From Travel to Agro: Greek Tech Trends from TIF 2018

The U.S. Pavilion at TIF 2018.

The U.S. Pavilion at TIF 2018.

This past weekend, The Port headed to the 83rd annual Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF, or ΔΕΘ-HELEXPO as it is called in Greek) to check out new technology on display and evaluate startup trends for the coming year. After exploring the booths, startups, pitches and presentations at the fair, it is clear that this year will be a big one for Greek tech.

About TIF

Before diving into the trends, a bit of context for those who may not be as familiar with the fair. Each year, Greece hosts the international expo featuring a country in order to bridge the stories, cultures, and best practices of Greece and the honored country. Following last year’s fair honoring China, this year’s expo honored the United States and explored the key theme of harnessing the power of innovation and creativity.


Greek Tech Hubs & Incubators at TIF

The Digital Greece Pavilion Startups Competition Awards Ceremony at TIF 2018.

The Digital Greece Pavilion Startups Competition Awards Ceremony at TIF 2018.

The fair had a few main tech hubs that were buzzing with startups, investors, and those looking to keep an eye on the Greek tech ecosystem. Each hub had a different focus, and hosted a range of workshops, hackathons, pitch competitions, and speeches from experts over the course of the fair.

OK! Thess, one of the leaders in Thessaloniki’s innovation ecosystem, hosted workshops and hackathons for interested entrepreneurs starting an idea from scratch. The Digital Greece Pavilion was filled to brim with over 100 Greek startups in all stages of development and across all industries ranging from maritime, agrotech, health tech, tourism, entertainment, and more. The U.S. Pavilion hosted larger, incumbent tech companies and focused on the future of European innovation from a large company perspective.  

Highlighted talks ranged from topics like “Entrepreneurship from the Women’s View” to “Security on the Sea” to  “Venture Capital for Startups and Early Stage”. One of our personal favorite events was the “Digital Greece Pavilion Startups Competition Awards Ceremony.” The pitching competition included startups both from B2C and B2B, across a variety of industries from tourism tech to IoT. Here were the startups that won the competition (and ones that are worth keeping an eye on!):

  • PlantBox —The first fully standardized and packaged olive tree in the world.

  • GeaBit  — Technology that captures climate data, continuously monitors plant health, and provides actionable insights to farmers via mobile and web.

  •  — A mobile app that analyses toxic compounds in foods and cosmetics from a simple picture.


Greek Tech Industries on the Rise

Tourism and tech are partnering up. Tourism will always be a key part of the Greek economy, and will continue to play a bigger role as the country sees record-breaking tourist visitors year over year. In turn, this is inspiring increasingly tech-driven tourism ventures and travel startups such as Hopwave, Ferryhopper, and many more. There were even meet-ups dedicated specifically to travel startups!

Maritime tech is making a splash. With this industry on the rise, the Greek market is seeing the development of initiatives like Blue Growth that are focused solely on the “blue economy” space. The fair featured over 15 maritime-related technologies, a fraction of the market and what’s to come in the space. For more examples of maritime startups coming out of Greece, check out this comprehensive list by Blue Growth.

Agrotech is sprouting up. In addition to the agrotech startup booths found in the Digital Greece Pavilion, an even bigger validation of the rise of agrotech were the winners from the Startup Competition. PlantBox and Geabit won first and second place at the startup competition, and there are plenty more Greek agrotech startups to look out for. CityCrop, an automated indoor farming technology, and Agrologies, a wireless irrigation management system, were two that caught our eye.

Entertainment through the lens of Virtual Reality. We saw many design and gaming startups using virtual reality technology to bring their creations to life. AnotherCircus has been working on creating interactive storytelling classics for children, specifically Homer’s Odyessy. We tested it out and it was beautiful game. The narration was compelling, the imagery stunning, and the interactive aspect made reading this great classic an extremely enjoyable experience!

Manju Ganti, The Port’s Content & Innovation Manager, following Odysseus in VR.

Manju Ganti, The Port’s Content & Innovation Manager, following Odysseus in VR.

Learn More About Greek Tech

Greek tech is on the rise and now is the time to stay on top of the key trends in the space. Here at the Port, we work with Greek and American ventures, bridging the two worlds to provide Greek founders with the resources they need to grow their startups — from fundraising collateral to marketing and sales strategy. Whether you are an entrepreneur, investor, job seeker, or digital nomad passing through, sign up for our newsletter to get best practices for your startup and stay up to date on happenings in #Greektech.

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