Univation, the startup that helps students turn their business ideas into reality

Minas Marios Kontis

Minas-Marios was only 12 years old when he developed his first application, which was also the first to be released for the OASTH routes, so that users could see from their mobile phones what time the bus arrives at the stop. Within a year it had 100+ thousand downloads on android, with his friends even downloading the app before he could even tell them.

At the age of 13, he and his classmates built the first robotic Greek coffee machine, the "brikibot", which won the first robotics and technology awards at the ACSTAC 2013 competition, supported by Greek-Australian businessman John Zakos (co-founder of Cognea, which acquired by IBM). The "brikibot" was a great success at the Central Conference, as the original concept, the complexity of the construction and the combination of robotic mechanisms with simple household materials attracted the interest of the public as well as major media.

Minas-Marios entered university (Applied Informatics, University of Macedonia), but his attention was focused elsewhere. What he was looking for was his next business step. He had ideas, but had difficulty turning them into action. This is because there was no organization or mentor at the university who could guide students like Mario. Thus, Univation was born, the startup that helps students turn their business ideas into reality. Univation has already set foot in over 40 universities in Europe, America and Australia. It organizes talk events, startup workshops and operates University Incubators in order for students to create their first startup. To date, over 35,000 students have participated and implemented their business idea with its support.

This year also saw the launch of the Online Platform developed by Univation for its own programs, specifically for the Incubator program. Now available as SaaS to Incubators, Accelerators and VCs. Programs such as Google for Startups, Techstars, Startup Weekends, as well as Harvard's student entrepreneurship programs, "run" today on the online platform.

Univation's goal for this year is to conquer a total of 100 universities and convince every student to make their idea a reality, to dare and to venture.

Methodology: From the more than 100 nominations collected by "Forbes" - either through applications from the interested parties themselves or through proposals from institutions and competent bodies -, the editorial team made a first selection and ended up with 50. The jury, which consisted of Messrs. Spyro Theodoropoulos (managing director of Bespoke SGA Holdings), Nikos Karamouzis (president of SMERemediumCap and Grant Thornton Greece), Michalis Bletsa (director of IT at the MIT Media Lab), Theoharis Filippopoulos (president of Capital.gr, president of Attic Publishing) , evaluated the 50 nominations with scores from 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest), based on which the final ranking was formed. Publication order is set according to member rating (highest to lowest) and then alphabetically. Conditions for participation in the "Forbes 30 under 30 Greece 2023" list were met by those born from 1/1/1993 onwards.