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Anatolia IML conference, 2006

To explore industry-related venture capital issues in the Greek market, the Anatolia Institute of Management Leadership (IML) of the American College of Thessaloniki (ACT), under the aegis of the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organized a conference titled Venture Capital: the Greek Reality.

The conference which took place in the Conference Hall of the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry was well attended by many representatives of the business community. The session was moderated by ACT Business Adjunct Professor Akis Papagiannis with opening statements by President Richard Jackson, Yiannis Verginis, Secretary General of the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and George Mylonas, President of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece.

Whether creating new companies or turning around established businesses, entrepreneurs need access to capital and expertise. The conference aimed to increase participant’s awareness of what venture capital is, identify the critical success factors and risks involved, and present best practices and possible business opportunities in Greece. Participants had the opportunity to pose questions to the distinguished panelists:

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Member of the Greek Parliament, and former Managing Director, National Bank of Greece Venture Capital

Presentation title: Entrepreneurship in Greece: challenges and opportunities

Tamir Agmon, Chaired Professor at the College of Management, Israel; Chaired Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University, Sweden; Director, the Eastern Mediterranean Center for International Business and Culture

Presentation title: Building and infrastructure for US Private Equity and Venture Capital Investment in Greece

Pantelis Economou, Chief Financial Officer, DELTA group

Presentation title: Venture Capital: The DELTA group experience

The panelists noted that venture capital investments are still limited in the Greek market, which is not primarily due to lack of capital but rather to lack of investment opportunities. The development of Venture Capital in the Greek market is also related to how receptive companies are to venture capital funds; entrepreneurs do not readily accept the conditions that regulate venture capital investments and are not willing to cede part of their operations to a foreign investor. Among the obstacles that discourage venture capital investments are the bureaucratic procedures that particularly affect small-sized enterprises and the bankruptcy law that must be reformed. The Committee that regulates competition must ensure, according to Kyriakos Mitsotakis, that investment terms are the same for both large and small enterprises.

Theme info: www.sxetika.com