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Event to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of Attica Ventures

The pioneering venture capital fund management company celebrates ten years of successful activity and contribution to innovative entrepreneurship.

30 January 2014

At an event held on Wednesday 29 January, Attica Ventures, a member of the Attica Bank Group and ground-breaking company in the venture capital sector, celebrated the tenth anniversary of its founding.

Among the guests who honoured the event with their presence was the Minister for Development and Competitiveness, Mr Kostis Hatzidakis. Also present were the Deputy Minister for Finance, Mr Christos Staikouras, the Secretary-General for Research and Technology, Dr Christos Vasilakos, the Secretary-General for the Consumer and Industry, Mr Giorgos Stergiou, the Chairman of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), Mr Christos Sklavounis, the President of the Athens Stock Exchange, Mr Socrates Lazaridis, the President of Invest in Greece, Mr Aristomenis Syngros, the Vice Chairmen of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission, Ms Vassiliki Lazarakou and Mr Xenophon Avlonitis, as well as Members of Parliament, diplomats and numerous members of the banking and business communities.

From the welcoming address by Mr Hatzidakis: The National Strategic Reference Framework is of great support to our liquidity, but you are aware that the NSRF and Community funds, even though we have managed to reach and even exceed the targets, cannot solve the liquidity problem for us. We require additional mechanisms and one of these, of course, is venture capital and private equity funds, because they are capable of responding, to some extent, to the problems of liquidity. We for our part are encouraging them, are in contact with them and trying to see how the new NSRF will be combined with the activity of these funds. We are also trying to see how, through the NSRF mechanisms, these funds can play a more active part, and how more broadly we can work out a strategy for innovation, not just because it is a modern trend, but because innovation and export orientation are essential if we are to move forward. We hope to do this in an organized way, using an Innovation Council, in an advisory role, composed of successful businessmen and scientists. We are currently engaged in planning, with their help, the new NSRF and the new programme Entrepreneurship-Competitiveness-Economy, which will be the largest of all the NSRF programmes. The Prime Minister, Mr Samaras, has decided that funds for innovation should rise from the 4% level of the current NSRF to 8% in the new NSRF. This is a big challenge, and this will be the first NSRF not to lay the main emphasis on infrastructures, but on entrepreneurship, competitiveness and innovation. Mr Hatzidakis went on to say that The presence of the Minister for Development at your event was necessary, to show that innovation is not just something to which we pay lip service here in Greece, but something which we have begun to make a reality. And the Minister is here, too, to underline the need for other Attica Ventures, the need for Attica Ventures to grow, the need for other, similar initiatives, because it is through action not words that we will eventually emerge from the crisis.

The Chairman and Executive Director of the Attica Bank Group, Mr Ioannis Gamvrilis, referring to the role played by Attica Ventures, remarked Attica Ventures has written its own chapter in the financial life of the country, and has stood alongside numerous small and medium-sized innovative businesses, offering capital support and advice. These businesses have not just weathered the storm of the crisis, they have actually managed to make substantial investments. On developments in the economy he observed The experience of Attica Ventures demonstrates that the Greek economy has the potential to leave behind it the nightmare of recession, to return once and for all to growth, and to move forward into a new period of prosperity. And the Greek economy can do this if it relies on healthy entrepreneurship, if it turns to innovation, and if it has trust in the bottomless well of talent represented by the younger generation of our country.

The CEO of Attica Ventures, Mr Ioannis Papadopoulos, addressed the guests and emphasized: Over these ten years we have completed 12 investments in Greek SMEs. We have chosen to invest in exemplary Greek businesses, in a variety of sectors and markets and at different stages of development; we have pursued a clear strategy, channelling more than 40m Euro into the companies in question. And today we wish to thank them all because any success we have enjoyed is based on their own efforts, their own dependability. The companies have used the capital provided to implement business plans with a total value of more than 170m Euro. A key factor in the value of the investments, vindicating the choices we have made, is the fact that in 7 of our investments we sought and found joint investment from third parties, both private and institutional investors, Greek and foreign, who provided another 12m Euro in capital.

The event concluded with the distribution of awards to the initial investors in Attica Ventures, in recognition of their contribution to the companys activities and growth. On behalf of the Attica Bank Group an honorary plaque was accepted by Mr Ioannis Gamvrilis, while Mr Andreas Zombanakis, Chairman and CEO of TANEO (New Economy Development Fund) also accepted a plaque on behalf of his organization.

A special award was also presented to the family of the late Anastasios Koumblis, who, as Vice President of the Attica Bank Group in the period 2002 2006, demonstrated his confidence in Attica Ventures through his valuable support in its early years.

Attica Ventures

Attica Ventures was established in 2003 by Attica Bank (the first Greek bank to create a venture capital fund management company). Since 2004 it has been managing funds amounting to 65 million, and its investors include Attica Bank, TANEO and private investors. It has already injected funds of over 40 million into the economy by participating in the implementation of investment plans amounting to over 170 million in total.

It is currently considered one of the most successful venture capital management companies in Greece, having implemented 12 investments in Greek SMEs and having contributed to their development and to the creation of more than 800 new jobs.

In October 2011 the company received an Employment Growth Award, one of the Business Awards bestowed by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For further information, please contact Ms Maria Antoniou, Account Manager, STRATCOM, tel. 219 9991887, antoniou@stratcom.gr

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