- What encouraged you to work on entrepreneurship in a young age? Was it an organization, a person, an event?
The main stimulus for me was my involvement with a students’ organization named AIESEC, through which I became much more outgoing. I began to understand better the environment around me and it gave me the impetus to look more deeply into issues that I found interesting, to choose classes in university based on entrepreneurship and to work more on innovation in a time of economic crisis.
- What did the University contribute to your entrepreneurship route, until this moment?
The university has so far played the less prominent role in my path. Of course, I owe it a lot because the organization I grew up and evolved in was part of my university experience, but in fact, I found very few actual benefits, from my interaction with the object and professors of my department.
- Incubators and seed finance: What is your experience and opinion as far as it concerns your project and Greece in general?
As for my own project, it’s still in research and market analysis stage, so I can’t really say that I have personal experience/cooperation with any incubator or that I am claiming a seed finance. However, the greek startup ecosystem has evolved greatly over the last two years as far as it concerns the financing level and supporting new business. Of course there aren’t always worthwhile proposals by young entrepreneurs to invest/ use these structures.
- What Innovative training methods have you seen? How much did they help and which ones are worth mentioning?
I think one of the most innovative training methods for a young entrepreneur, was participating in the startup weekend in 2013. Within three days, I managed to set up a company from nowhere, to create my group, do market analysis & product validation, create a first prototype of my idea and present it in front of 150 people. Knowledge, experience, networking and effective interaction with the concept of making my own concept, developed me personally and professionally.
- What initiatives have you seen or participated in that promote start-up communities? What’s your personal contribution to this?
A strong enough chapter was consisted the past years from Start-up weekends, even at student level. OpenCoffee (and now OpenTourism) is the most appropriate and well-established event for a young entrepreneur’s presentation development and networking. Beyond that, and of course with the support of collaborative spaces (there are many and remarkable), events related to entrepreneurship flourish and evolve.
- 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 a network, quite active, but small and without clear collective effort. It needs a place / institution where it will become a meeting place of all start-ups. My contribution so far is very little and is related primarily to participation and not so much in the organization.
- If someone asked you a question about fundraising, what would it be and how would you answer?
Q: “At what stage should my idea/company be before I start looking for fundings?”
A: “Before discussing the possibility to get some money, you should have made a prototype of your idea, so you can support your position”
- Co-working spaces: opinion/ personal partnership, considering your route so far.
There are several interesting co-working spaces in Athens and Greece in general. Many of them do an amazing job providing everything a young entrepreneur needs to support his idea. I have worked with the Co-Lab, Found.ation and The Cube Athens with whom I had excellent treatment, within a wonderful collaborative development environment.
- 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 best tool for me would be Video! That’s my tool.
- What’s the biggest need for a young entrepreneur at this time?
Proper guidance. A mentor-consultant who can see the big picture of the project and lead the founder and its team towards the right development steps of their new business activity.
Interviewed by Kostapanos Miliaresis