TechCrunch comes to Athens to meet with Greek geeks and startup founders

Open Coffee Athens LII (#52) is a special one: The most interesting and influential tech blog in the world, TechCrunch, will run the show! This is a guest post by Niko Bonatsos, going through the details.

I am thrilled to share the exciting news with the Open Coffee community. TechCrunch is hosting an Athens Meet Up in collaboration with Open Coffee on January 4, 2013 at 5pm.

Alexia Tsotsis, co-editor at TechCrunch and I, are both quite amazed with the high energy levels of Greek startup founders and the ecosystem supporting them. Open Coffee has done a terrific job building the Greek startup community from day one. They have my respect for what they have accomplished with their limited resources.

When I moved overseas 7 years ago, the very best engineers aspired to join big companies or become academics; now a bunch of the most ambitious ones are launching tech ventures. I totally love this and endorse it wholeheartedly; entrepreneurship has become a career option. And guess what… for the first time being an entrepreneur in Greece does not always mean that one runs a restaurant, a bar or a hotel… but a potentially highly scalable business that can create hundreds of new jobs.

In the last few years, I have been fortunate to frequently interact with a lot of Greek founders and engineers through my involvement in co-founding and running Silicon Valley Greeks and Greekamericans and by virtue of investing in early stage IT companies at General Catalyst. I truly love the enthusiasm of Greek founders, yet I believe that there is a lot of room for improvement in terms of execution, as now we have to start seeing some early results. Hype is great; results are always the best. Let’s demystify the process of new venture creation and startup building; this event will help do this.

Our mission is to create awareness about the Greek entrepreneurial ecosystem, help connect everybody involved in it and surface role models for the Hellenic startup community.

The agenda of the TechCrunch Athens Meet Up is [as of now]:
5.00pm – 5.15pm: Opening Remarks by Alexia Tsotsis (@alexia), co-editor at TechCrunch and Niko Bonatsos (@bonatsos), co-founder of SV Greeks & Greekamericans and VC at General Catalyst Partners.
5.15pm – 6.00pm: Greek Founders’ Panel: Panos Papadopoulos (BugSense), Alexis Pantazis & Emilios Markou (Hellas Direct), Nikos Drandakis (Taxibeat), Xenios Thrasyvoulou (People Per Hour). Moderator: Alexia Tsotsis.
• 6.00pm – 6.15pm: Break
6:15pm – 7:00pm: Ecosystem Builders’ Panel : Stavros Messinis (CoLab), Yorgos Koutsoyannopoulos (HSIA & Helic), Dio Synodinos (Greece JS & InfoQ), Bill Vatikiotis (Ruby Euruko). Moderator: Mike Butcher.
7:00pm – 7.15pm: Fireside Chat with Marco Veremis (Upstream).
7:15pm – 8.00pm: Greek Investors’ Panel: George Tziralis (Openfund), Vassilis Theoharakis (PJ Tech Catalyst), Spyros Trachanis (Odyssey), Dimitris Kalavros-Gousiou (HackFwd). Moderator: Niko Bonatsos.
8:00pm – 10:00pm: Networking Session.

The venue of the event is the already familiar Benaki Museum (138 Piraeus Str), where Open Coffee meetings have been taking place during the last three years. Special thanks to Microsoft Hellas for their generous help with regards to the venue.

We look forward to seeing every single Greek geek & startupper there! Register now via Eventbrite. The event is open to the public for free. Registration is optional; registered attendees will enjoy a free drink (just show a copy of your Eventbrite ticket at the bar), generously provided by Amazon Web Services.


  1. Όλα υπέροχα, τα πάνελ γεμάτα με σοβαρό κόσμο, ο κόσμος θα ξεχυλίσει το Μπενάκη, αλλά, ρε παιδιά, οι ασφαλιστές τι σχέση έχουν με τα Startups; Επειδή έφτιαξαν μια εταιρεία που ασφαλίζει κόσμο; Δεν είναι οι πρώτοι, ούτε οι μόνοι, ούτε έχουν κάτι το διαφορετικό. Το αντίθετο θα έλεγα.

    Αυτό σαν παράπονο. Η’ πιο σωστά, σαν επισήμανση. Κατά τα άλλα, θα τα πούμε την Παρασκευή.

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