esi: Who are you, what do you do and what makes you an expert on your start-upcountry?
Markos: Reload Greece is the Hub of Greek Entrepreneurship in London, seeking solutions that can generate economic growth and social impact in Greece. It started as an initiative by young Greeks to inspire and educate other passionate and innovative people to launch game-changing ventures related to Greece. Drawing inspiration from successful Greek entrepreneurs and innovators, we educate Reloaders about the entrepreneurial mindset and inspire them to develop their own ideas. We aim to be the leading organization that educates and actively supports young Greeks and Philhellenes globally in undertaking entrepreneurial ventures, which will have a significant and sustainable social and economic impact on Greece. We believe we can re-inspire, reinvent mentalities and help Reload Greece. To do so we use the Inspiration-Ideation-Execution-paradigm both at our events and in the other tools we are developing. Reload Greece’s vision is to kickstart new ventures and initiatives in and connected to Greece that can make a considerable contribution towards creating a “Reloaded Greece”. We are not so much an expert on our start-upcountry (Greece) as we are full of enthusiasm, energy and willingness to help our country and we have developed a good understanding and network of partners in Greece.
esi: What is cool about your start-upcountry, what inspires you and keeps you thriving?
Markos: What keeps us going and allows us to have faith in what we call a “Reloaded Greece” is the mentality of the start-up community that is on the making the past four years in Greece. A community of aspiring and established entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs, who are willing to welcome outsiders, help them feel welcome and give them the support and guidance they need in order to start their own business. In contradiction to the traditional Greek business mentality these people are willing to cooperate, create partnerships and work together in order to succeed.
esi: What makes you shake your head about your start-upcountry, what needs to be improved?
Markos: Problems such as bureaucracy and start-up legislation in Greece have always been a problem. It goes without saying that these are issues that have to be improved. Still, what really makes us shake our head about the start-up environment in Greece is the lack of awareness of the wider Greek community on what’s happening on the entrepreneurship scene, right under their nose. This is mainly due to the complete lack of attention by established Greek media. When we first started researching for the Reload Greece conference in 2012 the only press mentions we could find about start-ups in Greece were in articles such as the BBC or the Guardian. Luckily this has started to change recently. Growing.gr, Startup.gr, EMEA.gr, Bank Wars have come to fill this gap and help showcase the achievements of Greek entrepreneurs.
esi: What’s some cool fact we are likely not to know about your start-upcountry?
Markos: What’s cool is that there are a lot more big success stories than we realize. The Greek start-up TaxiBeat, which was supported by OpenFund, a seed-venture capital fund now handling European Jeremy funds, has now expanded to countries like France, Mexico and Brazil making it one of the most successful Greek start-ups. Also the recent exit of BugSence, which was acquired by Splunk is another interesting fact.
esi: Thank you for the interview.
About the interviewpartner:
Markos Kiosseoglou has worked both for startup and multinational companies such as Siemens, Expedia, Kopi.co.uk and CustomMade.com.