The new enterprise model and the startup ecosystem during the crisis in Greece


The seminar will present the data sets, methodology and key findings of two AUEB funded research projects on the new entrepreneurial paradigm and the startup ecosystem that emerged during the recent economic crisis in Greece.

The outcome of the first is the article Pepelasis and Protogerou (2018) that analyzes the core features of the new, innovative, and outward‐looking entrepreneurial paradigm arising in Greece during the post‐2008 contraction of the economy. Through case studies of 21 selected firms, we demonstrate the ways in which the new paradigm differs from the pre‐2008 prevailing business practices and the reasons why it has appeared at this particular moment in time.

The second project is ongoing (first outcome: Besis and Pepelasis, 2020) and work in progress (Besis, Pepelasis and Paraskevas, forthcoming 2021). It has constructed of a unique dataset of sixteen key socio-economic indicators for initially 255 (now 300) incubated early stage initiatives/startups and their founders in Athens throughout the crucial years of 2010-2016 -a period during which the Greek economic crisis was deepening. The project maps this ecosystem, examines its drivers and makes preliminary predictions employing a mixed methodology of descriptive statistics; and a feature selection algorithm, which tests three different modeling families. Among the key findings are that incubated startuppers were on the whole young, well educated, cosmopolitan and well rounded (had diversity in skills). As for incubated startups they consisted largely of advanced business activities/processes, b2c was important but b2b was also quite widespread and a little over one in ten was based abroad. Finally, in accordance to the international literature and wider policy expectations regarding the startup ecosystem at the moment in Greece, this paper examines the special features of two subcohorts of initiatives: ‘the startups that survived (benchmark year 2018) and ‘those that had customers abroad’.

Ioanna Sapfo Pepelasis and Aimilia Protogerou (December 2018), “A break with the past? The shift from inward looking to internationally competitive and born global firms”, Managerial and Decision Economics.

Ioannis Besis and Ioanna Sapfo Pepelasis, “Incubated early stage startuppers and their initiatives in Athens during the Crisis (2010‐2016)” Working Paper Series 01-2020, Department of Economics, AUEB.

We will analyze the strategies of existing companies in building and sustaining and discuss how new businesses can compete in networked markets.


C4E Series of Lectures on Innovation & Entrepreneurship - Spring 2021


Presenters: Ioanna Sapfo Pepelasis, Aimilia Protogerou, Ioannis Besis and Spiros Paraskevas

Ioanna Sapfo Pepelasis (Born in the USA), a graduate of Harvard and the London School of Economics, is Professor Emerita in the Department of Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) and currently a visiting Professor at the University of Athens.

She has co-edited Diaspora Entrepreneurial Networks: Four Centuries of History, (Berg, 2005), Entrepreneurship in Theory and History (Palgrave, Macmillan 2005) and Country Studies in Entrepreneurship - A Historical Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).

She has published articles in several international edited volumes and prestigious international refereed journals, she has served on the Editorial Boards of the International Journal of Maritime History and Business History and has been a referee for the aforementioned and other journals, as well as for Routledge and Oxford Bibliographies. She participated in the first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in Greece: ‘Entrepreneurship Beyond Silicon Valley: The Greek story’.

She heads a research projects on Entrepreneurial history and History of the Greek corporate sector and with her team has created the largest historical data base in these areas. She also heads two projects focusing on mapping the new entrepreneurial paradigm and startup ecosystem that emerged in Greece during the crisis.  

She has also served as a member of: the Councils of The European Business History Association and the European Association of Evolutionary Political Economy. In addition, she has also served on the Board of Directors of the Greek Center for Planning and Economic Research and the National School of Dance.

She is the initiator and Co-founder of TAKEOFFGREECE.   an initiative for the support of 40+/60+ start-uppers in Greece that undertook mentoring and workshops (2015-2018).She is a member of the Senior Advisory Board of Fashion Revolution and scientific coordinator and presenter of the internet based Series ‘Ethical Vision and Entrepreneurship’. She is also a mentor at the Athens Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at AUEB and contributes towards empowering 50 plus individuals.


Aimilia Protogerou holds a PhD in Business Strategy and Industrial Policy and is a senior researcher at the Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics of the National Technical University of Athens. Her research interests revolve around strategic management of technology and innovation, technology policy and cooperative research and development, innovation networks and knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship. She has contributed as a researcher or principal researcher to a large number of national and EU-funded research projects focusing primarily on innovation and research networks, innovative and dynamic capabilities of firms, industrial dynamics and creation of new industrial sectors and knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship. She has published her work in many international journals, including Research Policy, Industrial and Corporate Change, Technology Forecasting and Social Change, Industry and Innovation, Science and Technology Policy, Journal of Technology Transfer, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, and edited volumes.


Ioannis (Yannis) Besis is a Business Analyst at Athens Stock Exchange. He works in the New Markets and International Business Development Division and focuses on the expansion of ATHEX in new markets and services as well as strategic partnerships. Since 2018, he has managed to be in the core team in main international and domestic projects of the company (Kuwait, Lebanon, etc.). In addition, he has experience as a research associate in the mapping of the Greek startup ecosystem during the Crisis.

He is also a founding member of Entrepreneurship Club Mindspace (NPO), member of the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum, has been awarded in business competitions in Greece, and has participated in sponsored entrepreneurship programs in Greece and abroad. He studied Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business and speaks English, Chinese, and German.


Spiros Paraskevas

Experienced Machine Learning Engineer with a demonstrated problem-solving history in SaaS, Insure-tech, Fin-tech, Biotech industries in US, UK, CH and GR. Diversity of applications. Skilled in machine and deep learning. Studies in electrical engineering, data science and applied mathematics. Keen in end to end data science - machine learning workflows: structured (numerical and categorical data), unstructured data (Natural Language Processing (NLP) text, image), graph data (SNA and graph2vec), data wrangling, quality checkup, feature engineering, statistical learning, machine learning, deep learning model selection and validation, concept drift detection, model deployment, business insights (data visualisation, extensive statistical analysis, hypothesis (or A/B) testing. Strong command of R and Python. Big Data experience with spark. Tech teams leading and university level tutoring experience. Stakeholder management and Interpersonal skills.


When: Wednesday March 10, 17:00-19:00

Where: Online event (link to enter the event provided on registration)


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