The Venture Impact Awards
Monday, December 13, 2021
Ceremony & Winners
The 2021 Venture Impact Awards (VIA) winners announcement was held on December 13, 2021. VIA is The Hellenic Initiative’s newest program providing help and support to Greece’s brightest and most talented teams, helping them create ventures and projects that are scalable and sustainable. VIA was founded with the initial support of The Helidoni Foundation and The Charles C. Condes Trust.
Total 18 winners receive $285,000 in cash prizes
5 Winners @ $10,000 each
NOSILIA’s vision is to meet the needs for primary health care, home care and palliative care to all patients in need and at the same time to support their family members. Mission of NOSILIA is to take action to improve the quality of life of patients and their family members as well as to defend the right to a decent care for every citizen in need. NOSILIA aims at providing relief for human pain, focusing upon supporting patients with chronic diseases (cancer, chronic respiratory failure, stroke, dementia, etc.) with mobility impairments.
Organization Earth is a Greek Non-profit Civil Society Organization founded in 2010 that promotes Sustainable Development, by offering programs of non-typical education and by facilitating community-based activities. Its mission is to ensure that its program participants will obtain the necessary knowledge and develop relevant skills to make more sustainable lifestyle and consumer choices. Organization Earth’s work is mostly focused on urban settings, offering nature-based solutions as climate-change resilience mechanisms. Moreover, it collaborates with municipalities in delivering climate-neutral pilot programs. Since 2015, stemming from the organization’s core values for a just and inclusive society, Organization Earth’s scope expanded to include the assistance of vulnerable groups such as refugees, people with intellectual disabilities, the elderly and the long-term unemployed. These programs are delivered in various locations such as refugee camps, assisted living facilities, as well as public green spaces and of course, in schools.
Odyssea’s vision is to democratize access to innovation and knowledge, to enable self-reliance and accelerate efforts towards a more inclusive society. Odyssea’s mission is to bridge global and local resources in open innovation, vocational education and entrepreneurship, with and for excluded communities. The organization addresses the most vulnerable groups working for their integration through adult training programs and employability support, bridging them with the world of work.
Epannekinisis collects used IT equipment from companies and individuals. Most of the collected goods are repaired (if that is possible) and donated to schools and universities to promote information security. The others are either used for harvesting spare parts or then recycled or remain available for leasing. Some of them are donated to technical schools for their projects and as part of their training. Through this procedure many of the electronic systems are diverted from landfills, increase their lifespan and are used for other purposes. Epannekinisis is also the only greek member of team R2REurope which uses social media to raise people awareness for recycling and reusing technical devices. Several events that take place in Epanekkinisis physical shop in Kipseli Municipal Market (in the center of the city of Athens), where everyone has easy access through means of public transportation, promote the recycling and the reuse of electric equipment to students and schools.
The Social Cooperative Enterprise “Aegean Sails” is the legal entity of the non-profit organization SAILMED which was established to revive the "Sailing Cargo Transportation in the Aegean" (AEGEAN CARGO SAILING). The mission of Aegean Sails is to establish ecological maritime transport without fossil fuels. Aegean Cargo Sailing project combines the sailing transport of Aegean products, with agro- ecological, gastronomic and cultural tourism in the region and in the wider Mediterranean. The organization’s goal is to ensure the interconnectedness of islands and the transport of products, with zero carbon footprint using alternative energy sources, connecting wind with electricity, thus helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in maritime transport. Through this, an example of transport and interconnection of islands with limited or zero greenhouse gas emissions is created, with the goal of its multiplication and, through its effectiveness, the creation of a clean environmentally friendly transport model.
