RG Connect18 conference

Save The Date – Saturday, October 6th, 2018

London, 10.00 – 18.00

In association with

RG Conference17 ‘The Unstoppable Generation: Hacking Entrepreneurship into a Culture’ explored and debated how a mindset of entrepreneurism can be hacked into a culture to create long term and sustainable change.

Get ready to be inspired, feel empowered and make connections with people who want to make a difference in their community.

Start-up Pitches


08.45 – 09.30


Morning Coffee & Networking


09.30 – 09.45


Welcome Remarks
Effie Kyrtata, Reload Greece


09.45 – 10.05


Entrepreneurial Culture: The Invisible but Distinct Factor of the Ease of Doing Busines
Simeon Djankov, Director, Financial Markets Group, London School of Economics 

The creator of the World Banks Doing Business Series shares his insights on how developing an entrepreneurial culture can play a pivotal role towards a country’s rapid development in the rankings and beyond.

10.05 – 10.25


Collective Vision: Leading the Change You Want to See in Your Country
Charity Wayua, Public Sector Research Manager, IBM, Nairobi, Kenya 

Kenya has been ranked the world’s third most reformed country two years in a row. How did Kenyans work together towards a collective vision in order to transform their homeland?

10.25 – 10.55


What Does International Experience Teach Us About the Promise and Perils of Transforming Greece
Simeon Djankov
Charity Wayua

A panel discussion moderated by Nick Maltzoukis – Editor, MacroPolis

10.55 – 11.10


Young & Mighty: Breaking Stereotypes in Schools
Diana Voutyrakou, Founder & GM Unique Minds

Diana has received worldwide recognition for her work in the field of robotics. How did she break through the stereotypes and create a social enterprise that enables her peers to discover their ideal career?

11.10 – 11.30


Coffee Break

11.30 – 11.50


Shaping the Cities of The Future
Gordon Innes, Economic Development, Bloomberg Associates

Having worked with governments to help cities equip themselves for the future, Gordon will discuss the pillars on which successful entrepreneurial ecosystems can be built.

11.50 – 12.30


A Culture of Innovation – The Inside Stories
Beverley Nielsen, Birmingham City University, Director of ‘Birmingham Made Me’

Tobias Stone, Entrepreneur & Advisor to Estonia e-Residency Programme

Moderated by Vicky Pryce – Economist & CEBR Board Membera panel discussion on the challenges cities face when attempting to build entrepreneurial ecosystems.

12.30 – 13.10


Financing Entrepreneurship & Growth
Nicholas Jennett, Deputy Director General & Head of Investment Team for Greece, European Investment Bank

Ioannis Tsakiris, Head of Division, Mandate Management Department, European Investment Fund 

Moderated by Yannis Palaiologos, Kathimerini, a panel discussion on how the Greek entrepreneurial ecosystem can leverage the new round of funding which is about to hit the country.

13.10 – 14.10



14.10 – 15.10


Breakout Sessions: Hacking Entrepreneurship into Traditional Industries

  • FinTech & Financial Services  in association with Hellenic Bankers Association

    Sergio Tzianos, RBS | Aristotelis Xenofontos, Santander InnoVentures | Antonis Ntatzopoulos, HBA, Maria Barsuk, EBRD 

  • Prospects of Renewable & Energy Efficiency Technologies in association with Greek Energy Forum

    Menelaos Ioannidis, Lightsource Labs | Demetris Koufos, EBRD | Ioannis Orfanos, Green Value Associates, Daria Nochevnik, GEF

  • Scaling Up in the Tourism  Industry

    Philipp Brinkmann, Tripsta | Katerina Santikou, Workathlon | Maria Evripides, Bookyourweddingday

  • Innovation in the Corporate Sector 

    Konstantinos Frantzis, IDEO |Mollie Amkraut, IDEO | Katerina Kyrilli, Digital Inclusion Specialist

15.10 – 15.30


Playing to Win: Driving Innovation from Within
Mihalis Fostiropoulos, Director, Almi Tankers S.A

How did the Director of one of Greece’s youngest bulk-carrier shipping companies re-shape his company’s culture, transforming it to a place where innovation flourishes as a result of collective participation.

