Once the birthplace of philosophy and of the earliest experiments with democracy, Greece has a history marked by critical thinking, problem-solving, and progress. In a nutshell, a bedrock for entrepreneurship and innovation. Today, Greece is molding into an emerging technology and innovation hub within Southeast Europe, built on the shoulders of visionary Greek entrepreneurs with passion for engineering, science, and business.
Who are these tech founders who are shaping the future of the innovation ecosystems in Greece and the region? To get you started, The Recursive made a list of 30+ Greek entrepreneurs to follow in 2022.
30+ Greek entrepreneurs and the startups they launched
Haris Karonis – Founder and CEO of Viva Wallet, the cloud-based neobank providing localized payment and credit services to businesses across Europe. Viva Wallet got partially acquired by J.P. Morgan at the beginning of 2022.
Alex Chatzieleftheriou – Co-founder and CEO of Blueground, a global proptech company that facilitates short-term rentals for quality homes in sought-after neighborhoods around the globe. Blueground was recently valued at $750 million. Alex previously worked in management and strategy consulting at McKinsey & Company and Samsung Electronics.
Fay Christodoulou – Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Miroculus Inc, a biotechnology research company headquartered in California, US. Fay has a PhD in Evolutionary developmental biology from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory.
Alex Tsilfidis – He co-founded and led Accusonus, the audio repair and music creation software company, for almost 10 years. Currently, Alex works as an Engineering Manager at Meta, after the social media giant acquired Accusonus. Alex has a PhD from the University of Patras, where he conducted audio and acoustic technology research.
Ioanna Angelidaki – Co-founder and CMO of InstaShop, the Dubai-headquartered leading online marketplace for supermarkets, pharmacies, pet shops and other businesses in the Middle East. She previously co-founded Vound app, a voice-based social network. Ioana has two masters degrees in marketing management and engineering from the Technical University of Crete.
Victor Trokoudes – Co-founder and CEO of London-based Plum, the fintech company with a smart application that helps its users manage money with the help of AI. He previously served as Head of International and Banking for Transferwise, and co-founded two other companies.
Anna Natsvlishvili – Co-founder and CEO of Morphoses, an e-learning platform designed to cultivate children with soft skills through live online classes. Anna has an engineering background and an MBA in international entrepreneurship from the University of Patras. She has previously led innovation and scaleup programs at Endeavor, a global community focused on building thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging and underserved markets around the world.
Dr.-Ing Alexis G. Pantziaros – Co-founder and CEO of Coffe-eco, a cleantech startup with a proprietary technology for extracting valuable raw materials for cosmetics and food industries from coffee waste. Alexis is also a non-executive director of edtech startup Morphoses and of a content marketing agency. He has a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Patras.
Charis Arvanitis – Founder and CEO of Spotawheel, a tech-first second-hand car marketplace, based in Athens. Spotawheel recently raised €100 million. Charis also founded Spotmechanic, a market leader in spot technical inspections for used cars. Charis has previous experience in strategic planning and management consulting.
George Desyllas – Founder and CEO of FlexCar, an automotive leasing company present in Greece, Cyprus, and Italy. FlexCar recently raised €210 million. George graduated in 2019 from The London School of Economics and Political Science with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Fotis Fotiadis – Co-founder and CEO of Better Origin, developer of modular insect farms that convert food waste into animal feed, helping decarbonise food supply chains. Better Origin recently raised $16 million. Fotis previously worked as a Project Engineer at a global engineering contractor for offshore oil and gas projects.
Haris Pylarinos – Co-founder and CEO of Hack the Box, a gamified cybertraining platform headquartered in Kent, US. Haris has extensive experience in systems, network, and security engineering.
Apostolos Apostolakis – Tech entrepreneur and investor. He co-founded VentureFriends, a European venture capital and private equity company, with a recently opened new fund of €90 million to expand to Latin America and the Middle East. Apostolos serves on the Board of several of the startups in which he invested. He also co-founded several companies, including doctoranytime, a leading health tech multinational company to search for medical services.
Eric Thanopoulos Parks – As the general partner at Velocity.Partners Venture Capital fund, Eric is an investor and mentor in startups, with a focus on Greece. He is the previous director of digital strategy and innovation at Tempo-OMD, head of digital at Leo Burnett Athens and The Newtons Laboratory, and co-founder of Pinnatta.
Marco Veremis – Founding partner of Greek VC fund Big Pi Ventures and founder of mobile marketing technology solutions provider Upstream, based in London. Marco currently serves as Board Member of multiple startups and nonprofits in the region.
Antonis Prentzas – Co-founder and CEO at finloup, the first buy now pay later provider in Greece. Finloup recently raised €1 million. Antonis has previous experience in management consulting and digital project management. He has an International MBA from Athens University of Economics and Business.
Takis Malavetas – Founder and CEO at Pop Market, a quick commerce player in the grocery delivery market, based in Greece. Pop Market recently raised €3 million seed money. Takis previously founded UK’s first 1-hour grocery delivery marketplace, Home Run.Delivery. His experience includes academia, as a University Lecturer for the MSc Innovation & Entrepreneurship program at the Rotterdam School of Management.
