The Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in collaboration with the Incubator EPI.noo and the Invent ICT Program organised for the second consecutive time a very successful workshop dedicated on women entrepreneurship in the context of Weekly Women Entrepreneurship. This year’s workshop was organised online and took place on November 11, 2020. It aimed at highlighting challenges and emerging opportunities for women in the Greek entrepreneurial ecosystem by focusing on innovative knowledge-intensive ventures.

You can download the Workshop’s Programme here.

You can download the Workshop’s Press release here.

You can watch the Workshop’s Video here.

The workshop was coordinated by Dr. Aimilia Protogerou, Senior Researcher at the Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics (NTUA).  There was a welcome presentation by Aimilia Protogerou which indicated that many challenges and biases in women entrepreneurship remain despite the progress made so far to bridge the gender gap. Subsequently, Sophia Stavraki, Research Associate at the Foundation of Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), made an informative presentation on the female entrepreneurial landscape in Greece using Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) data.

Then, there were presentations of five innovative ventures made by their women founders or co-founders. The first two presentations were focused on Start-up Technology Entrepreneurship highlighting the challenges of bringing an idea from lab to the market and the difficulties of balancing the two different worlds of the researcher and the entrepreneur.

  • The first venture, PhosPrint Advanced Technologies, was launched in 2019 as a spin-off company of the Institute of Computer and Communication Science at the NTUA. They aspire to make 3D laser printing technology attractive to researchers and developers primarily in the Biomedical sector with their compact laser printer. They have a fully functional prototype and are currently testing applications on tissue regeneration (PCT priority, Dec 2017 and US Provisional Patent Aug. 2020). The presentation was made by Dr. Ioanna Zergioti, CTO and co-founder.
  • The second venture, NFA (Natural Food Additives), was launched in 2017 based on research undertaken at the Laboratory of Food Chemistry and Technology at the NTUA. NFA is an innovation driven company, actually the first in Greece, specializing in extracting bioactive compounds from organically cultivated herbs while investigating the use of different crop by-products as new sources of raw materials. The presentation was made by Eleni Gogou, R&D and Quality Manager and co-founder

 The third presentation was focused on established entrepreneurship and the success story of Pobuca. Pobuca is an international digital business solution provider with a portfolio of 3,000 businesses from 85 countries around the world and leader in customer experience for brands retailers in Greece. Elena Galiatsou, COO and co-founder at Pobucca presented the company’s 20-year evolution path focusing on the challenges they overcame, their decision to become a cloud company and expand globally in 2016, the new era challenges, and the balanced role of women in company’s management as an important contributor to success.

The fourth presentation gave emphasis on student nascent entrepreneurship. The presenters, Danai Brilli (Electrical and Computer Engineering student at NTUA) and Maria Georgila (Computer Science student at the University of Piraeus) gave an overall picture of their idea, Circles, an e-counselling solution, and focused on the role of Invent ICT incubator at the NTUA in facilitating their entrepreneurial venture up to now, the challenges they face in bringing their idea to the market and their way ahead.

The presentations were followed by a lively and very interesting discussion with the women founders and the floor. The main issues raised were focused on specific challenges that the women entrepreneurs have faced in developing and launching their ventures in high technology areas which are traditionally male dominated. In addition, the discussion brought up the importance of facilitating knowledge intensive entrepreneurship in Greece and the significant contribution of women entrepreneurs in creating a critical mass of such a promising type of entrepreneurship.

 


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