15.30 – 15.50


RG Alumni Start-up pitches – Rising to the Challenge

Reload Greece Alumni will be pitching their startups. We challenge you to pitch back your ideas for helping them to double their impact.
● Bookyourweddingday, Maria Evripides
● CubeRM, George Boretos
● Mastiha World, George Economides
● Nima Composites, Evangelos Zymbeloudis
● Push Me, George Kalligeros
● Workathlon, Katerina Santikou

15.50 – 16.10


Coffee Break

16.10 – 16.40


Cultural Reform: The Role of the Diaspora
Dr. Othon Anastasakis, Director, South East European Studies of Oxford (SEESOX)

Nikos Vettas,  General Director, Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) and Professor of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

Costas Meghir, Professor of Economics, Yale University

Antonis Kamaras, SEESOX St Antony’s College, University of Oxford

Moderated by Yiorgos Mylonadis, LBS, a panel discussion on the efforts the Greek diaspora is and should be making to bring about changes in policy, philanthropy and other key sectors in Greece, in order to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset.

16.40 – 17.00


Cross Border Entrepreneurship: Collaborating From Distant Locals
Dimitris Melachroinos, CEO, Spitogatos.gr

The fascinating story of four co-founders who conceived and executed their vision from different locations.

17.00 – 17.30


Future Outlook for Investment Trends

Anne-Laure Kiechel, Partner, Financing Advisory Group / Sovereign Advisory Group & Global Head of Rothschild’s Rating Advisory Practice, Rothschild

How does political and economic instability affect investment trends and what is the outlook with Brexit looming for investments in Europe and particularly in Greece.

17.30 – 17.50


How to Quit the “Quit Mentality”: The Story Behind One of Greece’s Greatest Start-Up Exits

Aimilios Chalamandaris, CEO, Innoetics

Innoetics was recently acquired by Samsung, making it one of Greece’s greatest entrepreneurial success stories. CEO, Aimilios Chalamandaris, will be sharing how their journey began, how perseverance wins and how start-ups can follow their lead of building global and sustainable businesses in Greece.

17.50 – 18.00


Closing Remarks
Effie Kyrtata, CEO, Reload Greece



Networking Reception


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    Ioannis is an experienced investment management and advisory professional with more than 15 years of combined involvement in real estate and energy efficiency projects. He is also a Sounding Board Expert in the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG).

Ioannis Orfanos

UK Dep. of Energy and Climate Change, Commercial and Corporate Finance Advisor

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    I am founder and general manager of Unique Minds (UM), a non-profit organization whose purpose is to assist students and young adults to identify and follow their ideal academic path. UM aims to provide students with useful information in order to make their minds on their future steps in academia. To achieve that, UM brings together bachelor and high school students, through several events.

Dialekti Athina Voutyrakou

Unique Minds, Founder & General Manager

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    Prior to joining Bloomberg Associates, Gordon was the inaugural Chief Executive of London & Partners, the UK Capital’s official promotional and economic development company. Under his leadership, the company attracted investment and spend which contributed £1.2bn GVA to the London economy, creating more than 38,000 jobs.

Gordon Innes

Bloomberg Associates, Economic Development

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    With a strong entrepreneurial background, Aimilios was responsible for the organic growth of INNOETICS, its business development and its strategic steps in the global market. Under his lead INNOETICS was acquired by Samsung Electronics in 2017, consisting the first start-up acquisition of Samsung Electronics in Europe.

Aimilios Chalamandaris


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    Tobias has worked in economic development with the Soros Foundation, and policy with the UK Government, and as an advisor to the Estonian Government’s e-Residency Program. As an entrepreneur he set up a specialist healthcare accelerator, is on the board of a number of startups, and on the advisory board of TechFugees.

Tobias Stone

Advisor to Estonian e-Residency Programme, Entrepreneur and Academic 

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    Since 2012 she has been involved in innovative projects aiming to advance the efficiency of hospitality and specifically has focused in the recruiting and hiring process of personnel. She is the business development director for the hospitality group Santikos Collection and the founder of Workathlon.

Katerina Santikou

Workathlon, Founder

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    Dr. Djankov is the founder of the World Bank’s Doing Business project. He was rector of the New Economic School in Russia and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Simeon was Associate Editor of the Journal of Comparative Economics from 2004 to 2009 and Chairman of the Board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012–13.

Simeon Djankov

London School of Economics, Director in Financial Markets Group

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    Beverley is a campaigner, business person and entrepreneur who has worked at Birmingham University for the past decade. Over the past twenty years working in the West Midlands, Beverley has helped to set up or significantly accelerate growth in over 30 businesses linking together students and entrepreneurs with established businesses and funding.

