The Enterprise Europe Network helps two Greek sailing champions launch a media and marketing SME specialised in sailing, yachting and other water sports.
Knowing firsthand that Olympic sailing is one of the hardest sports to film, Jason Georgaris and Antonio Kondis launched Icarus Sailing Media to lower media production costs while making the race more exciting.
They cover top international sailing events with a combination of 3D animations, GPS tracking technology, special onboard cameras and aerial footage. Before launching their business in 2008, the duo turned to the Enterprise Europe Network for support. With about 600 Network partner organisations in more than 50 countries the Network offers free, hands-on advice to SMEs in all sectors.
"You can't start signing contracts without knowing your legal rights," says Jason, who serves as commercial manager of the six-employee firm. "Being a team of engineers with no legal expertise we didn't know where to start."
Katerina Leousi, Network coordinator at ACSMI, the local branch of the Enterprise Europe Network in Athens, recognised the potential of their innovation. She briefed Jason and his crew on how to legally protect their IPR and make their investments pay off. She also helped them secure EU funding to expand the sales and marketing staff and buy new equipment, has invited them to several business matchmaking events and provides regular consultancy assistance on financing opportunities.
"Jason and Antonios needed to support their excellent ideas with the right resources," Leousi says.
The SME has already made a name for itself as the only provider of quality Olympic sailing media content worldwide to clients like the BBC and Bloomberg Television. It gained further recognition in 2011 when it received a Network 'Rising Star' Award recognising companies and researchers who have used the Enterprise Europe Network to find opportunities abroad or to develop their business and research.
"With the Enterprise Europe Network as a worthy co-captain, we are at the beginning of an exciting voyage," says Jason Georgaris, co-owner of the firm.