Athens Startup City Guide


Athens Startup City Guide
by: Demetrios Pogkas
Published on: August 4, 2015
You want your startup to be at the crossroads of the three continents Europe, Asia and Africa? Then discover Athens, Greece’s most developed startup hub.

Athens is the centre and main point of reference for the Greek startup ecosystem, which has been very dynamic in the last few years, but it’s still nascent. The biggest Greek-origin startups are coming from and based in Athens. The roots for what was erased as the entrepreneurial scene of Greece could be traced back to 2009-2010, but the Greek startup ecosystem really took off in late 2012 when the JEREMIE (a program of the European Commission, which under European Investment Fund contributes 70% of committed funds in a venture capital firm) VC funds were established.

Entrepreneurs and companies active in previous years suddenly had available funds to finance their ventures. Moreover, innovative companies that could offer new production models to crisis-stricken Greece were getting attention from politicians, media and organisations, which helped a support ecosystem develop around the startups themselves.


GPS Direction: Athens

Athens is the capital of Greece, and the wider Attica area (Athens city centre and Athens’ suburbs) is home to around 4-5 million people (almost half of Greece’s population). Greece is located at the crossroads of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. It’s the southernmost point of the Balkan Peninsula and the southeasternmost point of Europe.

The geographical position of Athens has helped develop a civilisation of commerce and entrepreneurship since ancient times that was passed to modern Greece. Indeed, owning and running a business is nothing new to Greek economy, as more than 99% percent of all companies in the country are small or medium-sized.

Advantages of starting a startup in Athens:

Athens is the capital of Greece and the centre of its economic activity. If you’re thinking of doing business in Greece, Athens is the place-to-go.
If you’re coming from a non-EU country, setting up a business in Athens will give you access to the European Union single market of 500 million consumers.
Athens is within 2-4-hour flights from all the major business and startup centres of the region (Tel Aviv, Berlin, London, Dubai, Doha).
Athens is home to the biggest public universities in Greece (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, National Technical University of Athens, Athens University of Economics and Business, Technological Educational Institute of Athens) and the most important private undergraduate and graduate schools. The majority of the technical, business, marketing and sales talent of Greece is gathered in Athens.
Athens nests the most-developed startup ecosystem in Greece. If you want to connect with the country’s startup leaders and stakeholders, Athens will do the trick.
Due to the economic crisis, doing business in Athens has been made much more affordable than it used to be. Office rent prices and wages have gone down, while food and everyday life expenses are not any more expensive (even much cheaper) than the rest of Europe.
Athens centre and suburbs are very well-connected by transportation. You can reach downtown from a quiet neighbourhood north of Athens in somewhere between 15 to 40 minutes by subway or bus.
Life in Athens is supposedly much more attractive than the rest of Europe. Lots of bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, and art and culture spaces remain open until late. Weather is sunny and warm most months of the year, while a blue, sandy beach is within a 45-minute drive from every point of the Attica area.
The crisis could turn Athens to a testing point for new things that simplify life for individuals and businesses affected. For example, the recently imposed capital controls generated a very big interest in solutions around alternative currencies and alternative banking.
Athens, as other cities in Greece, has a high-level of research & development in the high-technology sector. Greek scientists and researchers are part of a lot EU- or state-funded projects and generate patented products. There is an opportunity for helping them bring these products to the market.
As 99,9% of enterprises in Greece (Athens is following that trend too) are small and medium-sized there is a big market for B2B solutions that target SME’s, individual entrepreneurs, store owners and freelancers.



What startup founders have to consider:


First Stop: Discovering Athen’s Startup Community

Regular events and meetups:

Yearly or major events, festivals, conferences:

Where you can find info about upcoming events, meetups and other occasions:


Second Stop: Park At A Co-working Space

Coworking Spaces in Athens:


Third Stop: Tank Your Finances

Incubators,  Accelerators, Crowd Investing Platforms, Angel Investors, 

Venture Capital Investors, Grants & Subventions, Other Investment Opportunities


Fourth Stop: Seek Further Advice

The guides are like startup communities – they contstantly change and grow. Make sure to check for updates and if you have something to add to one of them or want to publish one for your city, get in touch right away! And don’t forget to enrich the startup ecosystem by creating your company profile at StartUs!

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