Corallia, the Hellenic Technology Clusters Initiative, is promoting technology and innovation in sectors where Greece has the capacity to to be globally competitive. Based outside of Athens, it is made up of 80 companies in the technology sector, and is helping this sector gain a global competitive advantage, by bringing companies together, building a public-private partnership, and connecting companies with research labs, venture capital, business opportunities, training and academia.

Corallia also places an emphasis on supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs. In a July 2011 interview, Vassilios Makios, Corallia’s general director, told the Globe and Mail, “I believe in the brainpower of young people. They can be the tools to change Greece.”

In 2011, Corallia launched the Carpe diem initiative to introduce high school students to the high-tech industry, and the entrepreneurship and innovation that makes this industry thrive.

Through meetings and visits, students get an up lose view of the three clusters that make up Greece’s Silicon Valley (mi-Cluster , SI-Cluster and gi-Cluster). High school students of Athens College were the first class to participate in the new Carpe diem program in December 2011. Read about the students’ experience in Greek here.

Through the program Educational Trips, Corallia, with support from the Bodossaki Foudnation and the Sunlight company, cooperates with the Hellenic student associations at Stanford, Berkeley and MIT to makes it possible for Greek students to visit these U.S. campuses. The program, in its third year, will bring 15 students from Greece to the U.S. in April to attend lectures and seminars at these campuses, and gain an understanding of the interactions between the universities and the surrounding businesses and research centers.

Currently, Stanford University’s Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES) and Corallia are collaborating to promote youth entrepreneurship in Greece. Greek undergraduate or postgraduate students with a distinctive and innovative business idea are invited to participate in E-Bootcamp, April 10-15, 2012 in San Francisco. This year’s program received 500 applications from students in colleges and universities across Greece.

Four days of workshops, panels, and talks by innovative entrepreneurs from Google, Sun Microsystems, TiVo and others Silicon Valley giants are designed to help aspiring young entrepreneurs shape their business plans and prepare to pitch them at the final stage of E-Bootcamp.

Read more about Corallia and view a timeline of its development in English here.

This video highlights the success of the IT sector in Greece, despite the economic crisis. By tvnportal, and produced by Deutsche Welle:

For more information on clusters, visit the Cluster Mapping Project of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School and the European Cluster Observatory, managed by the Center for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Stockholm School of Economics.





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