ECONOMY

Incubator fund to play a key role in start-ups

A 2.5-billion-drachma incubator fund set up by NBG Venture Capital and Vectis Capital, called iVen, is expected to play a catalytic role in stimulating start-ups that will focus on innovative services and products, its chief executive, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said yesterday at the company’s launch. NBG Venture Capital, a subsidiary of National Bank, controls a 67-percent stake in the company, and Vectis Capital, a venture capital vehicle of the Leventis and Martinos groups and Alpha Bank, holds the remaining 33 percent. The partners have contributed a total of 1.5 billion drachmas, while the Development Ministry will match the sum with monies from the European Union structural funds. iVen will provide seed capital up to 300,000 euros to finance new or existing start-ups which can prove that they have a sound business plan and product, and a qualified management team, Mitsotakis said. The new company aims to be a one-stop shop, as in addition to funding it will provide advisory, accounting, legal and manpower services. US software giant Microsoft will act as a technical associate while accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers will offer its services. Security teams will also intensify night patrols of idle planes parked at the airport. Airport and airline personnel will go through more thorough checks. The new measures will be fully implemented at major Greek airports and gradually enforced at smaller facilities. The ministry plans to propose three security measures at the International Civil Aviation Organization’s 33rd assembly session in Montreal on September 25.