The OK!Thess pre-incubation programme of the municipality of Thessaloniki offers once again the opportunity to people who wish to develop their businesses by using their innovative ideas.
Submissions for the 7th cycle of the acceleration programme will be made electronically via the official website of OK! Thess until December 31. The lessons will begin in the middle of January at the premises of OK!Thess after the evaluation and selection phase of the final participants. It is noteworthy that the Alexander Innovation Zone, the most important promoter of innovative entrepreneurship in Northern Greece, is actively involved in the operation of Ok!Thess. In the previous six acceleration cycles, over the past two years, about 150 applications have been submitted, of which 47 were selected to follow the programme. Out of these, seven groups are already on the market while one of them has managed to make more than 100,000 euros in sales.
Optimism for 2019
Only in the second half of 2018, more than EUR 1 million was invested in start-up businesses that ‘‘graduated’’ from OK!Thess. The head of the pre-incubator, commissioned municipal councillor for entrepreneurship in the municipality of Thessaloniki, Simon Bensasson, estimates that by 2019 the funds to be invested in startups will exceed € 2 million and may reach € 3 million. According to him, about 80% of startups have a life cycle of three years. Out of the funds invested in startups hosted at OK!Thess, three start-ups received the largest amounts, about 300,000 each, while another six were funded with about 50,000 each.
The top three start-ups
The three top-funded start-ups are:
- Loceye, founded by students from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The company has developed a platform that allows companies and professionals to perform online eye tracking analyses in order to understand where and when the user focuses on elements on the screen while browsing the website. It was funded with EUR 300,000 by the Velocity Partners investment scheme.
- K-INVENT, founded in France in 2017, consists of four Greek scientists and a Frenchman with experience in engineering, biokinetics, electronics and programming. It was funded by Uni.Fund so as to speed up the creation of its sales network and to establish itself in the field of rehabilitation, the industrialization of production, and the creation of additional professional web services through K-force.
- PLN Nanotechnology, which is a spin-out of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) and has received funding of 350,000 euros from Uni.Fund. The company, founded in 2015 by professors and postdoctoral researchers of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, specializes in the production and characterization of metal nanoparticles and their oxides for applications in Cosmetics and Parapharmaceutical products, Building Chemistry, Agrobiotechnology and other fields. From 2015 until today, it has developed a broad portfolio of products, including nanoparticles for use in the above areas, as well as pet care products.