Beverley Nielsen

Institute for Design & Economic Acceleration, Associate Professor in Birmingham City University

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    As a trusted advisor to the government, her team’s work had been focused on developing innovative solutions that drive efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of government services to businesses. One of the ongoing projects resulted in Kenya being ranked as the 3rd most reformed country by the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.

Dr. Charity Wayua

IBM Africa Research Lab, Research Scientist & Manager 

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    Philipp is currently acting as CEO of Tripsta, one of the largest OTA’s and most recognized leaders in the industry. Tripsta, airtickets®, and Travelplanet24 are preferred by more than a million loyal travellers throughout the 45 global markets that the company presently operates in.

Philipp Brinkmann

Tripsta | Travelplanet24 | airtickets, Co-founder & CEO 

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    Nick was the Deputy Editor of the English Edition of Kathimerini between 2004 and 2016. He currently writes a weekly column for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in Bloomberg Business Week and other international publications such as Die Zeit, Politico and The Guardian. In 2015, he was awarded the Ernest Udina prize by the Association of European Journalists of Catalonia (APEC).

Nick Malkoutzis

Macropolis, Editor 

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    Dimitrios has more than twenty years of practical experience in Production Technology & Process Optimization, Production Management Systems, Energy & Environment Technology & Corporate & Project Finance.

Dimitrios Koufos

EBRD, Associate Director for the Sustainable Resource Investment Team 

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    Daria’s focus areas include EU’s energy and environmental policies and regulations; regional integration of natural gas markets and infrastructure development; global LNG pricing dynamics and structures; use of natural gas in transportation sector (road and marine); ssLNG markets in Europe and LNG bunkering; natural gas markets in South-East Europe and the East Mediterranean.

Daria Nochevnik

Greek Energy Forum, Deputy Head of Brussels Branch

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    Menelaos has over 25 years of web soſtware development experience. He has pioneered the idea of distributed generation at the point of consumption. Currently, he is responsible for the business’ R&D arm, Lightsource Labs. His team is dedicated to producing smart energy systems such as Lightsource Loop, aiming to revolutionize the generation and usage of green electricity at a domestic level.

Menelaos Ioannidis 

Lightsource Labs, Chief technology officer 

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    He has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the European Economic Association, a member of the Hellenic Competition Commission, of the Executive Committee of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics and of the Economic Advisory Group for Competition Policy at the European Commission.

Nikos Vettas

 Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), General Director and Professor of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business

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    He is currently Faculty Lead on the China component of Nestle’s LNW programme for senior leaders. His previous lead roles in Executive Education were on the Global Business Consortium (Emirates, Oracle, GEA, Xstrata, Nokia Siemens Networks, Mars) and on IBM’s Global Strategic Conversations for Europe.

Yiorgos Mylonadis

London Business School, Adjunct Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship

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    Aris worked for Thomson Reuters where he co-founded the leading institutional KYC service business, Org ID, and led projects in corporate innovation and investments and the launch of several industry solutions. As part of J.P. Morgan’s Investment Banking team, he has also advised private equity firms on M&A and financing transactions.

Aristotelis Xenofontos

Santander InnoVentures, Principal

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    Maria Evripides is the founder and CEO of BookYourWeddingDay.com, the first and only international online booking platform offering real time availability of wedding dates abroad and delivers instant confirmation. She aspired developing a system that synchronizes the calendars of the venues with their respective town halls; a tool that travel agents have been dreaming of.

Maria Evripides

BookYourWeddingDay.com, Founder & CEO

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    In 2009, Michael and his brothers established Almi Tankers. He also set up the Strategy Management Office and adopted the Balanced Scorecard Framework for effective planning and execution of corporate Strategy. In 2017, he designed a new Shipping Company Management elective to MSc Shipping, Trade and Finance students of Cass Business School.

Michael Fostiropoulos 

Almi Tankers S.A. Athens, Director

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    He is a Research Associate of the NBER, an International Research Associate. He worked at University College London as a Full Professor and the Head of Department. He is Fellow of the Econometric Society, Fellow of the British Academy, and Fellow of the Society for Labor Economics. He has been co- editor of Econometrica and joint managing editor of the Economic Journal.

Costas Meghir 

Yale, Professor of Economics

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    Antonis has twelve years experience in Investment Banking, FIG Coverage and Capital Markets. Currently in NatWest Markets, RBS Group he focuses on financing UK and European Insurers, Brokers and Global Asset Managers as well as Greek & Cypriot Financial Institutions. Since 2007, he has originated and executed a number of public and private transactions for a total amount of over EUR55bn.

