Frequently Asked Questions

Who is it for?

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

  • Established commercial activity
  • A feasible business proposal, with proof of concept
  • An ambitious growth plan
  • An attractive investment proposal
  • Activity and/or seat in Greece. Companies having their seat in another country must have their main operation and/or production in Greece.
  • Legal form of a Société anonyme (S.A.) or intention to transform into a S.A. (or the equivalent S.A. legal form for companies having their seat in another country).
What are the program objectives?
  • 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.
Which sectors does Roots support?

The Roots Program is designed for companies that are active across all sectors of the Greek economy, and demonstrate high potential for growth in an increasingly innovation-focused, digitalized, and globalized economy.

What are the benefits for companies participating in Roots?
  • Connect and build lasting relationships with international experts and companies, learn from their expertise, and explore opportunities for collaboration
  • Master the development of strong business plans, appropriate financial structures, and corporate governance and learn how to successfully engage and pitch your business to investors
  • Learn which financing options are most suitable for your company, and how to access them
  • Accelerate company growth through proper and timely financing, capitalizing on your newfound knowledge
  • Strengthen 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.


Who are the partners?

Corporate Champions are leading Greek companies who champion each sector, transferring know-how and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Corporate Champions provide experienced professionals to act as Mentors.

Find more information for Corporate Champions here

Advisory Partners​​​​​​​ are leading providers of business consultancy services and they offer technical advice and help companies reach the point of investment readiness. Advisory Partners provide experienced corporate finance professionals to support and advise companies by taking on the role of the Investment Advisor or the Mentor.

Find more information for Advisory Partners here

Training Partners​​​​​​​ contribute to the capacity building program by offering training modules, workshops, and courses

Find more information for Training Partners here

Who are the Investment Advisors and what is their role?

Investment Advisors are experienced executives from the Program's Advisory Partners. Investment Advisors help companies refine their financial structure and investment proposals and ensure they are ready to access capital markets.

In cooperation with Mentors, guide the companies to prepare their investment proposal for investors.

Find more information for 1st cycle Investment Advisors here

Who are the Mentors and what is their role?

Mentors are experienced executives from the Program's Corporate Champions and Advisory Partners. Mentors will use their experience to provide strategic advice to innovative companies and help them improve their value offering and enhance their growth potential.

In cooperation with Investment Advisors, guide the companies to prepare their investment proposal for investors.

Find more information for 1st cycle Mentors here

What are the evaluation criteria?

The companies will be evaluated by an independent Selection Committee, which will take into account quantitative and qualitative criteria such as:

  • The value of the product/service and its competitive position
  • Innovation (patents, level of innovation of the product/service/production process/marketing)
  • Market demand as well as growth potential (realistic market share and annual revenue projections)
  • Scaling potential and the capacity to compete in international markets
  • Skilled, forward-thinking management team
  • Value of the investment proposal
  • Financial performance
  • An ambitious vision for the future of the company
What is the evaluation process?

Initially, all applications are checked for eligibility to participate in Roots.

An independent Selection Committee, will take into account qualitative and quantitative criteria and assess the applications, selectingthe companies that will participate in the program.

Successful and unsuccessful candidates will be contacted at the email addresses provided in the application form about the outcome of the assessment of their application.

What are the main deliverables of Roots?

There are three (3) key deliverables that mark the completion of each of the three (3) capacity building stages:

Stage 1 – Deliverable: Business Plan

Stage 2 – Deliverable: Financial Structure

Stage 3 – Deliverable: Investment Proposal and Pitch

Upon the completion of the 1st and 2nd stage, the Progress Review Committee provides feedback to the company on each of the deliverables they submit.

With the completion of the 3rd stage, companies have the opportunity to present their investment proposal at the Demo Day eventreceive feedback and connect with investors and other market participants.

What training and capacity building opportunities are offered?

Each participating company has access to educational material, seminars and knowledge-based events, depending on its needs.

The training and capacity building curriculum includes:

  • Corporate finance workshops that aim to enhance companies’ knowledge of the financing tools that are available through the capital market, and the processes that are required in order to secure them. The workshops are designed by the Athens Stock Exchange in partnership with the CFA Society Greece
  • Online courses by the Global Competitiveness Academy (GCA) and Arizona State University. The courses aim to enhance company’s skillset and ability to leverage data and technology to improve their operations and support their growth. The courses cover topics like business analytics, big data, and data mining
  • Executive Course that provides a holistic view of the topic of corporate performance (measuring, analysis, driving and communicating corporate performance).
How can I attend training seminars?

Companies can attend Roots workshops in the following ways:

  • Physical presence at the Athens Stock Exchange, on specific dates and times
  • Online live access during eachworkshop
  • Self-paced access to workshop recordings through the dashboard of the Roots website
Will there be opportunities to make connections?

Roots offers a wide array of networking opportunities through the capacity building & training curriculum and the program’s events.

Companies will be given the opportunity to make connections with:

  • Other participating companies
  • Experienced business leaders
  • Globally distinguished speakers
  • Investor network and capital markets participants
What is the duration of Roots?

The suggested timeframe for the Capacity Building Curriculum and the submission of the corresponding deliverables is a 6-month period. Depending on their readiness, companies are able to move through the stages of the program at their own pace.

Mentors and Investment Advisors guide the companies through this process, and work with companies to determine the appropriate mix of trainings that correspond to their needs.

How do I apply?

To apply you must create an account on our website, fill in the online application, and submit it before the deadline.

Find detailed information on how to apply here: How to Apply

What if I have participated in another program?

You can participate in Roots regardless of any other programs you may have participated in.

What if my application was rejected?

You may apply again in the next round of the program.

Can I only apply online?

Yes, you may only submit your application via the online form.

See How to Apply.

What responsibilities do companies have?

Commit to earnestly participate in all facets of the Roots Program

  • Be present for key events.
  • Meet and collaborate with the Mentor and Investment Advisor.
  • In order to successfully complete the program companies must submit all 3 program deliverables (Business Plan, Financial Plan, and Complete Investment Proposal & Pitch).

Submission dates for each deliverable will be announced at the beginning of each cohort.

Do I have to list?

Listing on ATHEX markets is not mandatory.

You will decide which financing options you should pursue with help from your Mentor and Investment Advisor, as well as the evaluation of the 3rd Stage deliverable, the Investment Proposal.

What is the cost of participating in the Roots Program?

There is no cost for participation in the Roots Program.

How will I get funding?

Roots prepares you to raise funds through the capital market, and gives you the necessary skills and connections to ensure your success in developing and funding a quality investment proposal. There is no direct funding through the program.

Throughout the program, companies will learn which financing options offered via the capital market are most appropriate for them, and receive guidance to choose between equity, bonds, and private equity investment. Companies that are successful throughout the Roots Program will have the option of listing their shares or issue bonds on ATHEX’s market segments (Main Market, EN.A).

You will also build the necessary skills and expertise to successfully engage and pitch your business to investors, and have the opportunity to network with potential partners and investors.


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