What is Roots?

Roots is a program that aims to accelerate the growth of innovative Greek SMEs and start-ups, and ensure they have the necessary knowledge to design and effectively communicate their proposals to investors, and access financing opportunities through the Greek capital market.

As the world and the global economy change under the influence of digital transformation, companies face a new set of challenges and opportunities to scale-up and enhance their competitiveness. ATHEX, in partnership with the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the support of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC), and  the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is mobilizing key players in the capital markets ecosystem to support the financing needs of a competitive Greek entrepreneurial ecosystem.


What are the program objectives?


Roots envisions a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem that contributes to the growth of the Greek economy.

Roots aims to:

  • Mobilize the capital markets ecosystem to diversify and strengthen the financing options available for SMEs.
  • Train, mentor and accelerate innovative SMEs to the point of investment-readiness.
  • Εnable SMEs to present their investment case in terms of risk return and to facilitate investors to make their decision.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfers, collaboration, and the sharing of best practices.

Who is it for?


The Program is designed to support innovative SMEs and startups with:

  • Established commercial activity
  • Backed by a feasible business proposal, with proof of concept
  • With scaling and growth potential
  • An attractive investment proposal

Which sectors does Roots support?

The Roots Program is designed to cover sectors of the Greek economy with high potential for growth in an increasingly innovation-focused, digitalized, and globalized economy.


  • ICT
  • Blue Economy
  • Logistics, Transport, Infrastructure
  • Biocluster (Health & Wellbeing)
  • Energy
  • Fintech
  • Tourism
  • Entertainment Economy
  • Agricultural Economy
  • Food Industry

*You may apply even if your company does not strictly belong in one of the sectors. Our main focus is on finding innovative SMEs with growth potential and forward-thinking management.

When applying to the program you should select the sector that is most applicable.


How does it work?


Roots provides access to an international network of experts, coaching and training opportunities that will help SMEs build their growth capacity and access financing tools in the Greek capital market.



A high-level committee of international and local experts will select the companies and provide feedback to them throughout the program.


Companies are matched with a Mentor and an Investment Advisor that will support them as they complete program deliverables, and help them fine tune their strategy based on the needs of their organization.

Capacity Building & Training

Companies have access to training material, workshops, and knowledge-based events modelled on global best practices.


Your Benefits



and build lasting relationships with international experts and companies, learn from their expertise, and explore opportunities for collaboration


the development of strong business plans, appropriate financial structures, and corporate governance and learn how to successfully engage and pitch your business to investors


which financing options are most suitable for your company, and how to access them


company growth through proper and timely financing, capitalizing on your newfound knowledge


your brand and expand your network by increasing your visibility and boosting credibility through your association with the Program

Achieve capital market readiness

and present your investment proposal to a wider investor audience.

Process flow


Following their successful selection to participate in Roots, the Program provides companies with access to training material, networking events and workshops modeled on global best practices. The capacity building curriculum of the Program has been developed alongside key partners that possess expertise around topic areas that are of interest to companies participating in the Program. These partners are the CFA Society Greece, the Global Competitiveness Academy (GCA) and Arizona State University (ASU), as well as internationally renowned academics.

The curriculum includes some core topics, which are supplemented by ad-hoc workshops focused on areas where participating companies have specific needs.

The Roots Capacity Building Program is structured around three key deliverables that mark the completion of each of the capacity building stages:

Stage 1 – Deliverable: Business Plan

Stage 2 – Deliverable: Financial Structure

Stage 3 – Deliverable: Complete Investment Proposal

Mentors and Investment Advisors will guide the companies through these processes and workshops, and help them access capital through the most appropriate financing tool and the terms best suited to their needs and investment proposal.

Depending on their readiness, companies can move through the stages of the Program at their own pace.



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