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In­ter­na­tional start-up tour: HNU stu­dents visit Athens

24.05.2023, Study :

As part of the course "International Start-up Tour", students of the master's program Digital Transformation and Global Entrepreneurship (DTE) traveled to Athens (Greece) from May 8 to 13, 2023. Accompanied by Prof. Dr. Jens Pätzmann and Verena Mattes, they not only visited cultural sights, but also gained deeper insights into Athens' start-up ecosystem. The highlight of the excursion: an intercultural hackathon.

This year, eleven HNU students and three students from Shenkar College in Tel Aviv (Israel) took part in the International Start-up Tour in Athens. A visit to the Impact Hub Athens provided an initial overview of the Athens start-up ecosystem: the participants learned details about the Impact Hub's work, current projects and start-ups. In addition, the students visited three Athens universities. NKUA University (National and Kapodistrias University of Athens) presented its technology transfer program and accelerator program at the Archimedes Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. AUEB University (Athens University of Economics and Business) provided insight into current projects at its Athens Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The program also included a presentation of a start-up and the company's activities. The students also visited the HNU partner university West Attica.  

Excursion highlight: the intercultural hackathon

The highlight of the excursion was the intercultural hackathon; an event where mostly interdisciplinary talents from different fields work together to develop an innovative idea and often unusual solutions for a specific industry. In this case, five intercultural teams worked on different challenges posed by Athens startups. In a very short time, the students developed and presented promising solutions, from which a winner was ultimately chosen.

Insights into Greece's emerging start-up ecosystem

Greece has a burgeoning startup ecosystem; moreover, Athens finds itself at the top of the startup rankings in Greece. A visit to the German-Greek Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Greece) provided more detailed insights into this startup ecosystem and German-Greek cooperation. The port of Greece and the city of Piraeus were also on the agenda. Here, the students visited the company MAN Energy Solutions Hellas Ltd and were able to learn about the company, new technologies and digital transformation.

Another interesting port of call was the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen, and Merchants (GSEVEE). After the students had the opportunity to learn about the history of the GSEVEE during a guided tour, a joint cooking event took place afterwards: The participants tried their hand at preparing different Greek dishes, which were tested by the GSEVEE presidents at the end.