Webcast: Innovation in Agriculture

08oct12:00 pm12:45 pmWebcast: Innovation in AgriculturePanel discussion with Greek entrepreneurs pursuing innovations in agriculture.

Event Details

The video recording of the event can be found here.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

9:00 – 9:45 am (San Francisco)
12:00 – 12:45 pm (Boston/New York)
19:00 – 19:45 (Athens/Nicosia)

  • Introduction: Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister of Development and Investments-Research, Innovation and Technology, Hellenic Republic
  • George Varvarelis, Augmenta
  • Sotiris Bantas, Centaur
  • Moderator: Apostolos Klontzaris, Flagship Pioneering

Agriculture, an industry that goes back thousands of years, has traditionally been a key sector of the Greek economy. Today, Greek startups are using innovations in technology to improve crop productivity and post-harvest quality, thereby opening up opportunities for the Greek economy to diversify beyond services and tourism. We will hear from two venture-backed startups that were started in Volos, Greece. The discussion will open with an introduction by Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister of Research & Technology of Greece, who will discuss where Greece stands today in terms of research and innovation, and where it is heading.

Hellenic Innovation Network, with the support of the Greek Consulate of Boston and MIT Enterprise Forum Greece hosts events twice per year to educate the Greek diaspora about Greek startup activity, and to offer Greek entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch and network in the US. While our events are typically held in Boston, due to Covid-19 we are instead hosting a webcast series in order to keep our community connected until our next in-person event.

Christos Dimas Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister of Development and Investments-Research, Innovation and Technology, Hellenic Republic

Dr. Christos Dimas is the Deputy Minister for Development and Investments in charge of Research and Technology. He is a lawyer and Member of the Hellenic Parliament. Before entering politics, he worked in the private sector as a business consultant for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). He graduated from the Law School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Queen Mary University in London. He completed his Masters Degree in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He then finished his PhD in European Political Economy from the LSE, with a scholarship from the Alexander Onassis Foundation. Parallel to his studies, he worked as a correspondent in London for Apogevmatini newspaper while also practicing journalism at the BBC.

George Varvarelis George Varvarelis, Augmenta

George Varvarelis is the founder & CEO of Augmenta. He was a Ph.D. candidate in Computer and Embedded Systems Engineering while working on his family farm for 3 years when he decided to leave everything behind and start creating solutions that help feed the growing world. He has an academic and professional background in computer vision and deep learning. His life mission is to connect the dots of the global agriculture ecosystem and augment the capacity of the arable land.

Sotiris Bantas Sotiris Bantas, Centaur

Sotiris Bantas is the founder and CEO of Centaur Analytics, a company passionate about perfecting global food quality, enabling abundance and reducing waste. Centaur connects and digitizes the supply chain by deploying cognitive technologies and Internet-of-Things solutions. Sotiris has a Ph.D. in Microelectronics and a Degree in Electrical Engineering, both from the National Technical University of Athens.

Fotis Fotiadis, Better Origin

Fotis Fotiadis, Co-Founder and CEO of Better Origin, a UK-based startup tackling food waste through insect biomass conversion, is pioneering the transformation of organic waste into high-quality animal feed and human food. He holds an MPhil in Sustainable Engineering from the University of Cambridge and an MEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sussex.

Αpostolos Κlontzaris Moderator: Apostolos Klontzaris, Flagship Pioneering

Apostolos is a growth-minded executive currently in his second year as Senior Principal in Flagship Pioneering (a reputable venture fund in Boston MA) following approximately 5 years as a General Manager of Bayer Hellas (for the agricultural division), 10 years in M&A (both in Bayer AG and Syngenta AG) with a strong track record (total deals > €2bn) and approximately four years in Portfolio & Product lifecycle management. He combines strong business, science and financial academic background (BSc., MSc. & MBA). His strong belief is that “doubt is a stranger to the mindset of opportunity” and thus one should strive for the aphorism that is commonly heard in the business world “explore and take any opportunity you can!”. Apostolos is an Athenian, married with two kids, speaks four languages, is a keen chess player and a recognized athlete striving for a healthy mind in a healthy body.


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October 8, 2020 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm EDT(GMT-11:00)



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