The website΄s goal is to counter the negative image of the Greek private sector that persists in the minds of Greeks and foreigners alike after years of crisis commentary promoting best practices and celebrating the emerging culture of innovation in the Greek economy.
In parallel, this portal acts as a B2B tool for Greek companies to find business partners worldwide. Capital.gr is Hellenic-American Chamber’s media partner.
The purpose of Breakthrough Greece
Asked how the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce decided to get involved with the promotion of the innovative Greek enterprises to the international markets, he answered that, as one of the largest bilateral business chambers in Europe, the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce has always been actively involved in supporting the innovation and global ambitions of Greek companies.
“Through our American-Hellenic Enterprise Initiative (AHEI) we recently conducted a number of workshops on Doing Business in the USA”, he noted.
The President of American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce underlined that they were overwhelmed with the number of innovative, ambitious and globally oriented companies, from all parts of Greece that attended these events.
And in 2011 he said that they launched the Make Innovation Work business plan competition, designed to help bring innovative ideas to market. Last year’s competition winners had a groundbreaking proposal for producing algae biomass as an alternative fuel. This is a fantastic project, but there are countless more innovative ideas, already established as full-fledged businesses here in Greece, that the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce wants to share with the world.
The economic crisis has taken a heavy toll on the image of the Greek economy, and this has had a knock-on effect to the Greek private sector.
“We wanted to portray the Greek private sector as we know it: bursting with innovative ideas and ambitious professionals. We wanted to show the world the source of Greece’s economic recovery to come. And that’s why we came up with Breakthrough Greece”, Mr. Gramatidis said.
As for the criteria of choosing the companies for “www.breakthroughgreece.gr, he stressed that there are no definitive criteria for being listed on Breakthrough Greece.
According to him, their panel of experts considers each company on a case-by-case basis. However, the companies that they seek to include in Breakthrough Greece are generally active in or pursuing international markets, offer innovative products or services, and show strong growth fundamentals.
“We also want to work with companies that have strong international communications platforms, to add synergies to our shared global outreach”, he said.
13 companies listed to “Breakthrough Greece” so far
“Breakthrough Greece” launched a beta version of the site on January 31, 2013 with 13 companies listed, “and there are more adding as we speak” Mr. Gramatidis said.
One of the key goals of the site, however, according to the President of American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce is to use the site to crowd-source new companies—to find the hidden gems in the Greek economy.
“In just a few days after our public launch, more than a dozen new companies—many of which were previously unknown to me—have contacted us”, he added.
“We want to tell each unique story to the world”
Asked what kind of services “Breakthrough Greece” can offer to the Greek companies for their better online presentation, Mr. Gramatidis underlined that Breakthrough Greece isn’t just a directory.
According to him lot of time is invested in writing custom profiles for each company, similar to what you would find in a business magazine. “We want to tell each unique story to the world—so that in one page, a potential foreign partner can get a complete picture of the company. And we support that with full social media integration, newsfeeds, and even video channels, so that each company can maintain control over its content”, he said.
“At the same time, we maintain a very active social media presence, pushing our “Breakthrough News” and “Breakthrough Companies” out to the world. We work very closely with our companies to optimize these messages, and to reinforce the idea that there are exciting things going on in Greece’s private sector”, Mr. Gramatidis concluded.