Interviewing Antonis Mantzavrinos

  1. What encouraged you to work on entrepreneurship in a young age? Was it an organization, a person, an event?
    From a young age, I wanted to  work on something of my supervision . On the other side, whereas my first degree was about business administration, I received all the right stimulations to start something of my own. And finally my environment, seeing people around me who yet had dared to do something from a really young age.

    But basically, the motivation that really led me towards creation was an idea that I was thinking for a really long time of how  to implement. When it was mature enough in my head, I found the right people and we adjusted the idea all together.

  2. What did the University contribute to your entrepreneurship route, until this moment?

    The Academy is, as a whole, very lucrative the way I perceive it. The university itself provides all the necessary to start something. It’s the stimulation, the contacts perhaps, even the professors. It’s the first point of contact where you suddenly meet people. These people when you have an idea or later in your career path can be consulted.In our idea for example the university plays a significant role. On one hand we have created something that is appeals mainly to the Greek student,  and on the other hand the people that are members of the team are derived from that

  3. Incubators and seed finance: What is your experience and opinion as far as it concerns your project and Greece in general?
    The experience in both parts is small. In the first (incubator) is a bit  bigger since with the victory in the contest Cu RestartUo @ Ρομάντσο, we had the chance to become members of  the incubator of  Romantso.

    The important, as a member of an incubator is that you can  develop your idea with a clearly faster way, since in the same workspace there are other developers, willing to help you, but also the very people that work at the incubator have the right experience about how the idea can transform in something sustainable.

    Consequently, the advantages of being a member of an incubator lies on how you could pass the idea into a sustainable model and of course how you will develop it in order to transform.

    In the part of the seed funding, the knowledge is less, as I already said.

    Nevertheless, the idea of receiving a percentage of money which later you maybe have to return back in any way, doesn´t sound very attractive to me.

  4. What Innovative training methods have you seen? How much did they help and which ones are worth mentioning?
    I don´t come up with something specific in my mind right now. Only from my past experience, when I did my practical training in a known multinational enterprise and some training seminars and conferences I had attended as a member of AIESEC.
  5. What initiatives have you seen or participated in that promote start-up communities? What’s your personal contribution to this?
    Lately, there are various touch points of the start-up community in Greece. However, one thing I observe is that the continuity is not guaranteed, there is not something like an institution to be clear, where all the start-ups from every sector can participate in.

    From our perspective, we keep in touch with all the organization bodies of similar ideas, and where is possible we participate ourselves too,  as representatives of this community.

  6. Is there a start-up network in Greece? How active is it? Is there a true substance? What’s your personal contribution to it?
    Yes, it exists but it is not well-connected in my opinion. I would surely describe it active, but for example I know few journalists involved with this subject. There is not the call for necessity of a real community vibe. The majority of the people involved in the start-up community later proceed to companies, as I have seen from my experience,  and don’t continue with the development of the idea.

    With few moves I think that things will be a lot better. Like the thing I mentioned about a one-time-a-year conference aiming to gather all the start-up community in Greece.

  7. If someone asked you a question about fundraising, what would it be and how would you answer?
    Personally, I am in favor, however the way the transaction is done must be crystal clear. There are various available funds from angel investors, other funds mentoring companies and a lot of others, but the rewards package they  ask back must be deliberately  examined.
  8. Co-working spaces: opinion/ personal partnership, considering your route so far.
    They help too. Not as much can help an incubator , but they consist the second best choice.

    A good way to import your start-up in an environment with similar ideas as yours in order to find people, to see how it could be evolved and maybe a first step towards further evolution.

  9. What’s your number one tool, if you had to pick, that made you and your project what you are today?Is hard work a tool?
    The organization and coordination during the first period. The core team did consecutive meetings every week with specific tasks for the next week and always with evaluation of the previous ones.

    This helped amazingly in our development!

  10. What’s the biggest need for a young entrepreneur at this time?
    To make reality what he/she thinks. And to be aware of that will get some help from the state during his/her effort.

Interviewed by Kostapanos Miliaresis

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