Posts about the Stone Soup residents

Summer Internship at Stone Soup in Athens, Greece

As I was finishing my 2nd year of University in Vancouver, Canada, I started to apply to the summer internships that I was most excited about. Some of these were organised by AIESEC, the largest youth-run organisation in the world.

I was very motivated to experience interning abroad as that would not only give me the opportunity to work in a professional environment, but I would also get to explore another country. When I went through the opportunity portal on AIESEC’s website, the position of a marketing assistant at Stone Soup caught my eye. At first, the name ‘Stone Soup’ intrigued me and I was curious to learn more about it and when I did look into it, I immediately knew that this was where I wanted to intern in the summer.

When I got the news that I was selected for the position I was ecstatic but soon, I was also quite nervous. I did not know how different the work environment was going to be, I was nervous about the place I would be living at, whether or not I would be able to connect with other interns, the kind of clothes I was required to bring as part of the dress code, or the kind of food that I would eat for 2 months. These were just few of the concerns that were spiralling in my mind before even leaving for Greece.

However, now that I have spent 2 months working at Stone Soup, I feel more accomplished than I would feel at the end of an internship in Canada. That is because, not only have I gained some basic understanding in marketing and some marketing tools such as SEO, but I’ve also had the chance to get to know a lot of residents of Stone Soup. It has been great listening to their stories and learning from them.

I’d like to express my gratitude towards every single person that I’ve come across and interacted with at the Stone Soup space. Thank you for resolving all of my worries and for giving me the opportunity to have the best first internship!

Serving the Rising Demand for Rentals in Athens

In a recent post, we talked about an increase in companies starting up in Athens. Olala Homes is one such company that serves the rising demand for rentals in Athens. They have been working from Stone Soup’s shared workspace for the past few months.

Olala Homes specialises in providing well-designed touristic apartments for short-term and mid-term stays in Barcelona and Athens. The main motto, is to make every guest feel comfortable and happy as if they were living in their own home.

The company consists of an international group of enthusiasts who’s love for travelling and hospitality inspires them to give each of their customer a memorable and cherished experience abroad.

Eitan, the manager of the Olala Homes division in Athens is originally from Israel, therefore, his experience in Athens as a foreigner encourages him to give the best experience to the tourists travelling to Athens. As the manager, he looks over the renovation of these apartments and also focuses on the bookings and customer service. Eitan feels that having an office in the center of Athens is favourable as it is easy to commute using the public transportation and is in close vicinity to multiple restaurants and cafes. Some other perks of working in a shared workspace is that you get all extra amenities like a kitchen, living room and also the opportunity to socialize and get pro bono consultancy on day-to-day matters.

Olala Homes is growing at a rapid rate in Athens as they are soon going to have 25 furnished apartments available by October. These apartments are going to be located in the most desirable locations of Athens, however the two most popular locations are presumed to be Syntagma and Kolonaki. People travelling to Athens can conveniently book their apartments with Olala Homes on booking, expedia or Airbnb.

Read more about Olala Homes or directly book an appartment on their official website!

 

Residents at Stone Soup Comment on GDPR Compliance

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to introduce a single legal framework applicable across all EU member state which would result in a more consistent set of data protection compliance obligations for businesses. Not only does GDPR concern businesses working with data within the EU, but also the non-EU companies. The GDPR has been passed keeping in mind the safety and security of the users’ personal data. Therefore, GDPR is focused on achieving a high degree of data security. Knowing that their data will be safe, the clients will put their trust in companies which would be beneficial as that would result in an increase in the companies’ customer base.

However, besides the advantages of a complete GDPR compliance, companies are facing a few problems in regard to full compliance. Too much regulation in terms of adding consent prompts for everything might reduce customer’s enjoyment of online services. Another common problem of GDPR compliance is the costs to be incurred in order to fully comply with the regulation since, not all companies can meet these costs. When asked about her opinions on complete GDPR compliance, Xanthippe Lemontzoglou, a data analyst working from Stone Soup feels that 90% compliance with the GDPR might be a better idea which would involve companies to do the best they can without trying to cover extreme possibilities, yet being aware of them. She feels that complete compliance might not be beneficial for either the companies or the users.

Other than its effects on the companies and the users, GDPR also has an impact on the designers as it will alter how the products are developed both in Europe where the law applies in every country, and in the United States, where many companies have European customers. Thus, this will partly reshape the work that the designers do. According to Dimitris Niavis, a designer currently residing at Stone Soup, designers are required to act on these changes almost immediately and that involves taking into account current and future User Experience. The information now needs to be more accessible and the users should have an option to easily opt out of the subscriptions.


Therefore, GDPR now requires companies to respect the users more than ever and this can be done by making some prominent changes at the company level which would involve training of the employees keeping in mind the new regulations, and also the user experience.

Although, there are many visible cons of the GDPR compliance regarding the costs incurred by the companies and ignorance on the user’s side, these problems are only temporary. The companies and the users need time to adapt to the new regulations and once that is in place, GDPR will prove to be effective in terms of the user experience and cybersecurity.

If you would like to read more, refer to the following websites:

https://www.fastcompany.com/90171699/what-is-gdpr-and-why-should-designers-care

https://www.endpointprotector.com/blog/gdpr-the-pros-and-the-cons/

https://www.cbsit.co.uk/2017/07/28/gdpr-risks-business/

https://www.welivesecurity.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Is-GDPR-good-or-bad-news-for-business.pdf

https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-awareness/gdpr-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting-up your business in Greece, could a coworking space benefit you?

Lucy is a US citizen who decided to move away and live in Greece. She is a marketer and start-up advisor, and she recently launched the website for her new company The Port. For the last couple of months she has been working from Stone Soup, so we thought to ask her about her experience and how is life for her in Greece.

In the summer of 2016, Lucy traveled to Greece on holiday and fell in love with the country. By the end of the year, she had become educated on the local tech community in Athens, and made the move to bring her skills to a new market. Since arriving in Greece over a year and a half ago, Lucy has been getting to know the local tech scene and culture, working with startups and small businesses both in Greece and the States. She is using her experience to better understand the needs of startups here, and identify the best practices from Silicon Alley (New York City) that could be adapted to help Greek startups grow.

This year, Lucy officially launched The Port, a startup resources hub and consultancy that is “helping startups navigate unchartered waters.” Specifically, in the Greek Market, The Port is helping local startups adapt and leverage the strategies that have helped the rapid growth of American tech companies.

Lucy joined Stone Soup in search of a shared space to surround herself with creative energy and inspiring hustle, and for all the other coworking space benefits that come with it. The welcoming community and open space office layout provides her with a “tight-knit community” enabling her to interact and collaborate with “creative and bright minds.”  The location was also a big plus and attracted Lucy to the space. Working in the heart of Athens, she is in walking distance from all other central neighborhoods—like Greek food hub, Syntagma Square and the famous Monastiraki Square and Flea Market.

To answer our initial question, Lucy felt that setting up shop in a local coworking space has greatly helped in both her transition into the Greek lifestyle and the successful launch of her business.

We would like to thank Lucy for her kind words, and to wish her lots of success!

More about Lucy:

Lucy grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan and spent her university years in Philadelphia where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in business from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, she went on to join IBM Global Business Services in New York City. After spending some time in corporate America, Lucy decided to make the shift to working with technology startups: early-stage e-commerce game Drop’ Til You Shop  and visual commerce platform Curalate. To learn more about The Port and the services it offers for Greek startups, go to the official website www.totheport.com