozens of events, groups and individuals I’ve come across in my time in Athens the past few months- the start-up community is the place I gravitate to, to meet enthusiastic, savvy and outward looking young Greeks. In short, these folks “get-it” – they have serious CV’s, they can hold their own, with investors in San Fran and marketing their products, internationally, from Rio to Mumbai. Indeed though, it will take more than a few tech companies to put a dent in Greece’s 30% unemployment and revive a country six years in recession.  But that’s missing the point and the big picture.  The young entrepreneur community here is a healthy, young embryo that needs to be highlighted and cultivated, as it holds the key fundamentals to rebuilding Greece. These are the strengths that make it the exception, not the norm in this country:                        (1) Innovation (2) Global outlook (3) Positive spillover across industries    (4) Highly-skilled human capital (5) Role models  (6) Community building. 1.    Innovation: for a generation now, many Greek oligarchs have posed themselves as pseudo-businessmen, while it was good connections = government contracts that made them their fortunes, not innovation.  Further below, on the food...