Cat­alytic dis­rup­tion

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY MICHALIS STANGOS *

Suc­cess is al­ways the aim. But more of­ten than not one needs to try, and pos­si­bly fail, be­fore suc­ceed­ing. In Greece, fail­ure is widely per­ceived as some­thing fi­nite, some­thing vir­tu­ally ir­re­versible. This is a mis­per­cep­tion that hin­ders en­trepreneur­ship.

The neg­a­tive spi­ral of re­ces­sion brought about by per­sist­ing aus­ter­ity is also a ma­jor dis­cour­age­ment for business. And while sev­eral re­forms were much an­tic­i­pated, the en­demic rigidi­ties, which are not ex­clu­sive to the state, seem to par­a­lyze far-reach­ing pos­i­tive change.

But some­thing new and dy­namic with im­mense po­ten­tial is strug­gling to be born, de­fy­ing the cri­sis and its ad­ver­si­ties. This po­ten­tial is what Carla Tanas and I saw and de­cided to set up the ID-GC as an um­brella, a cat­a­lyst for the nascent ecosys­tem. The ID-GC’s aim is to embrace the new, pro­duc­tive, in­no­va­tive ef­forts of Greek en­trepreneurs and their start-ups, while Dis­rupt is here to project their work on the global scene. Dis­rupt now is evolv­ing into a global hap­pen­ing. This is im­por­tant for both the ecosys­tem and Athens. The for­mer gains a plat­form from which it can pitch, test and sell its ideas to the global mar­ket. Athens ben­e­fits too, see­ing its brand as a venue for in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence tourism strength­ened by the mag­ni­tude and vis­i­bil­ity of Dis­rupt. This is our ul­ti­mate aim: to make Dis­rupt a truly in­ter­na­tional event.

This year’s Dis­rupt Start-up ScaleUP gives us good rea­son for op­ti­mism: It opens Global En­trepreneur­ship Week, a key in­sti­tu­tion, for the first time ever in Greece; it is be­ing held un­der the aus­pices of UNESCO, the Hel­lenic Fed­er­a­tion of En­ter­prises (SEV), the As­so­ci­a­tion of Greek Tourism En­ter­prises (SETE) and the City of Athens – while it en­joys the support of in­sti­tu­tions rang­ing from the Hel­lenic Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (SFEE) and the Fed­er­a­tion of Hel­lenic ICT En­ter­prises (SEPE) to the US Em­bassy, Orange Grove and the Bri­tish Coun­cil; it is at­tended by nearly 200 start-up­pers, and young en­trepreneurs from all over the world; and it is broad­cast live to 150 coun­tries via livestream. The Greek ecosys­tem has a shot. We be­lieve so, and we will make sure the world sees. Now it is down to the pro­gres­sive, cre­ative and vi­brant cit­i­zens who do not fear in­no­va­tive dis­rup­tion to join this week­end with all those who up­set in or­der to con­struct. * Michalis Stangos is the co-founder of In­dus­try Dis­rup­tors – Game Chang­ers (ID-GC) and cu­ra­tor of Dis­rupt Start-up ScaleUP 2014.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.