Chris Gasteratos

Greek Founders Attributes

During the past year, we made a deliberate effort to size the Greek startup market and identify its characteristics. We have tracked past investment activity and highlighted patterns of interest. We are now proceeding to take a closer look at the characteristics of the entrepreneurs behind the companies.

143 Greek startups have raised financing between 2010 and 2017. We aggregated a wealth of data and built complete profiles for 175 founders of 110 of these companies. What follows is a high-level analysis of some of the most captivating results.

Startups within our sample have 1,4 founders on average. More specifically, 56% of the companies had a single founder. 17 or 10% of the founders were women – without doubt, we have a long way to go as an ecosystem on this end.

About two-thirds of the founders in our sample had a technical background. Also, 58% of the startups had at least one technical founder. This is something to expect when it comes to technology companies. At the same time, it highlights the fact that such a background is far from a strict prerequisite; as a matter of fact, successful entrepreneurs come from all walks of life.

The pie chart above provides a view of the founders’ education level. Almost everyone holds a graduate degree and two out of three a post-graduate degree. Greeks are among the most well-educated nations in Europe, and it also shows within founders.

Previously, we have classified startups in our sample as either closed or static, versus growing or acquired. We took a closer look to figure out whether the founders’ level of studies had an impact on each startup’s current level of success. As you may see in the above chart, no such relationship emerges.

The above graph provides the age at which founders started their company. The majority of founders started in their late twenties or thirties. The range, in general, is much broader.

The bar chart above provides a closer look at the relationship between years of work experience before starting a company versus a company’s success. Within our sample, founders with senior experience of 12-17 years tend to have better chances than others. If you have yet to start up, time is your friend!

We also study the previous work experience of founders. The chart above provides the distribution of backgrounds among the founders in our sample. People who have worked for a startup before are leading the list, followed by founders previously employed in software houses and technology entrepreneurs.

We took a closer look to also study the relationship of founders’ past work experience with startup success. Clearly, startup experience -either as a founder or an employee- is a strong asset. We really look forward to the impact of such experience accumulating in our ecosystem.

This is still a small sample to provide for statistically sound insights and highlight deeper causal relationships. Still, we hope it provides for a useful read. As the pool of Greek technology companies is growing by the day, we intend to continue monitoring such trends and share further insights going forward.