Antonis Ntatzopoulos

Hellenic Bankers Association UK (HBA), Chairman

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    Mollie is a business design lead in IDEO’s London studio. She helps design new ventures, create innovative business models, and sprinkle commercial insights into IDEO’s client work. Before IDEO, she worked as an accountant at Ernst & Young and then joined the tech sector as a startup consultant and investor.

Mollie Amkraut

IDEO London, Business Design Lead

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    Konstantinos leads multidisciplinary teams and helps clients create successful digital products, services and experiences. With a background in Interaction Design and Electronic Engineering, he has brought to life digital products and services for Fortune 500 clients in the healthcare, automotive, retail and consumer electronics industries.

Kosta Frantzis  

IDEO London, Design Lead

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    Ioannis is the Head of Division at the Mandate Management Department, responsible for South Eastern Europe and Business Development. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (“GEEREF”) and he is also an advising lecturer at the University of Luxembourg on Venture Capital.

Ioannis Tsakiris  

European Investment Fund, Head of Division, Mandate Management Department


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    Nicholas has been with the EIB for 18 years. He established the Investment Team for Greece, which brings together colleagues of the EIB and the Bank’s subsidiary the European Investment Fund. The team has delivered some EUR 1.5 billion of investment under the Investment Plan for Europe; the so-called Juncker Plan.

Nicholas Jennett 

European Investment Bank, Deputy Director General & Head of Investment team in Greece


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    Dimitris co-founded Spitogatos in 2006, after working for a few years in finance in the UK and the US. Since then Spitogatos has gone through numerous transformation phases (from part- time small startup to VC-backed to international acquisition), and Dimitris has gone through all departments and roles ranging from sales and customer service to product, finance, strategy planning and business development.

Dimitrios Melachroinos 

Spitogatos / Spitogatos Network, CEO & Co-Founder

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    Katerina started her career in the field of financial development with the UN and DFI and later focused on digital financial inclusion, heading Growth & Bus Dev in MEA for the fintech, BIMA. Katerina is currently part of the internet.org team connecting the unconnected. She has an MA in Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam and an MBA from INSEAD.

Katerina Kyrili  

Digital Inclusion Specialist

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    Sergio currently leads an Innovation team in RBS, effectively building a digital startup within RBS looking to combine the best of Banking and Fintech enabling RBS to launch new, innovative products and services to RBS’ commercial customers following an agile, design led approach.

Sergio Tzianos 

RBS Group, Innovation Lead, Commercial & Private Banking

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    Mariia has recently joined the EBRD Venture Capital team, a €100 million dedicated fund which invests in early and growth stage technology companies in Central and Eastern Europe, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. She works on active sourcing and origination of investments and deal execution.

Maria Barsuk 

EBRD Venture Capital ICT Team, Investment Professional

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    Sonia began her career in Agence France Presse (AFP), the international news agency, in the Paris headquarter. She then joined the AFP bureau in London as a foreign correspondent. During that time, she covered the three general elections won by Tony Blair, the Northern Irish Peace Process and much more. From there, she went on to work as a freelance for several publications and TVs, including Le Figaro, L’Express, Politique Internationale etc.

Sonia Delesalle-Stolpergood 

Libération, UK and Ireland correspondent

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    Sean joined the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry from Gatwick Airport where he was the head of Public Affairs. Sean was earlier a political advisor to one of the Deputy Speakers in the Northern Ireland Assembly. LCCI is the capital’s largest independent networking and business support organisation.

Sean McKee 

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Director of Policy and Public Affairs

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    Anne-Laure headed Lehman Brothers’ DCM practice for France and Benelux, Co-Headed Lehman’ Global Finance practice for France and Benelux and was a Senior Banker for French corporates. She has worked as a Partner of the Sovereign Advisory Group. Anne-Laure has also been a Partner in the Financing Advisory group and she has been the Global Head of Rothschild’s Rating Advisory practice.

Anne-Laure Kiechel

Rothschild, Partner in Sovereign Advisory Group

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    During his entrepreneurial path, Fanis has won the “Best Innovation Award” during Startup Forum 2013, held by SAP, the 1st “i-bank Innovation & Technology” award in 2012, held by National Bank of Greece and the 1st “E-nnovation” award in 2011, held by Athens University of Economics and Business. Lastly, Fanis is a member of the World Economic Forum by being part of the Global Shapers instrument.
Fanis Koutouvelis

intale, Founder & CEO


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    His research focuses on financial markets, and especially on what drives market liquidity, why asset prices can differ from assets’ fundamental values, why bubbles and crises can occur, and what are appropriate regulatory and policy responses.