Women on Top
Women On Top (WoT) is a non-profit organization working for the professional empowerment of women and for equality in the workplace. The organization’s vision is a world with empowered women at all stages of their lives and our mission is to achieve that by eliminating gender discrimination at work and promoting the equal participation of men and women in the economy by creating gradual change in the social and professional ecosystem that surrounds them. WoT was founded in 2018 and since then has created and monitored over 980 mentoring partnerships for the benefit of unemployed women, women who want to change their professional career, establish themselves in male-dominated professions, build their own businesses etc. WoT has also trained over 1500 unemployed, employed and self-employed women in skills camps offering childcare support upon need. Moreover, through the “WoT in Business” initiative they provide training, consulting and project management services to businesses and organizations wishing to prioritize the equal representation of women at work, by investing in the diversity and inclusivity of their talent pools as well as to the work/life balance of their employees. Finally, WoT has developed a wide research and communication platform, in order to build powerful networks around the goal of gender equality, help promote positive and strong female role models and raise awareness, among the general public as well as decision making bodies, around the obstacles that women face, even in this day and age, in their equal participation in public life.
HUMANE is the network for the empowerment of people with disabilities and consists of 2 organizations: The Humane Social Enterprise (KOINSEP) for the labor integration of people with disabilities (2016) and the non-profit Humane Empowering People (AMKE). It is an initiative of Dimitris Kontopidis, a patient with Cystic Fibrosis - 80% disability, with extensive experience in patients’ advocacy and social entrepreneurship. HUMANE's vision is to prove that people belonging to vulnerable groups have "unlimited" abilities, as long as we accept them, and to integrate them equally and participate in society. Through its activities, HUMANE scope of work is the empowerment of vulnerable groups with focus on people with disabilities and chronic diseases.
Citycrop’s aim is to enable everyone to grow high-quality, organic, pesticide-free, vegetables, and herbs, easy regardless of knowledge and experience. CityCrop makes it insanely easy to grow, harvest, and enjoy fresh food at home. CityCrop is a system with the usage of advanced technologies and data that automatically grows the freshest plants. We think of it as a beautiful mini fridge that stocks itself with high-quality nutritious food. The CityCrop App allows users to control the CityCrop device, which automated the process of growing plants at home with maximum convenience and none of the hassle. The CityCrop App is designed for both expert growers and first-time growers, simplifying the process of growing from seed to harvest. The user can automate the complex process of growing indoors with hydroponics by setting grow recipes for their specific plant strain. These grow recipes include nutrient dosing and concentration, pH balance, water cycling, air temperature, humidity, lighting, among other variables, which change on a weekly basis until the plant is ready for harvest. CityCrop is building a huge database with millions of sensor metrics. Using this data, we are creating multiple complex predictive models that can improve the user experience, as well as help users, grow their fruits and vegetables with ideal environments.
Lia works to preserve the ancient Hellenic olive species and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) traditions through the support of small production farmers to produce and bottle organic extra virgin olive oils by growing flavorful, organic olives in the richest soils of Greece using the sustainable methods. The organization does this through a top-of-the-line bottling facility specialized in supporting small production farmers. Lia has also created an official Olive Oil Cultural Hub in Greece that International and Greek people can visit to learn about what makes high quality EVOO as well as taste it. Lia’s vision is that generational olive oil families can have a livable economic source while communing with the environment in a sustainable way. The Hub, located in the heart of Messinia, has its foundational library of information and practices rooted in the award-winning business of LIÁ Oil.
InAccel provides a unique integrated software platform that allows the easy deployment, scaling and utilization of hardware accelerators. InAccel also develops accelerators in the form of IP cores for applications like machine learning, financial applications, neurocomputing applications, video analytics, genomics and databases. InAccel's technology allows to run up to 20x faster these applications without the users modifying their original applications.
The Greek Online School
The organization’s mission is to promote the Greek language, history and culture through high quality educational and cultural online and face to face programs for children and adults using creative and innovative educational and technological services and tools. The main audience is children and adults who want to learn Greek or improve their language skills. The school services are aimed at people who are based all over the world, have a connection to Greece, are Greek expats, have a Greek background and family in Greece, visit Greece quite often for work or pleasure and Philhellenes.