Stavros Papadopoulos – Founder and CEO at TileDB, a spin off of MIT and Intel Labs that aims to make data management universal. TileDB recently received a strategic investment from Verizon Ventures. Previously, Stavros was a Senior Research Scientist at the Intel Parallel Computing Lab, and a member of the Intel Science and Technology Center for Big Data at MIT CSAIL. He received his PhD degree in Computer Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
Dr. Maria Chatzou Dunford – Founder and CEO of Techstars-backed Lifebit, the world’s first federated genomics platform for unified and secure research over distributed big data, headquartered in the UK. Lifebit recently raised $60 million. Dr. Dunford previously founded Innovation Forum Barcelona and worked as a researcher on big biomedical data at the Centre for Genomic Regulation, in Barcelona, Spain. She holds a PhD in Biomedicine from Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Dimitrios Skaltsas – Co-founder and executive director at Intelligencia, the platform using Artificial Intelligence to de-risk drug development, which recently raised $12 million. Dimitrios is also a Member of the Hellenic National Bioethics and Technoethics Commission and an early-stage investor and advisor. He was an executive in residence in digital and AI at INSEAD.
Antonis Markopoulos – Founder and CEO at Prosperty, a proptech company offering integrated tech-enabled real estate services and a digital-first experience to property portfolio investors and individuals. Prosperty raised a €3.3 million seed round in 2021. Antonis has experience in senior and executive roles in Strategy and Business Development, as well as a strong technical background and a PhD in Telecoms.
Nicky Goulimis – Co-founder and Board Director of Nova Credit, a cross-border credit reporting agency, based in California, US. She previously worked in management consulting and has an MBA from Stanford University.
Spyros Magiatis – Founder and CTO at US-Greek startup Workable, offering scalable tools for talent hiring. Spyros has vast experience in software engineering and previously served as the Software Development Director of Upstream.
Emilios Markou – Co-founder and CEO of Hellas Direct, a digital-first, full-stack insurance company, empowered by AI. Hellas Direct recently raised €32 million to fund expansion plans. Emilios has previous experience in insurance and financial services, including serving as a Director for Barclays and Goldman Sachs.
George Varvarelis – Founder and CEO of Augmenta, a deep-tech company serving farmers and agricultural service providers with automation and digitalization solutions. Last year, Augmenta raised a $8 million Series A round. George has experience both as an engineer and as a part-time farmer, and has a PhD in online big data processing for applications for autonomous vehicles like farm tractors or robots.
Yiannis Kiachopoulos – Co-founder and CEO of Causaly, a knowledge platform built using AI to help researchers and decision-makers to quickly discover evidence from millions of academic publications, clinical trials, regulatory documents, patents and other data sources. Last year, Causaly raised a $17 million round. Previously, Yiannis advised telecoms clients on business strategy and transformation, as well as information technology.
Costa Tsaousis – Founder and CEO of Netdata, a tool that makes infrastructure monitoring and troubleshooting easier for both experts and beginners. He is also the founder of FireHOL, a language and connected program, which builds secure, stateful firewalls from easy to understand, human-readable configurations. Costa previously co-founded ComNet, an OSS/BSS software developer for service providers, later acquired by Hellas On Line. He served in different roles at Hellas On Line and as COO at managing partner at Viva Wallet.
Antonios Chalkiopoulos – Founder and CEO of UK-Greek startup Lenses.io, a real-time applications and data operation portal, recently acquired by Celonis. Previously, Antonios served in engineering leadership roles and as an IT Project Leader, Analyst and Senior Developer at the Greek Ministry of Education, General Secretariat of Lifelong Learning, among others.
John Papadakis – Founder and CEO of Pollfish, a US-Greek hybrid-service survey platform for conducting market research that was recently acquired by American company Prodege. He previously co-founded Pajap, a service that allowed users to create Android mobile applications instantly from their browser.
Byron Nicolaides – The founder and CEO of PeopleCert, a leading global organization in the certification of professional and language skills and the first unicorn emerging from Greece. Byron is also the president of CEPIS, an organization representing 450,000 IT professionals from 29 countries across Europe. He started his career at Merrill Lynch.
Stavros Messinis – Co-founder and chief curator of The Cube, a startup cluster and innovation space in the heart of Athens. Stavros is also Director Initiatives at the CampusBus Entrepreneurship Development Organisation, and has previously co-founded CoLab Athens, an organization providing a network of coworking sites for community events.
Thanos Papangelis – Co-founder and CEO at Epignosis, a learning technology vendor that builds products that support learning and talent development for organizations and enterprises. Thanos is also a seasoned angel investor and has experience in software development. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of Patras.
Apostolos Atsalakis – Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer of PNOĒ, an integrative health optimization program addressing cardio-metabolic disease through breath analysis. He is a Y Combinator graduate and an Endeavor entrepreneur, and holds a Master’s degree in Nanotechnology from the University of Cambridge.