We are very happy to be mentioned in the latest Nomad Capitalist article, titled: “The best coworking spaces in Europe”. It feels great when your hard work gets recognised!
Are you a digital nomad?
Nomad Capitalist is all about helping people like you “go where you’re treated best”. You may read the full article here and when the road leads you in Athens would be fun to pay us a visit!
Embracing the nomad lifestyle entails so many opportunities for expanding yourself either professionally or personally. Changing your basis frequently can be super exciting and could rock your world as you have the potential to meet so many people, be exposed to new ideas, different cultures and try new things.
How do you achieve to get some real influence?
It is helpful to keep track of local meetups and checking the local fb groups for digital nomads to find events relevant to you and generally keep an exploring attitude. Or you could go straight to the source of all the magic itself and mingle with the locals at hubs while you’re also having your work done. In a previous article we shared some tips you need to know to start working remotely and we vote for the first and fifth suggestions we mentioned there. Sharing some real time conversations on your break time with people from the local community may lead you to discover so many more than what you could merely by yourself.
Find your hub/ coworking space
Wherever you may happen to be, there are plenty of options for creative hubs and coworking spaces all over the world. Helping you with that choice there are numerous articles reviewing the crop of the cream of them, and many platforms (e.g. coworker etc) where you may find actual ratings of them.
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/The-best-co-working-spaces-in-Europe.jpg467700Olga Paraskevopoulouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngOlga Paraskevopoulou2019-09-16 13:48:322020-01-10 13:16:34The best coworking spaces in Europe: Find yours in Greece
Operating from a coworking space brings many changes to your professional and everyday life. Poulcheria Tzova, an architect who resides at Stone Soup for almost 3 years now, shares her perspective.
According to Poulcheria, the thing she enjoys the most is that she gets motivated to keep on working even the days she feels the least like it. The way she describes this impact on her productivity resembles the effect of the population of a school of fish.
In nature it is common to encounter groups of fishes who are staying together for social reasons and swimming in the same direction in a coordinated manner. In a similar way, a dynamic coworking environment motivates one to be committed and keep on fighting their own battles so that they won’t stay behind but they will follow the destination of the larger group that is forward.
On days where I feel tired or disappointed, I enter this space full of people and see them overcome difficulties no matter what they face. Along with them, I find the strength and courage to continue too.
Giving and taking
Poulcheria’s favourite part of the day is when the magical little exchanges among the members of the coworking community happen. They occur either consciously or unconsciously but that is irrelevant because they are very impactful either way.
I love it when I am asked for advice. I feel useful offering to others and at the same time I feel as I am returning the favor because I am also receiving so many things from them, even if they don’t realise it.
Tips for the new generation
As an experienced professional Poulcheria gives value to the workspace itself. When we asked her what would be her piece of advice for the new generation of architects, she responded;
“It is said that in order to become an architect you have to own the three O’s; 1. Observation 2. Observation and 3. Observation ! This is one of the most essential qualities you need to own in order to succeed in every task you undertake. No matter what the workspace of your choice is, try to build a pleasant working base, but never forget how important is for our profession to be responsible, serious and detail-driven.”
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Σχέδιο-χωρίς-τίτλο-10.png606960Olga Paraskevopoulouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngOlga Paraskevopoulou2019-07-23 13:27:302020-03-24 13:19:49Coworking life is bringing people together
The entire western world talks about innovation. It’s the key for the development of western economies, and it’s a one-way street. All of the engineering and math-oriented work passes through globalization to overseas engineers. It combines low operational cost with high productivity. However, in the case of innovation it is really complex. Actually, there is no consensus on how innovation works.
Numerous products such as book or pieces of art are made each year, but how many of them actually obtain an exceptional place in the market? Engineering plus creativity gives birth to innovation. It’s not a coincidence that great innovators were not just engineers or scientists; they were also artists in their own fields, in their own community.
It is true that innovative minds can be taught, to some extent; but not the regular way. Arts andHumanities is that one-inch that makes the difference. Is it possible to imagine Mac OS without art? However, markets are not always in favour of the best technology. Mac Os is vastly superior than Windows OS in many aspects, but the latter dominates the markets. Believingthat every product or skill deserves the share that it takes is a big fallacy. It may be true when talking about low-level service and measurable skills, but it’s not about innovation. It’s almost trivial to give credits on to someone or something that is already established.Any wise analyst can see all the critical points that made the difference of that one-inch and claim “I knew it, I knew it, I saw it!”. Bullshit! Nobody takes into consideration the billions of products that never surfaced because of flawed timing, funding or many, many other reasons that we may find afterwards.
Start wherever you are!
In the real world with real considerations and a well-structured market, skills and abilities will be expressed and rewarded somehow. But that could be anywhere! What they say? ‘History is repeated!’ Nonsense! Just nonsense! Every path is unique and, the dots can only be connected by looking backwards. All innovative “newbies”are fighting for a ticket in a theatre where the performance is never, ever repeated. The roles are changing upon the stage and the script is nothing more than trash.
The best way of learning is by doing..
