Elevate Greece is an initiative launched by the Greek Government with a mission to identify promising startups and support their growth, in order to ultimately build a robust innovation ecosystem.
Elevate Greece has launched a digital portal through which Greek startup companies can apply for registration, managed by the General Secretariat for Research & Innovation (GSRI), the competent authority under the Ministry of Development & Investments.
Its main objectives are the following:
- Official and reliable mapping of Greek startup enterprises
- Comprehensive mapping of the Innovation Ecosystem – Opportunities to network
- Start-up progress monitoring based on indicators (KPIs)
- Targeted State support
- Awards and specialized support by Official Partners
- Promotion of an outward-oriented approach and an investment attraction strategy
- Specialized job openings
The National Startup Registry is the official database of startup enterprises in Greece.
The institutional framework governing the National Startup Registry is Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) no 85490/10.08.2020 on the «Establishment under the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation, of a National Startup Registry. Conditions for registration and eligibility criteria for registering with the above Registry” (Β΄ 3668), as modified by JMD modification no 134622/17.12.2020 (Β΄5587) and in force.
According to this JMD, eligible for registration are capital companies in the form of a Private Company (PC) or a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a SA with headquarters in Greece, or such companies located abroad but having a subsidiary or branch established in Greece; such subsidiary or branch is required to have a Greek VAT number and be registered with the General Electronic Commercial Registry (G.E.MI) in conformity with applicable legislation. In this latter case, it is the subsidiary or branch established in Greece that is eligible for registration and must submit the application.
- When applying for registration with the National Startup Registry, a startup must not have exceeded 8 years of full operation since the date of commencement of their business activity at the Public Financial Office (DOY);
- It must employ less than 250 employees in Annual Work Units (AWU) during the fiscal year before submission of the application, as recorded via the ERGANI information system at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. (i.e. for 2020, submissions should include AWUs from 1/1/2019-31/12/2019). If the applicant company has not yet completed a full fiscal year, it submits payroll statements signed by the Chief Accountant or by an external accountant, who must be licensed by the Economic Chamber of Greece;
- Its annual turnover must not exceed the amount of 50 million euros as recorded in the financial statements of the last fiscal year.
If the application is submitted by a Greek branch of a foreign company, condition 1 applies to both the branch and the foreign company, while conditions 2 and 3 applies only to the Greek branch.
3.TWO KEY SELECTION CRITERIA
The term “Innovation” encompasses the following features:
- Technological innovation of the product/service and/or an innovative business model in recent (novel) technology;
- A small number of similar competitor startups or very few large companies in the sector. It must be clarified that the term “competitor” here refers to companies offering solutions with similar advantages and does not include firms targeting the same market in general;
- Companies whose primary activity consists in carrying out research in order to generate patentable intellectual property for commercial exploitation also qualify as innovative companies. (“knowledge-intensive enterprises”).
Β. Rapid scalability in the international market:
- It is examined whether the business model and/or technology allow for rapid scaling-up of sales in the international market. The primary product/service of the company must be standardized, or easy to standardize. Consulting/design services and Build-to-Order (BTO) manufacturing do not qualify.
- For “knowledge-intensive companies” (spin-offs), the business model may be based on sales or on exploitation of intellectual property at large.
Applications for registration with the National Startup Registry are submitted online at: https://registry.elevategreece.gov.gr/login/
There are two ways to apply for registration:
a Fast Track procedure without evaluation, for startups that fulfil the above eligibility conditions and key selection criteria and fall into one of the following categories:
- Companies whose shareholding structure comprises Venture Capital Funds from Greece and/or abroad, listed in the Hellenic Capital Market Commission Register or the respective register in their country of establishment. This does not include bank or other loans and contributions from Angel Investors;
- Spin-offs of Greek public higher education institutions and research centers;
- Companies that are recipients of funding under HORIZON 2020 programmes (SME Instrument Phase I and/or Phase II), or have received a “Seal of Excellence” under the Fast Track to Innovation, the EIC Accelerator and under their successor Horizon Europe programmes (including Fast Track to Innovation and EIC Accelerator). This will be further specified by decision of the General Secretary for Research and Innovation;
- Companies holding an active patent from the European Patent Office (EPO) AND the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (cumulatively), or a patent license agreement concluded between the patent applicant(s) and the applying company.
If the application is submitted by the Greek branch of a foreign company, such branch may register with the Registry through the Fast-Track procedure, if the foreign company fulfills condition 3 OR condition 4 above.
For startups not eligible for the Fast-track Procedure:
Applications are evaluated by two independent evaluators drawn at random. These will decide whether the startup company meets the two selection criteria (innovation and scalability) explaining the full rationale of their decision. Both evaluators must agree that the two criteria are met in order for the startup to be proposed for registration with the National Startup Registry. In case of disagreement between the two, the application is examined by a third, independent evaluator who will eventually decide on the fulfilment of the criteria.
For more information, please visit: https://elevategreece.gov.gr