Congratulations to ACG alumni Xenia Kourtoglou (DEREE ‘82, and PIERCE ‘72) and Socratis Ploussas (DEREE ’95), who won two out of the four Hellenic Entrepreneurship Awards – an award helping experienced and budding entrepreneurs in Greece overcome economic disadvantages and bring new business ideas to fruition.

Ms Kourtoglou won for e-satisfaction – the first independent platform that records e-shoppers’ entire online shopping experience from browsing through ordering to delivery, which she created alongside Stelios Eliakis and Katerina Pramatari.

Mr Ploussas won for Open Circle – a web-based community where visionary entrepreneurs present their business concepts and engage with investors who might want to participate.

The four prizes came with shared funding of up to €700,000, and all winners were assigned an expert mentor to receive a range of business support services.

The Hellenic Entrepreneurship Award is funded and administered by the LIBRA Group (The American College of Greece’s founding partner in its International Internship & Study Abroad Program IISAP) on behalf of The Hellenic Initiative (THI).

Ms Kourtoglou is also the founder of Focus Bari, a Market Research Agency in Greece, with local and international activity and recognition. She is also a founding member of I for U Mentoring Network, has been a regular lecturer at Panteion University, and is a regular speaker at local and international conferences, and a steady supporter and mentor of career women and entrepreneurs.

She graduated from PIERCE College in 1972 and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from DEREE in 1982.

Mr Ploussas is the CEO of PARNASSE SA, the first equity crowdunding in Greece, and also CEO of Mellon Advisory, as well as founding Vice President of the Hellenic Start-up Association among other hats. He has also worked as a Managing Partner for four years at IPMC Partners, a company he owned, responsible for retail and commercial, while he has also worked for a host of international companies.

Mr Ploussas earned his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Management from DEREE in 1995, followed by his MBA from the Henley Management College in 2001.

The winners were chosen “on the basis of business plans which demonstrated financial discipline, sustainability, job creation and innovation,” organizers said.

The Hellenic Initiative (THI) is a global, non-profit, secular institution whose vision is to mobilize the Greek diaspora and philhellene community to invest in the future of Greece through programs focused on crisis relief, entrepreneurship and economic development:

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