Interviewing Maria Arnaoutaki

  1. What encouraged you to work on entrepreneurship in a young age? Was it an organization, a person, an event?
    An event about entrepreneurship gave me the spark, however the essential motivation came from the start up environment from which i started.
  2. What did the University contribute to your entrepreneurship route, until this moment?
    The university’s contribution was limited, but it equipped me with research methodology, the opportunity to work in groups and to study and work for 6 months abroad.
  3. Incubators and seed finance: What is your experience and opinion as far as it concerns your project and Greece in general?
    Both are very helpful, especially in early stage groups, since you feel you have a foundation, an environment that embraces and helps you plan the firsts steps of your idea through mentoring and support. It’s very important because very often you don’t know the pieces of the puzzle than develop your idea into a business e.g. legal, financial or other business development pieces. Your funding will allow your business to take off, if your idea is useful and solves a real problem. In Greece today, these two are of critical importance for all the young entrepreneurs.
  4. What Innovative training methods have you seen? How much did they help and which ones are worth mentioning?
    It would be worthy to mention the pitching training at the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (Rotterdam) with the participation of business and public-speaking trainers, where they taught us the meaning of choosing the right words, the voice, the hand gestures and the body posture, while presenting the idea behind your business.
  5. What initiatives have you seen or participated in that promote start-up communities? What’s your personal contribution to this?
    The Disrupt Startup Entrepreneurship School Athens in which we participated could make good examples. It’s fortunate that in Athens, almost every week there is an event concerning startups, young enrepreneurs or relevant communities.
  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?
    It exists, although there is still room for great improvement and action.
  7. If someone asked you a question about fundraising, what would it be and how would you answer?
    It depends on what fase my business is in and for which reason I want funding.
  8. Co-working spaces: opinion/ personal partnership, considering your route so far.In early stages and for small groups, the co-working spaces are very helpful since you feel you are in a productive environment, in which you can exchange ideas with other groups.
  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 Asana.
  10.  What’s the biggest need for a young entrepreneur at this time?
    The biggest need is to be open to self-training and learning, to find people with whom he/she can share his/her vision, to build dedicated groups to work with and to take risks.

Interviewed by Kostapanos Miliaresis





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