About

What is the “Start For Future: The Athenian Nexus Summit”?

The Athenian Nexus Summit is a two-day event, held within the framework of Start For Future (SFF), a cross-European network that acts as an open hub of entrepreneurship to promote innovation globally. Every year, members of the hub along with entrepreneurial spirits, innovation enthusiasts, and representatives of the European Commission meet in a different European city to discuss and map together the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe, in a Summit.

This year, the Start For Future Summit will be hosted in Athens, on Thursday 16th & Friday 17th of May 2024. The first day will take place at the Athens Conservatoire and the second day at the ACEin premises of the Athens University of Economics & Business, bringing together all the actors involved in entrepreneurship and innovation, in a two-day event for the Greek and European ecosystem, with discussions, presentations, workshops, activities and networking opportunities.

What is the Goal of the Summit?

Athenian Nexus Summit’s main goal is to bring together all stakeholders interested and involved in entrepreneurship and innovation. Enterprises, start-ups, institutions, and members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem will co-design strategies for the development of the economy, the environment and the society of Athens, having the European strategies as a common axis.

What is “Start For Future”?

Start For Future (SFF) is a growing network that operates mainly as an open entrepreneurship hub to promote innovation globally. The network has rapidly emerged as one of Europe’s most dynamic and fastest-growing innovation alliances, uniting academia, startups, industry, and public organizations. With a vision to revolutionize systemic innovation, the SFF Cooperative is poised to lead transformative advancements that will shape the future of innovation in Europe.

Start for Future is made up of a wide network of more than 25 Universities, Research and Business Centres from all over Europe.

The Story so far: Few words about the Previous SFF Summits.

Start for Future is all about getting together and co-creating. It epitomizes the collective endeavor to convene, envision, and collaboratively forge the future of the European entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem based on shared values and a common vision. Thus, as soon as COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed, the Start For Future alliance started a new tradition, the SFF Summits.

Every year, the SFF alliance along with visionary members of the ecosystem, innovative startups, entrepreneurial spirits, innovation enthusiasts, industry experts, and representatives from the European entrepreneurship and industrial landscape, and the EU Commission meet in a different European city to discuss and shape the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe.

This vibrant exchange unfolds over two days, encapsulating the very essence of the SFF vision and mission.

November 2022, Munich

Emerging from the shadows of COVID-19, the SFF alliance seized the opportunity to inaugurate a transformative tradition, the in-person SFF Summits, bringing together for the first time the European entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. The first Summit was organized in Munich, Germany, hosted by the Hochschule München University of Applied Sciences (HM) and the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship (SCE). The Summit was focused on the future of innovation ecosystems, start-ups and co-creation. Universities, industry partners, innovators, investors, political decision-makers and leading start-ups from Germany and all over Europe met to discuss the urgent challenges of our time and identify ways to address them.

As the event followed the presentation of the EU Innovation Agenda in July 2022, the first day of the Summit was centered around the question of how Europe can become a leading player in the global innovation scene, strengthening its central role in shaping the green and digital transformation and positioning itself at the forefront of a new wave of deep-tech innovations and start-ups. Addressing the participants, Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Education, Culture and Youth, elaborated on the Commission’s firm commitment to place Europe on the top of the global innovation scene, highlighting the significance of the SFF in that context, as it promotes both deep tech innovation and connects innovative regions. Followingly, the second day offered insights into applied co-creation, where start-ups and companies collaborate to meet innovation challenges & entrepreneurship communities.

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Universities from all over Europe
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Startups from different incubators across Europe
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Ecosystem representatives
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Industrial Partners
Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Education, Culture and Youth
Overview of the first day
Winners of the startup award
Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Education, Culture and Youth

June 2023, Varna

To celebrate our collective efforts and prepare for the future, this year, the SFF team met in Varna, Bulgaria. The Summit was organized by the Edge: R&BD, Varna Business School, and the Municipality of Varna, under the auspices of the Bulgarian Ministry of Innovation and Growth. The two days of the Summit were dedicated to co-creation and the ways in which the cooperation between the ecosystem stakeholders can create value and growth for the entire ecosystem, resolving pressing and persistent challenges. Welcoming the participants, the Minister of Innovation & Growth, Milena Stoycheva, stressed that the future of entrepreneurship and innovation lies in collaborations and international technology transfer.

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Universities from all over Europe
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Startups from different incubators across Europe
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Ecosystem representatives
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Industrial Partners
Minister of Innovation and Growth, Milena Stoycheva, welcoming the participants
Ten SFF Regional Hubs/Valleys presenting their trajectory from scratch to SFF
Workshop on the future on co-creation means and methods, participating Bulgaria Minister of Innovation and Growth, Milena Stoycheva
Overview of the opening ceremony

Athenian Nexus
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Terms and Conditions of Selection and Participation of Entrepreneurial Teams and Startups in the "Athenian Agora"

Privacy Notice on the Collection and Processing of Personal Data in the context of the Athenian Agora

Terms and Conditions of Selection and Participation of Entrepreneurial Teams and Startups in the "Athenian Nexus – Investor Day"

Privacy Notice on
the Collection and Processing of Personal Data in the context of the Investor Day