* Found.ation is taking a new approach for its Acceleration Program(s). From now on we will introduce Vertical Programs for our accelerators and a reverse acceleration program. Both in partnership with leading corporates & organizations.
* Digital Transformation Solutions. We act as digital transformation consultants for large corps like Eurobank, Total, Deutsche Telekom.
* Scouting expansion in other counties: Expect Found.ation branded events in Romania & Bulgaria in 2017, as we will start expanding the geographic reach of our scouting activities.
* Found.ation has a new educational arm. It’s called SocialInnov. Among others, we are starting a new major educational project in 2017, in partnership with Microsoft.
* We are happy to welcome a new partner. Filippos Zakopoulos is joining #teamFoundation as Operational Partner, Digital Transformation Solutions.
We’ve run four Acceleration programs in the past, for leading corporates and organizations like Cosmote and the Athens Development & Destination Agency. We learned a lot, failed a lot, gained a lot. Most importantly we understood that being an industry-agnostic platform doesn’t help our startups that much. Instead of creating programs that follow a one-size-fits-all approach, we are now trying something different. Acceleration programs in specific vertical domains. *We believe* that there are sectors that Greece has expertise and a unique selling proposition compared to other countries [read more about this approach]. We are going to focus more on those, backed & supported by leading corporate partners & organizations.
Found.ation Smartcities Accelerator is the first pilot program of this new methodology. The winning teams of our Smartcities Hackathon in December are now following a tailored acceleration program, in partnership with the City of Athens, Microsoft & Found.ation. We expect that this new methodology will increase the chances of finding winning teams in the pre-product/pre-market stage.
The quest of finding industry experts or corporates willing to share insights, knowledge, or data to an organization like ours revealed a profound truth. Established companies, aka “the old economy”, are starting to realize that technology is knocking on their doors. And they are starting to care.
We are acting as external advisors to established international and Greek businesses that are seeking to explore the Innovation Scene, get in touch with startups in their field or hire the best engineers or designers. So in the future, expect to see more corporates involved in events, hackathons or scouting activities we organize and execute in Greece & beyond.
We are arguably the most active, privately funded, startup-related organization when it comes to travelling and evangelizing the Greek Ecosystem, outside Greece. We did a lot of talks, panels and mentoring in the past in various European cities, including London, Berlin, Bucharest, Sofia, Brussels, Beirut and Budapest. We will do more.
We fundamentally believe that the Balkan region is a largely untapped opportunity when it comes to technology innovation. Our intention is to travel more, especially in the Balkans and scout for teams and projects that have the quality and the potential to build disruptive businesses. We are starting in H2 2017 with Found.ation branded events in Romania & Bulgaria.
Found.ation, continuing its mission to enhance digital skills in the country, is now stepping up its game, creating a new dedicated educational arm. It’s called SocialInnov and its mission is to substantially narrow down the educational gap of digital skills in Greece and connect valuable talent with the Greek market.
We have many interesting things in the pipeline and we are soon launching a major educational program, in partnership with Microsoft, that fulfils this mission. The project is called “Tech Talent”. You have seen this name before. In 2015 we launched “Tech Talent Pool”, a manual way to gather, filter and match technologists with startup companies and corporates. We are enhancing the project, adding an educational component that will enable us not only to gather and match existing talent to potential tech employers, but also train a new wave of developers, designers and technologists.
SocialInnov, among others, is providing, on a weekly basis, two recurring educational workshops in partnership with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. You can learn more about these offerings and subscribe for free here & here.