Google Maps creator Lars Rasmussen has announced he is moving to Greece in January 2021 to create a new start-up enterprise.
Rasmussen, of Danish origin, who is currently based in New York, says he is moving to Athens with his team to further develop a new project called Weav, described as the only running app that automatically keeps the music you hear in sync with your footsteps in real time.
The tech maven’s move to Greece with his Greek wife, high-tech executive Elomida Visviki, is seen as an important development for the country, which has been trying to attract high-flying digital nomads and cutting-edge technology companies.
Rasmussen had a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis by teleconference at the end of November. Shortly afterward, he made the announcement of his impending move, adding that he will be hiring local talent in the country.
“Elomida and I arrive early January and are giddy with excitement,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Enticing brains” to Greece
Rasmussen noted that “Greece lost 500,000 big brains in the wake of the financial crises a decade back. Now making an impressive and concerted effort to entice them back.”
He added: “Will hopefully attract an additional 500,000 non-Greek brains to live & work in paradise!”
In a recent interview with Greek daily Kathimerini he dismissed the common stereotypes, according to which Greeks are not known for working hard.
“Working with Greeks around the world, but also in our team, my experience is completely different,” he stated.
“Not only are they very hardworking, but they are trustworthy and have a lot of dedication to their work. Greece now has a better name than Sydney had 20 years ago when we were designing Google maps there,” he told the Greek newspaper.
From Google to Facebook
Rasmussen is the co-founder and CTO of Weav Music Inc in New York City.
He holds a PhD in theoretical computer science from UC Berkeley, and was most recently a director of engineering for Facebook in London.
In early 2003, he and his brother Jens co-founded a mapping-related startup called Where 2 Technologies, which was acquired by Google in October of 2004.
He became the lead engineer on the team that created Google Maps and worked out of Google’s Sydney-based office until joining Facebook in late 2010.