EV Loader’s mission is to develop an interoperable app that helps charging station owners manage their stations more efficiently and mitigates charging complexity for EV owners. Their long-term objective is to act as catalysts for broader EV adoption and to make EV charging work in favor of the grid by integrating variable pricing mechanisms to incentivize smart charging. The app includes incentives for EV drivers to charge their car batteries when there is surplus production capacity from Wind and Solar by lowering the charge cost in these specific time intervals. The team’s vision is to accelerate transition to cleaner energy by deploying our interoperable EV charging solution and then build new products and form partnerships with energy utilities around that platform.
Ingredio mission is to empower the growing portion of people that want to live a healthy lifestyle and be more conscious about healthy nutrition and cosmetics without toxic chemicals. They aim to educate the consumers towards more informed decisions about the products they bring into their homes. The team’s vision is to create a society free of toxic chemicals and inform and educate consumers about the ingredients of the products they buy. We aim to protect human health and the environment and raise awareness towards a world free of dangerous chemicals.
With a mission to reduce scoliosis spinal surgeries, AidPlex developed ScolioSense. A smart wearable device for monitoring scoliosis treatment to improve the outcomes of the treatment and reduce the number of scoliosis surgeries. Scoliosis is a niche market for AidPlex.
Dogs' Voice is a non-profit organization on the protection of companion animals in Greece. Founded in 2015, Dogs' Voice has developed to date: (i) a full platform for the adoption of stray dogs; (ii) a stray animals management software for municipalities; (iii) a crisis response mechanism for the management of companion animals in natural disasters, already successfully implemented at the floods of Mandra (November 2017), the wildfires of Mati and Kineta (July 2018) and most recently at the wildfires of Attica and Evia (August 2021); (iv) the program "Messinia without strays" combining massive neutering programs, educational programs for students and the public sector as well as adoption campaigns implemented at the prefecture of Messinia, Greece; and (v) participates actively to the animal welfare agenda within EU institutions as a full member of Eurogroup for Animals. Dogs' Voice vision is a stray free Greece where all animals will be treated with respect and compassion. The team’s mission is to create the Civil Protection for Animals preparing Greece to protect all animals during a natural disaster.
Mindspace vision is to see an increased entrepreneurial mindset among people in Greece. This would enable them to act as catalysts in society’s sustainability, empower them to successfully tackle problems in different elements of their lives and systematically drive economic development. Paul Graham and others believe that this mindset cannot be taught in the classroom - “Entrepreneurship is something you learn best by doing it”. Meanwhile, the university environment offers a low opportunity cost for someone’s first attempt in entrepreneurship, which would result in gaining valuable skills while being a safe place for first failures. Therefore, Mindspace’s mission is to cultivate the entrepreneurial mentality among university students. This is the reason why Mindspace mainly focuses on students without a former entrepreneurial exposure, by designing and implementing wide scale international programs to help them become familiar with entrepreneurship in various contexts. Ultimately, it connects them with the market needs and opens new career and employability pathways, by showing them the business challenges and opportunities that exist in different industries and educating them on how to utilize their academic background and soft skills to think in a more entrepreneurial way, regardless of whether they decide to start their own business or follow another path.
SciCo’s mission is to combat scientific illiteracy and to upskill youth in the fields of science and technology. SciCo’s vision is to become an international enterprise which will empower citizens and communities, mainly via science and technology. SciCo consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers, educators, academics, sustainability and business consultants, artists and people with an interest in everyday science. The team has great expertise in digital upskilling, STEM education, science engagement, environmental education and science communication. SciCo has run more than 200 projects in the last 8 years, impacting more than 300.000 people in Greece and beyond.
Moptil’s vision is to make young generations love Cultural Heritage. The team’s mission is to create a universe of the Historical past. People will be able to visualize, talk and communicate with the civilizations of the History through their devices whenever and wherever they want. Their target market is tourism. Tourist offices, tour operators, hotels, buses, and professionals (tour guides etc) will be able to use our content (through an App) or create their own content (in our App). Tourists will be able to download and use our App to experience archaeological sites, museums, castles and other historical places in an interactive way where past will blend with today ruins (AR) and the communication with the ancient mindset through live dialogues (AI) will ruins (AR) and the communication with the ancient mindset through live dialogues (AI) will reincarnate historical personalities.