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The 1st Stage Of the Digital Innovation Programme "Viva Nest-an IDEA in Fintech" (www.vivanest.com) was concluded with the awards being presented to the 5 most up-and-coming entrepreneurial teams, by representatives of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, the Viva Wallet Group (www.vivawallet.com) and the Athens Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEin) of the Athens University of Economics and Business.
The first 3 Awards, which are accompanied by cash prizes of €10,000, €6,000 and €4,000, respectively, were provided by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, and the 2 Commendations, with cash prizes of €2,000 for the 4th and 5th team, were offered by the Viva Group, as follows:
The 1st Prize was awarded to the bespot team (www.bespot.me). An integrated marketing solution that includes a mobile app and utilizes Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to help consumers discover various items/goods at the spots they visit, and be rewarded with gifts and points from their favorite brands and stores.
The 2nd Prize was awarded to the Plustic team (www.plustic.me). A new experience in buying and managing digital cards with the use of a mobile phone, which allows users to buy, cash back, send and switch digital cards, while at the same time helping brands to effectively manage rewards & incentives for their customers.
The 3rd Prize was awarded to the Echoleap team (www.echoleap.com). A platform of intelligent crowdfunding and digital distribution within music arts, with the use of Blockchain technology. The service covers digital distribution to all online stores, worldwide digital rights management, smart contracts management, mastering and promotion tools.
Commendation to the Pitchstor team (www.pitchstor.com). A global networking platform that allows start-ups to raise funds from private parties and investors through various forms and techniques of crowdfunding and to get in touch with other professionals in their field.
Commendation to the Synaphea team (www.synaphea.com). The Synaphea Dashboard platform uses Blockchain and Smart Contracts technologies to allow organisations and companies to eliminate management costs, disputes, frauds and other unwelcome risks, without writing a single line of programming code.
All winning teams will be offered additional support by the organizers (the Viva Group and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit of the Athens University of Economics and Business), as long as they keep the pace after their promising start. For instance, they will be provided with free of charge clearing of electronic transactions, training programs and counseling, as well as the option to enter into commercial agreements and/or receive financing from Viva and partners, after mutual agreement.
The 8 teams that participated in the final phase were evaluated by executives of both the organizers and the market, on the basis of their diligence and progress during the Program, the technological and entrepreneurial background of each team and, mainly, the marketing dynamics of the product or service they develop.
Prof. George Doukidis, Director of the The E-Business Research Center (ELTRUN) and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit of the Athens University of Economics and Business, said: “At the Athens University of Economics and Business we place special emphasis on Fintech, and our partnership with Viva Wallet highlighted new interesting innovative service ideas suggested by young participants, with outward-oriented targeting in the broader field of digital payments and e-business. The excellent collaboration among the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, our University and VIVA is a best practice for bringing to the fore innovative entrepreneurship in our country”.
Dimitris Afendoulis, Secretary of the Executive Board of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, said: "The John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, alongside its various charitable programmes aimed at relieving groups of the population from the effects of the economic crisis, has recently turned its attention to economic development that is expressed, among other things, through young and innovative entrepreneurship. Viva Nest, a digital innovation programme, is yet another attempt to connect new digital technologies with business acumen and the ambition to succeed. Our Foundation is committed to offering opportunities to young people and, knowing that in this initiative we join forces with the Athens University of Economics and Business and Viva Wallet, we are proud and confident that we are giving our best".
Lastly, Haris Karonis, CEO of the Viva Group, said: "I feel really happy about our initiative. We wanted to emphasize the need for collaborative effort in the field of Fintech, by working together on the Programme with the creative and passionate ACEin team of the Athens University of Economics and Business and with the participation of major businesses and partners, who provided young participants with all possible assistance. I want to thank all the participants in the Programme and give all the teams, especially those in the final phase, a very warm ‘well done’, because with spirited effort, teamwork and the appropriate support, they made excellent progress in the implementation of their entrepreneurial plans".