Soon as my first meeting was done, I had to rush back to Syntagma Square where a young entrepreneur was waiting for me. I had only half an hour to get from point A to point B and taking into account that it is my first time in the city of Athens, I successfully managed to be on time for the meeting with Sakis Triantafyllakis.
Sakis has a lot of experience in event management and he’s been actively involved in the startup community for a while. We met on startuptravels and for our first encounter we chose a nearby cafe. He ordered a beer and suggested for me to try Samos – very sweet Greek white wine, which I really liked.
He shared his story about how his initial idea for a startup failed a couple of years ago and how he is now uplifting his startup Panelsensor – a real-time audience interaction platform, super easy to use both for event organizers and attendees! It enhances the attendees experience during events (conferences, corporate meetings, congresses, forums etc.) through real-time Q&A and polling. Event organizers can now offer a unique experience to their audience when at the same time they can have valuable insights about their events!
“What I’ve learned from my previous experience and it is a validate proof till this date, is that you need to have the right team for your startup. Because in the end, for a success, 99% will depend on a great team and execution!” said Sakis.
While he was explaining how he motivated himself to start over and not to give up on his startup idea, we somehow switched subject and got to the point of discussing about the positives and negatives from the current crisis in Greece and what effects does it have on their startup community.
“In my opinion, this whole situation has a positive effect when it comes to the change of mentality. Many young people now, are inspired to become entrepreneurs instead of working in a corporation for a small wage, many of them choose to work for a startup, plus freelance on the side. A lot of startups are looking at potential markets abroad (UK, Scandinavia, USA). Also, this crisis has toughened us up, made us work harder, especially if it comes to making our dreams reality.
But, there are also many negatives coming from the Greek crisis, to name a few, we have lost all the credibility and are perceived as the black sheep when it comes to doing business. Also, the money limitations on transactions abroad we have, it is not easing our way. The feeling I get from this crisis is like riding a roller-coaster and around you, there’s a very negative, poisoned environment, so the motivation level fades away and especially if you are bootstrapping, you can easily get discouraged. ” stated Sakis.
So, I was interested, what he has learned so far and what is his advice for anyone that could end up in a similar situation when starting a startup and joining the startup community.
“I’ve already failed once and I’ll probably fail again, but when you fail you get that itchy feeling that makes you work harder, to do something creative and to make an impact, to make a difference. You must go to startup events on a regular basis. Focus on your startup, on your product/service, but find time for networking, for traveling, because at these events you will grow as a person, you will improve your skills, expand your horizons and meet awesome new friends. These events will move you straight forward and build you as a person for sure.” he (Sakis) smiles when he says this.
Leaving me thinking that he realizes how these startup events and being part of the startup community has affected him and helped him grow as a person. It was a nice Friday afternoon that we spent exchanging ideas, experiences and learned a lot about each other and our startup communities. I hope, that with Sakis as well, we will be able to do series of selfies in the future and I can share with you his path to success.
Until then I am wishing him all the best with his startup PanelSensor and everyone in the event management business, go check it out!
There’s another blog post and #StartUpSelfie coming from Athens in the following days…