Dimitris Vayanos

London School of Economics, Professor of Finance

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    He studies industry evolution, new business models, value migration and structural change in firms and sectors. His work has appeared in the top academic journals as well as HBR, FT and Forbes.com, Kathimerini, and appears on CNN. A frequent speaker in corporate events, he has worked on strategy with Vodafone, Nokia, McKinsey, Accenture, PwC, Santander, Airbus, Lufthansa, Zurich, MerckSerono and the NHS.

Michael G. Jacobides

London Business School, Sir Donald Gordon Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Associate Professor of Strategy

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    He is also an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. He teaches South East European politics and EU politics in Oxford. Previously he was Researcher at the London School of Economics; Expert & Advisor on European Union matters at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Othon Anastasakis

South East European Studies of Oxford (SEESOX), Director

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    Vicky was previously Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service. Before that she was Partner at the accounting and consulting firm KPMG and at London Economics after senior economic positions in banking and the oil sector.

Vicky Pryce

CEBR, Author & Commentator and Economist

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    Author of “The Thirteenth Labour of Hercules” (a book on the Greek crisis). Also a contributor to the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal and to the websites of Time magazine and Politico Europe (and, in the past, of the American Prospect and the New Republic). He was the editor-in-chief of Free Sunday newspaper and the special supplements editor of City Press newspaper. Commented on Greek issues on the BBC, CNN, NPR, France24, Al-Jazeera, RT and other international outlets. 

Yannis Palaiologos

Kathimerini, Features Reporter

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    Research Officer at the Hellenic Observatory, at the European Institute of the LSE. Worked as an advisor to the Governor of the National Bank of Greece (NBG). He joined as an analyst, Levant Partners, an Athens-based hedge fund specialising in the emerging markets of South East Europe and the Middle East. He was an advisor to the Mayor of Thessaloniki and joined the Council of Economic Advisors of the Greek Ministry of Finance in 2014-2015.

Antonis Kamaras

SEESOX St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, Country Coordinator for Greece of the Greek Diaspora Project


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    BookYourWeddingDay.com is the only tool for the Wedding Tourism Market, which shows real-time availability of overseas venues and delivers instant confirmation of online bookings. Reload Greece Challenge Alumni 2015.

Maria Evripides

Bookyourwedding.com, Founder & CEO 

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    Nima Composites specialises in the manufacturing of carbon fibre products and the main focus is the development of protective, lightweight and stylish carbon fibre cases for consumer electronics. Reload Greece Challenge Alumni 2016.

Despoina Zympeloudi Co-Founder , Jamie Hartley Co-Founder, Evangelos Zympeloudis CEO & Co-Founder, Anastasia Koutsomitopoulou CPO & Co-Founder

Nima Composites

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    Cube RM offers a Revenue Management & Optimization SaaS Suite that enables large enterprises of the Life Sciences, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, and Hi-Tech Industries to better manage their sales and pricing processes and to optimize their pricing or other business decisions using advanced soſtware technologies and predictive analytics models. Reload Greece Challenge Alumni 2016.

Costas Economopoulos Co-founder & CEO , George Boretos Co-founder & CMO and Philip Kitynos CTO

Cube RM 

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    Pushme electrifies bicycle fleets of delivery businesses. A plug & play device converts any bike to electric in seconds and a pick-and-go battery network provides infinite range without downtime. Reload Greece Challenge Alumni 2017.

Dan Keene COO & Co-Founder, George Kalligeros CEO & Co-Founder


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    Workathlon enables hotels to recruit on the same level as big chains through their one-stop-shop which increases the efficiency and effectiveness of a hotelier’s recruiting. They provide invaluable knowledge by embedding industry and sector know-how to the technology, becoming a virtual recruiter for hoteliers. Reload Greece Challenge Alumni 2017.

Katerina Santikou

Workathlon, Managing Director 

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    Mastiha World distributes premium drinks and serves as brand activation platform for alcoholic drinks. Reload Greece Challenge Alumni 2015.

George Economides 

MASTIHA WORLD, Managing Director

Media Partners

In-kind Supporters