Wanna learn from the best? Join the Open Office Hours at Stone Soup

In a recent post we touched upon the opportunities derived from the reversed brain drain, a very exciting process to witness happening in Greece the past year. Everyday we feel inspired by the people based at our coworking space and the example they set: fellow coworkers who are traveling around the world carrying with them their social and personal skills, transferring knowledge, and enriching the local markets they engage with.

We are happy to share the latest news from our community and the background of our highly skilled coworking members. We are also thrilled to announce our new venture that is designed to contribute to this positive change.

Open Office Hours

Open Office Hours are one-on-one sessions with experts in different fields. The sessions will take place at Stone Soup and they will be open to all, and fees won’t be charged. Their objective is to share the knowledge beyond our walls and to strengthen the Athens Digital Creative ecosystem.

Wanna learn from the best? Let’s cut to the chase, and introduce George Carey-Simos, a Stone Soup resident, and the first expert you are invited to visit during Open Office Hours.

George is a Digital Strategist and helps people and companies use the Internet to their  advantage. Born in South Africa and having spent most of his life in different countries; South Africa, Czech Republic, UK, and Greece, he eventually decided to anchor his life in Greece for good.

He has a solid 15 years of working experience gained from numerous positions in different industries and countries. He started his career in Sales and moved into more traditional Media & Communications and PR work – and worked in the field for several years. Then in 2013, he switched to a small digital agency, running various digital projects for SMBs and large multinational brands, also advising clients on social media and digital strategy as a whole. His passion to explore the cutting edge developments in the digital sphere, also led him to co-found WeRSM | We are Social Media at around the same time. It didn’t take long for WeRSM to be recognized for the value it provides to digital marketers of all kinds – and agencies – by keeping them up to date on the latest news, practices, and trends. WeRSM very soon became international.

For the past 4 years, George splits his time between WeRSM and working as a freelancer for his clients. His multidimensional experience gives him the advantage to provide holistic consultancy, project management, and custom training for his clients. He is well-connected, and has a broad network to tap into when he needs to recruit and orchestrate any project.

Apart from his freelance projects, he also runs custom training sessions in digital strategy, social media strategy, and growth hacking. His growth hacking course is taught as part of a series of seminars organized by KnowCrunch at Deree college. Finally, he is also a startup advisor, mentor at Founder Institute, a regular judge at social media awards and startup events, and a speaker at international conferences.

Book your slot!

Whether your business is up and running or you are just starting out, the sessions with George could give you valuable insights on your digital strategy, your resource and team management, but could also help you refine your pitch and develop your USP.

We will announce George’s availability and time slots next week.

Stay tuned!

 

5 Reasons why you should start your business in Greece

Greece’s long history, ancient mythology, and beautiful tourist attractions make it one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Ιt is estimated that in 2018 alone, over 32 million people visited Greece, placing the country at the top of many “Best Countries to Visit in Europe” lists. Without a doubt, the term “Greek summer” is well-known across the world because it is the best season to visit, attracting countless foreigners looking to enjoy endless sunny days and some of the best beaches in the world.

However, everything changed when the economic crisis hit the country in 2009. While tourists still came to visit, there was a drop in overall investment in the country and locals became deeply afraid of starting businesses in Greece.

Now nearly a decade after the crisis first broke, things are changing for the better. New businesses, companies, and organizations are being set up in the capital city of Athens, proving that it is still a great market to invest in. Let’s take a look at why more people are starting their businesses in Greece today, and five great reasons to start if you haven’t already.

#1 Inspiration

Greece is an amazing country to get to know, with all the historical and tourist spots available to visit throughout the entire year, all relatively close to the center of the city.  Working in such a beautiful place is itself quite inspiring, and being surrounded by museums, art exhibitions and cultural events can be the right motivation for anybody to start their business, especially if it involves creativity. A perfect example is our resident Peter, a musician, who chose Greece because he truly felt inspired by the country for his work.

 

#2 Hospitality

When it comes to the Greeks, they are most known for being very friendly to newcomers and, in the words of our resident Max B., people here are more “Mediterranean”, which means that they are more open to start a conversation, share new ideas and meet new people. Greek hospitality is worldwide famous and it is part of the identity of the people living here, as well as those who choose the country for work or for their vacation. These  “Mediterranean” traits of the people are great for a stimulating working environment, networking, and building your brand messaging.

