Ambassador Pyatt’s Remarks at Rutgers “Trophy-Τροφή Challenge” Virtual Event

Thursday, July 9, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

Καλησπέρα σας.  First, I want to thank Effie Lazaridou and her team at “New Agriculture for a New Generation” for moving the whole Trophy program to an online format, and for offering coaching and support to the startups that participated over the last few months.

I’m a great supporter of the “New Agriculture for a New Generation” program, which brings together several long-time Embassy partners to empower hundreds of young farmers.

This program is funded by a generous gift from our friends at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and led by Rutgers University of New Jersey, in partnership with the wonderful American Farm School and the Agricultural University of Athens.

The Trophy Challenge provides valuable support to agri-tech and food-tech startups, in an area where Greece already has a competitive advantage.

Greece’s effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic has already boosted the country’s reputation and built confidence in Greece as an investment destination.

With the health crisis behind us, one of the U.S. Embassy’s top priorities now is to support Greece’s economic recovery.  We firmly believe that one of the best means of achieving this goal is by cultivating Greek entrepreneurship and innovation.

I know that the past few months have been a difficult time for startups, and I’m impressed by the resilience of the Greek entrepreneurship ecosystem, which has continued to offer exchanges, conferences, and workshops throughout the pandemic.

The entrepreneurship ecosystem will need further support as businesses begin to reopen, but I’m confident that Greek startups, especially in the agri-food sector, have opportunities for growth in the Greek economy and in Greek exports, promoting the healthy Mediterranean diet, which is already a globally recognized brand.

Last September, we were thrilled to welcome ProsPer, the first-place team in the food-tech category, at the Thessaloniki International Fair, where they participated in the Future Agro Challenge Global Championships and gained additional exposure and networking opportunities.

ProsPer also visited Rutgers University in February, meeting with food scientists and professors and touring various labs.

This experience gave Prosper significant feedback for further developing their product and production processes—important tools for taking their startup to the next level.

The Embassy is proud to support the Trophy Challenge and many other innovation and entrepreneurship programs to help recharge the Greek economy.

This event marks the successful completion of an exciting startup competition.  So congratulations to the winners and to all who participated.

Καλή επιτυχία for your future endeavors!


Ευχαριστώ πολύ.