A YouTube founder once said: “I am not impressed by our success, we planned it!” Hah…“They planned it!” They planned to receive in a couple of years a bunch of millions. When Google came to light, its founderswanted to sell their idea but nobody wanted to buy it! They couldn’t see any commercial value in a multi-billion-dollar business idea that changed the flow of information in the whole world! Who really knows? Trial and error was the most effective method that has ever existed, and it still might be.
The point is that the harder you work, the luckier you get. Perseverance can make the difference. The vast majority of inventors, innovators, and scientists around you – they are not as charismatic or talented as you think – they are persistent.
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/art-by-lonfeldt-WRBTuTZ6O-M-unsplash-min.jpg20802600Olga Paraskevopoulouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngOlga Paraskevopoulou2019-06-27 13:54:192021-11-29 14:44:57Are innovators born or made?
We would like to focus this week on stories of Greek startup companies that inspire. Stories of teams coming up with new tech solutions to solve existing problems and manage to disrupt a whole industry.
It may not be easy to start a business, especially when it deals with new processes or technologies. Moreover, with so many successful examples coming from countries abroad, it can be discouraging always reading about companies thousands of miles away. However, the good news is that such stories are occurring right here in Athens too, and we would like to share one with you.
Ferryhoper: a new way to book your tickets for the Greek islands
We will introduce you to the story of Ferryhopper; one successful business that was founded right here in Athens, Greece.
Ferryhopper is a platform that allows travelers to find and purchase tickets from over 30 different ferry operators. Founded in 2016 by Christos Spatharakis, Vasileios Lahanas, Panagiotis Sarafis, and Aiden Short, the company has managed to sell over 200,000 tickets to over 160 destinations on its platform. At the forefront of the growing trend of the digitalization of travel services, the company seeks to revolutionize the way people travel by ferry.
Disrupting the tourism business
Ferryhopper currently operates from Stone Soup’s office space, and we are very excited to have them here with us and to get to know the team better. To understand how the team has achieved its successes, we had a conversation with Vasiliki, their marketing manager.
“It started out with four guys. Two of them were electrical engineers from NTUA, in Athens and they later met again in CERN during an internship.”
The four founders were avid travelers who found themselves constantly frustrated by the difficulties of traveling between islands in Greece. The team created Ferryhopper with the goal of developing a single platform that would streamline the island hopping process. They consolidated all of the ferry operators and developed an algorithm that allowed travelers to choose routes between islands, even if they were not directly connected. With an emphasis on providing great customer service and user experience, Ferryhopper allowed travelers to book tickets directly on the platform with no service fees.
As Christos explains, when entering a mature market filled with established players, without having prior experience or market experts amongst your team it is essential to focus on creating a solid product that solves an actual problem. What is also important is to find the right people for your team who are willing to explore solutions and experiment with novel ideas. In Ferryhopper’s case, once the platform was launched, they received more demand that what they projected – quickly validating their value propositions and paving the way towards receiving funding.
Securing Investments for their startup
As Ferryhopper scaled up over the years, the team began pitching their company to various investors. They received a 30,000 euro award from the Stelios Foundation, and more recently, they raised 600,000 euros through a funding round including Metavallon and easyGroup in 2018.
“Our procedure was to create a pitch deck, and approach some possible investors. It was time consuming because we wanted to create a very strong pitch and we wanted the investors to understand exactly what our product was about.”
Although the company faced challenges during the pitching process, it ultimately paid off as they were able to negotiate an amount and secure the final investment from Metavallon – an investment that will allow the company to further bolster its tech infrastructure and support its international expansion.
Advice for pitching your business
For many companies, particularly younger startups, pitching to investors can be a daunting endeavor. As demonstrated by Ferryhopper, this is a very involved process can take a long time, so it is extremely important to persevere and keep the end goal in mind. To help businesses who are interested in securing their own investments, Vasiliki also shares another tip:
“The perfect tip would be to meet people who could consult you, give you real-time advice, and provide feedback on your pitch decks. We have many incubators here in Athens, and a lot of people who have done this themselves and successfully received investments. You need to have somebody with experience that you can turn to.”
At Stone Soup, we offer such business advice. You may opt-in for the Open Office Hours. They are one-on-one sessions with experts in different fields. The sessions are free of charge and are open to all. Our objective is to share the knowledge beyond our walls and to strengthen the Digital Creative ecosystem in Athens.
What’s Next for the Greek startup?
As for what’s down the line for Ferryhopper, the company wants to continue adding new features to its platform and expanding its presence both at home and abroad.
“What we have in mind is an expansion towards the Mediterranean this summer. Not only Greece, but Italy, Spain, and more.”
What are you waiting for? Hop on to Ferryhopper’s website now to plan your summer vacation in the Mediterranean today. You never know, you might just get inspired to build something new!
https://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/47689484_535761080234775_1453443832346574848_o.jpg13202048Olga Paraskevopoulouhttps://www.stonesoup.io/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ssl300x300.pngOlga Paraskevopoulou2019-06-06 14:15:502020-04-13 10:44:38Ferryhopper: Enabling you to hop on any island you want!
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