Interviewing Aris Konstantinidis

1. What encouraged you to work on entrepreneurship in a young age? Was it an organization, a person, an event?
Personal curiosity and desire to do things. I attended ASWU, where I went to just see what it was and eventually founded GloVo.

2. What did the University contribute to your entrepreneurship route, until this moment?
It didn’t give me the motivation I needed to deal with entrepreneurship, but fortunately I was a good student so the knowledge I gained from university, seemed useful along the way. Fragmentary there were people / groups within the University that eventually helped us.

3. Incubators and seed finance: What is your experience and opinion as far as it concerns your project and Greece in general?
Incubators exist, but their role should be closer to accelerators, rather than office space providers. There are many startups in Greece with interesting ideas, which are looking for seed funding, but in fact few teams deserve to go on. For those startups, serious accelerators should definitely exist in Greece, to provide offices and a strong network of mentors, as well as appropriate training, in order for startups to go to the next level and find the funding they need. Generally in Greece, there’s too much theory, but little practice in comparison with other countries, although there is good potential.

4. What Innovative training methods have you seen? How much did they help and which ones are worth mentioning?
I don’t remember attending something exciting in Greece. But speaking from experience, I find that the most effective trainings are simulations and role-playing ones, where you learn the process of creating something and working on it like you would in reality.

5. What initiatives have you seen or participated in that promote start-up communities? What’s your personal contribution to this?
Startup weekends and various events about entrepreneurship. Mostly participated with GloVo or as speaker in some.

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?
There is, with good ideas but few success stories so far. A powerful accelerator that will select specific groups and help them become success stories is missing. Sometimes there’s too much pitching and networking without true substance. I was never involved with the startup community, beyond what I said above.

7. If someone asked you a question about fundraising, what would it be and how would you answer?
Q: “We are a startup and we are looking for funding. Where should we look?”7 out of 10 don’t even know how much money they want and what they will do with it.
A: “If I gave you 150 grand right now, how exactly would you spend it?”

8. Co-working spaces: opinion/ personal partnership, considering your route so far.
Accelerators ought to be created. To simply offer space and some occasional trainings is just not enough. They have to selectively support strong teams with potential to succeed. In this way, others will also be motivated to work hard.

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 restart button after errors, problems and difficulties.

10.  What’s the biggest need for a young entrepreneur at this time?
The ultimate realization that without self-discipline, perseverance and hard work it won’t work. Everything else can be solved.

 

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