Greece has suffered more than most during the global recession. Given the severity of the challenges the country and its economy faces, it is all the more remarkable that a major entrepreneurial initiative has been been created. Blue Growth launched in 2014 and aims to inspire and help young entrepreneurs realise their ideas connected with marine and freshwater resources. At its heart is a growing Awards format that has seen several startups showcase some highly innovative developments. The 2016 Awards took place this week in Pireaus Marine Club.
Five out of the nine participating teams which presented their blue economy ideas were awarded during the event which was jointly organized by sustainable-business education and incubation program aephoria.net
“The sea has throughout time served as Greece’s means to getting back on track financially; to growing again after wars and natural disasters,” Piraeus Mayor Yannis Moralis said in his opening address. The winners will receive services worth €5,000, scholarships for MBA programs at the Athens University of Economics and Business and for the MA program at the University of the Aegean’s Department of Marine Sciences and E-learning Master in Maritime from BCA College, as well as the opportunity to present their ideas at the Posidonia 2016 maritime and shipping show to be held on June 9th at the Metropolitan Expo.
“I am among those who believe that Greece will return to growth yet again starting from the sea, its shipping, its ports and tourism. Shipping and tourism are the two pillars that have shown resilience to the long-lived crisis, keeping the Greek economy alive while all other productive sectors have fallen behind,” he added.
And the first prize of the Second Blue Growth challenge went to… Hopwave for their online ticketing service for island-based boats to unknown destinations.
XYZ clinched second place for their 3D laser scanner offering onboard browsing via 3D photography.
The third prize went to the Recisle team for its island recycling scheme.
Achini Aigaiou (or Aegean Sea Urchins) came in fourth for their sea urchin aquaculture concept.
My City-lane Piraeus taking up fifth spot for their project on connecting cruise travellers with the Piraeus market.
Also out of competition were three winning teams from other competitions that Blue Growth were a supporter or a sponsor, having already won their participation in the BG Incubation program:
–Shipowner (Gamification app for owners) – Startup Weekend Piraeus Winner
– Blue Corellation (gathering all the disparate data and reforming them in a uniform and consistent electronic platform use by entities, individuals and businesses, as a cluster of coral) – Blue Hackathon Winner
– (app for boat rental and nearby route options from the islands) – SETE CrowdHackathon Winner
Creative disruption in the maritime sector can introduce promising business opportunities, create new jobs, and transform traditional processes into more productive and sustainable activities. We look forward to more promising startups at the Blue Growth Awards in 2017.