Discover more from Startup Pirate by Alex Alexakis
Hunting Greek Unicorns #1
Startups in the COVID arena, the day after lockdowns, jobs, news and more
I hope this email finds you in good health. Welcome to Hunting Greek Unicorns #1. I’m a startup guy based out of Greece, and every two weeks I will share news, jobs and more from the Greek startup ecosystem, and not only.
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🔮 The Day After the Lockdowns
While the tone of the conversation shifts from lockdowns to how we can re-emerge in the world, new themes enter the spotlight. There is a chance we’ll see many apps in the West as the first measures are lifted off, which are already popular in Asia, since it was ahead in the pandemic cycle.
Singapore uses a contact tracing app, TraceTogether, which relies on Bluetooth to detect app users in close proximity. Currently, its usage is still low with about 1/6 of the population. Interesting to see the app’s Product Lead saying that tech-enabled contact tracing should supplement and not replace human-led contact tracing, so they should not be considered a panacea but yet another tool in our belts.
The team at a16z created a deck outlining Asian apps with COVID-19 features from health portals for schools to food delivery with the driver’s body temperature and Q&A communities with doctors to pandemic charity giving. Here’s another interesting review of how tech has adjusted in Asia by Dan Grover.
Many of them can be considered controversial from a privacy standpoint, so I’m sure there will be voices, especially in Europe, that will call out some of these initiatives. A discussion has already started in the UK!
🦄 Startup Jobs
Greek startups are still hiring! Here are some of the latest job opportunities:
Netdata - Senior Web Developer (Remote) - Apply here
Signal - Director People & Culture (Athens) - Apply here
Transifex - UI/UX Designer (Remote) - Apply here
Plum - Android Engineer (Athens) - Apply here
Skroutz - Customer Support Operations Manager (Athens) - Apply here
Orfium - UX Designer (Athens) - Apply here
Omilia - Senior Python Developer (Athens) - Apply here
To see a more complete list with Greek startup jobs (updated a week ago), you can try here. If you’re interested in working remotely, I’m sure you’ll find this list useful as it has around 1600 jobs, many of which are remote.
👏 Startups in the COVID-19 arena
Causaly - AI startup empowering researchers to find causal evidence and generate insights from vast amounts of documents. They are offering open access to all non-commercial research for COVID-19.
Healthentia - Health tech startup that captures patient-reported outcomes. Their platform is offered free of charge for hospitals, municipalities, regions & ministries to record cases and keep people informed around COVID-19.
Melapus - Connects you with psychotherapists, providing free consultation for those experiencing mental and well-being issues during these challenging times. They are currently collaborating with various Greek health institutions.
BookingClinic - Offering free online consultation with “Doctors of the World” with the aim to reduce the load in the healthcare system from unnecessary visits in hospitals and other health clinics.
Enzyquest - Biotech start-up focusing on enzyme discovery and manufacturing, working towards the creation of COVID-19 detection tests.
Finally, a grassroots initiative, COVID-19 Response Greece started from ΟΚ!Τhess, a startup hub in Thessaloniki, and leading an open volunteer community for projects such as face masks, face shields and ventilation equipment for hospitals.
Let me know if I’m missing any startups and will highlight them in the next issue.
Alexandros Chatzieleftheriou, Blueground CEO, and Nikos Drandakis, Beat CEO, went public about the lay offs, leaves of absence and salary adjustments in their companies. Here, you can see Alexandros’s post and Nikos’s interview.
Workable launches Workable Bridge, a tool to connect laid-off workers with new employers through Workable.
ePlane, a Cypriot startup, described as a B2B sourcing and business intelligence platform for the aerospace parts and repair market, raised $9M in funding led by a Japanese trading and investing company.
eFood and Sklavenitis joined forces to deliver groceries through the most popular food delivery app in Greece in a strategic partnership, which started amid the lockdowns.
GR.EC.A, the Greek eCommerce Association, published a report presenting several insights on the buying behaviour of Greeks during the first weeks of the lockdown. Puzzles, web cameras and disposable gloves were the fastest growing e-commerce categories.
HackCoronaGreece, a hackathon organised with support from the Greek Ministry of Digital Governance took place between 2 - 13 April with the aim to address problems faced by the Greek healthcare and social systems due to the pandemic. Many interesting projects emerged.
💭 Reading or listening
Chamath Palihapitiya had an interesting discussion with Anthony Pompliano, where they talked about investments, opportunities after the crisis and how he would address the current health & economic issues.
Yuval Noah Harari wrote on FT about the impact COVID-19 could have in the world. A quote that I found particularly thought-provoking:
In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity.
Lastly, something important but overlooked is the lasting effect of the pandemic in our mental health. The isolation, fear of infection, economic impact and uncertainty of when and how this will end are bringing a huge toll on our anxiety, stress and depression levels with consequences we cannot predict right now and that will likely last long after the lockdowns have ended. An interesting article on Vox here.
I’d love to get your thoughts and feedback on Twitter.
Greek Startup Pirate 👋