#3 Location

Greece’s strategic geographic position can be very useful to access other foreign markets, such as the international trade with many European, Asian, and African countries. If your company needs some good transportation to sell their products or services, getting to know the Greek ports and their links to the world market is the best way to start in the industry and become part of it. In addition, Greece is a member of the EU and EMU, which consists itself shows itself as a great opportunity for business.

#4 Cheaper Costs

The living costs in Greece are quite low in comparison to other european or north american countries, and, even though the average salary here is lower, you can enjoy a better life quality with less money. Also, the greek diet is one of the most famous in the world, with low fat organic food and lots of fruit and vegetables making it healthy and cheap. You can also find quality food and wine that costs much less than in other countries (25 to 50% lower than in many northern European and North American countries).

#5 Innovation Demand

Following the economic rise, the country’s startup culture is gradually growing stronger . New demands and new possibilities are increasing in diverse market fields,opening up more opportunities for innovation and the growth of new businesses.

One of our residents Lucy Xu came from the United States to create The Port, a company adapting the best entrepreneurial practices and business culture from the U.S. for the creative and innovative Greek startup ecosystem. It is the combination of these new and existing minds within the local tech ecosystem that contributes to a strong culture of originality, slowly transforming Greece into a global tech hub.

 

Last year, Athens was voted the Capital of Innovation, and today it has increasingly become the home to digital nomads, expats, and long-term international visitors. We are seeing the creation of more events dedicated to help these new businesses, such as workshops, hackathons and startup weekends bringing together tech entrepreneurs and creating a culture of technology and innovation

Stone Soup

Greece is a country that is constantly innovating, and it provides a bright future for those who want to build a brand and start a business. And in order to connect the national and international talents, Stone Soup was born as a coworking and collaboration space for startups, freelancers and digital nomads established in the heart of Athens.

If you want to know more about it, keep up with Stone Soup on our social media: www.facebook.com/StoneSoupGr/.

The first conference & General Assembly of the European Creative Hubs Network

The European Creative Hubs Network was a 2 year-long project (2016-2018) partially funded by the European Union. The project’s main goal was to unite creative hubs across Europe by forming bridges of communication and collaboration amongst creatives, entrepreneurs and freelancers from different sectors who could share their experience, exchange knowledge and explore possibilities of cooperation.

In Autumn 2018, while the project was coming to an end, the Network that emerged from ECHN started planning their next steps. In order to continue with their vision of bringing together creatives and entrepreneurs across Europe the Network decided to hοld its 1st Conference and General Assembly in Athens, Greece on 11th-13th April 2019. It will be the first official community meeting and the election of the Steering Committee.

At Stone Soup, we are very excited to take part in this initiative and we look forward in meeting everybody in person. It’ll be a great chance for networking and talking about ECHN’s progress and future steps as a newly founded collaborative organization.

Save the date and stay tuned for more info about the event and registration that will be announced soon!

A new career in music: Peter Michael Nyman’s work

“I just felt like I should take the risk!”, explains Peter Michael Nyman when we asked him why he choose a new career path in his life. Peter is now a music composer for media such as movies, games and TV series.

Peter used to be a tour guide in China, but his passion for music motivated him to start making music. “Growing up in Finland, there was a piano in my house, and I started composing since my childhood.” explains Peter.” In the past it was very difficult to start a music career because you had to study in a big university to be connected with an orchestra, but nowadays, the computer can be your own orchestra and that enabled me to move here and start working with my music.”

Listen to “Autumn”, one of Peter’s compositions here:

Athens has recently attracted many artists and is perceived to be a very friendly city to newcomers. That’s why Peter chose this place to realize his dream. The history and beauty of Athens has been a great inspiration for his compositions, and being based in a coworking space in the center of the town has helped him to make new professional connections.

Peter believes that Stone Soup is a great place to meet people and work as a freelancer or a digital nomad. It’s perfect for working on a personal project and chasing your dreams. “Sometimes you have to risk in your life”, he says. “Maybe I don’t succeed, but I’ll only know if I try. In my mind, I’m a composer, and my job is to show that to the world.”