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09/10/2010

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Dear Evangele,

I can't believe I missed your speech!!
I live 10Km from the Zone and I would certainly have attented just to listen to
your speech and even have a chat with you :)

Unfortunatelly I didn't see a twitter post about your visit. Have you already left Greece?

Anyway, all the above points are mostly correct. Specially the point for the Greek enterpreneurs looking at a Global market and
not Greece.

If you have had the time to visit places around the Zone, you could have seen that a lot of companies in incubator schemes are not proposing something that could really make an investors eyes to open wide.

Most of them are in need of an office space and some basic services of an incubator. But trully, i wouldn't invest
my money in any of them (with an exception of one or at most two and not for the global market).

This is not me being negative. This is being realistic. The business environment in Greece is ill. Government policies are changing every year, in a largely unstable
and unsure way of collecting taxes.

There is no true differentiation between innovation and generic business. At least in real life (cause politicians always claim that everything is roses).

If you come and live in Greece for sometime,
you will also notice that Thessaloniki is remembered every September. You know why.
Because of the Fair. :)

There is a joke in Greek that says "its another thing to be PANIGIRIKOS and another thing to be PANIGIRI". This is what happens every Semptember here. We all wait for the active Prime Minister to come to Thessaloniki and promise that Innovation is the future and the Government will do what ever it can to promote it. I was young and reached mid forties and the situations has changed only be an inch (imoun nios kai gerasa :)


So, IMHO, if one would like the Alexandrian Zone to become a success, he should first establish a Solid Management scheme with sucessfull business people - even VC experts - in the top, give them FULL POWER, even more than a minister's power, pass laws and let them make all promises true in all points you mentioned above.

Of course, I could be just ignorant and not able to see something that already exists or is planned seriously this time by our
new government. (PS I only trust GAP as one
person that would push things a bit, but
am still afraid that the system around him
is happy enough with the media coverage).


Please, if you know the opposite, share it with us.

(if you are still around, i would greatly value a chat and a greek coffee to go with it ..)


Regards

Thank you very much for your comments and observations.

I gave my speech via video conference which was an interesting experience in itself given the size of the audience (over 250 as I understand). I hope to be able to stay close to the Zone's developments.

Many of these projects around the world have stagnated but given the level of entrepreneurship in Greece I think that the raw ingredients are there for a success. We will have to see whether the announcements and speeches are followed by a solid action plan. As I indicated in my speech, Greece will need to execute flawlessly and over a long period of time for this initiative to succeed. This has to be a national initiative behind which Greeks of every political orientation have to line up. Otherwise, it will become another while elephant.

Thank you Evangele,

The Zone indeed has a chance, being in the heart of the Balkans and with a great future if the plan starts up.
I completely agree with the National plan and be sure that every entrepreneur does not care about politics. He envisions the future and cares mainly about the opportunity and expects from his government to just give him the chance to excel.
This is what the US has given to the world of innovation : simply the chance to excel.

By the way, is your speech in any way recorded or published anywhere as a video?

Regards

Sotiris

Your speech is very insightful and accurately depicts the obstacles for growth in Greece.

Modern economies are based on IT innovation. Unfortunately Greece is by default averse to IT and/or innovation, a look into the political establishment which is the cornerstone of Greek mentality will prove my point.

Best of luck , from one who should have never returned home.

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Evangelos Simoudis is a Senior Managing Director at Trident Capital where he focuses on investments in SaaS, Internet and Data.

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