An innovation community puts its eye on its counterparts abroad and highlights ideas that take shape by setting up successful businesses in promising areas that focus on the environment and climate change.
“TA NEA Savvatokyriako” presents three of the many successful companies that emerged in previous GreenTech Challenge competitions, with their founders narrating the path to success.
The GreenTech Challenge is an idea born in 2018 inspired by the Economic Environment and Sustainable Development Research Unit of the National Technical University of Athens and supported by the spin out startup innovation partner Mantis Business Innovation.
The GreenTech Challenge is organized for the fifth time, with the country’s polytechnics giving a potential presence while this time more than 300 teams and startups have participated, 3,401 students and researchers, 114 mentors and 60 collaborating organizations and companies. It started on November 3 and ends with the final competition on December 10-12.
Food and medicines from microalgae
The company that utilizes carbon dioxide and produces raw materials of superior value, including for food, medicine, cosmetics, fabrics and biodegradable plastics, has a Greek signature, with simultaneous commitment and utilization of 29 times more carbon dioxide than one equal forest area.
It was founded in late 2019 by Vassilios Stenos, a graduate of Columbia University in the USA, and emerged as a continuation of his postgraduate research around the commitment and utilization of carbon dioxide. Solmeyea is essentially a model agro-biotechnology company associated with intensive vertical cultivation of microalgae and simultaneous capture of impressive volumes of carbon dioxide.
The company, in addition to awards and recognition, especially abroad, is certified with the Seal of Excellence by the Commission and has already established know-how in the US and Europe regarding the 29 times more efficient carbon dioxide emissions compared to an average forest.
It has also installed its pilot production line, thanks to the cooperation and hospitality with the Democritus Research Center. It has structured collaborations with more than 50 companies, industries and the top recognized research institutions from at least 15 European countries, Israel and the USA.
Their vision is to create the largest and most influential center of agro-biotechnology and microalgae in the Southeastern Mediterranean.
“New generation” delivery
A “new generation” courier company that specializes in e-commerce and offers guaranteed deliveries the same or the next day. It was founded in 2018 and started offering an immediate delivery service, but quickly focused on the last part of the delivery to the customer (last mile).
The elements that differentiate it are the software, which optimizes the experience of all involved, monitors and manages real-time orders, optimizes routes and allows distributor tracking on the map in real time, estimated delivery time, etc. The second “trump card” is the team, which numbers over 40 people. At the helm is Dimitris Lykouris, a graduate of the American College of Athens.
With him, from the beginning, are George Moultos, holder of a master’s degree in Applied Business Research and Analysis and an “expert” in what has to do with economics and data analysis, and Nikos Kousathanas, holder of a master’s degree in Mechanical Learning, who built the platform of Stoferno.gr.
The team, also recognized by the list “Forbes 30 under 30” of the year 2020, works, as it transmits to “NEA”, daily hard in order to gain the trust of Greek e-commerce and to show the Greek consumer how it should be to operate any modern courier service. Of course, there are difficulties, as its founders emphasize. It operates in a very competitive market and at the same time has to manage a complex model of smart Logistics with three different audiences: users, businesses, and distributors.
“Smart” charging of electric vehicles
Created a solution for smart charging of many electric vehicles in a charger without the need for human intervention, Optecharge. It started in August 2020 with a group of three people and now numbers nine.
The idea came from the University of Athens, when they were postgraduate students, and was presented for the first time in a contest.
The idea was distinguished in the MIT Enterprise Forum Greece competition by “Forbes 30 under 30” in 2021. As the company’s representatives emphasize in “NEA”, the vision is to contribute to the smooth transition to environmentally sustainable societies through providing innovative and economically viable solutions.
The platform solves problems in the fields of electric propulsion and smart energy networks, which is based on an artificial intelligence algorithm that essentially optimizes the way electric vehicles are charged.
“The research process has led us to realize the need regarding the charging infrastructure of electric vehicles and the development of smart energy networks,” they say.
The platform ensures the maximization of the use of renewable energy sources, the stability of the network, the dynamic response to the demand for electricity and the dynamic adjustment of prices per location to normalize the demand.
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