Articles for July 2009

Applying tips

As the applications are already pouring in, we’d like to use them as a starting point with which to provide some feedback to others who plan to apply.

1. Don’t try to impress us, try to inform us and try to make us understand what your project is about. Avoid the buzzwords and basically try to explain your idea as you would to a friend. That should do it. Although we’re also interested to the effect your idea willl have, it’s more important to have a clear and tangible image of what exactly your product will be. This is especially important for applications without a prototype or a mockup.

2. Be sure to make clear what the advantages of your idea and implementation are compared to the competition. Remember we’re talking about global-market businesses and there has to be a competitive advantage. If there isn’t, you probably have to convince us by substituting it with something else.


3. The team matters. Make sure to tell us if you’ve worked together before and if not how the skills of one member combine with the rest to create a sum that’s more than adequate for the project to succeed. Significant achievements in the past, track record details and background information on the individuals (and if applicable) to the team too will all get you points – even if your idea is not that good. Ideas (especially those that have not been implemented yet) evolve and improve much faster and more easily than people, so if you have tha latter right the former will be no problem.

4. It doesn’t matter if your project seems difficult and like going against impossible odds. As long as you realise the difficulties and have reasonable plans of overcoming them, don’t limit yourselves to already existing solutions and easy problems. Remember, it’s all about the internet (and as such global, borderless market), innovation and creating something that will be useful – the rest (including revenue) will follow.

And what about those that have already submitted? Isn’t this kind of late to tell them all this advice? Well no, because in order to ensure a high quality of submissions to choose from we’d like to engage with applicants from even before they are selected. As such for a limited time, certain applicants (i.e. those that apply early) will enjoy the benefit of receiving some feedback regarding their application. The feedback’s extent and the time we’ll take to reply will vary but we’ll make every effort to provide valuable advice. The deadline for this ‘early-bird’ feedback is September 5.

Will this provide an unfair advantage to those that apply later and have had no chance for feedback? Well, there’s nothing stopping people from applying early and then improving their submission by reapplying with it later. Just denote in the form that this is a reapplication and your newer version will replace the old one. Simple as that. Now, go apply.

Advisors, Advisors, Advisors!

True to our commitment of setting up a more than capable Board of Advisors on all things start-up, we are announcing today the updated list, featuring a set of experts that we consider exceptional.

You’ll find among them people with rock solid experience and world class expertise on topics ranging from technology and business development to finance, marketing and legal issues, among others, all waiting to help out great start-ups take shape and prosper.
The list remains far from final, actually more advisors are to be added in a continuous basis, but still we do believe that -together with the Executive Board– it already provides a sound and sufficient basis to back what is considered our core offering: Advice. The full list follows right after the jump:


  1. Andreas Acavalos, ex-General Manager, Price Waterhouse Coopers Consulting – Athens, Greece
  2. George Achillias, Marketing and Communication Strategist – London, UK
  3. Nicholas Ampazis, Assistant Professor at the University of the Aegean, Entrepreneur – Chios, Greece
  4. Nikos Anagnostou, Entrepreneur, Blogger – Athens, Greece
  5. Dimitris Andreadis, Software Engineering Manager, JBoss Application Server, Red Hat – Athens, Greece
  6. Nikos Anerousis, Head of Service Engineering Research, IBM – New York City, NY, US
  7. Tasso Argyros, co-founder & CTO, Aster Data Systems – San Francisco, CA, US
  8. Mike Butcher, editor, Techcrunch Europe – London, UK
  9. Andreas Constantinou, Research Director, Vision Mobile – London, UK
  10. Yannis Dosios, VP of Marketing, Smilebox – Seattle, WA, US
  11. Aristos Doxiadis, Managing Director, Notos Associate – Athens, Greece
  12. Ioannis Emiris, Professor, Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens – Athens, Greece
  13. Charris Ermopoulos, Software Engineer, Google File System, Google – Mountain View, CA, US
  14. Dimitris Glezos, Founder, Indifex – Patras, Greece
  15. Andrew Hyde, Community Director, Techstars – Boulder, CO, US
  16. Panos Ipeirotis, Assistant Professor, Stern School of Business NYU – New York City, NY, US
  17. Dimosthenis Kaponis, Entrepreneur, Cosmical Technology – Athens, Greece
  18. Petros Katsampouris, CEO, Vivechrom – Athens, Greece
  19. Alex Kombogiannis, CEO and founding partner of mpGreek – New York City, NY, US
  20. Arda Kutsal, Entrepreneur & business adviser – Istanbul, Turkey
  21. John Lovitt, former SVP Rational/IBM, Investor – Mountain View, CA, US
  22. Aggelos Maglis, CEO, Atlantis Consulting – Thessaloniki, Greece
  23. Patrick Malone, CTO Microsoft Hellas – Athens, Greece
  24. Andy McLoughlin, Co-founder and Product Director, Huddle – London, UK
  25. Ioannis Methodios, ex-CEO, Accenture Greece – Athens, Greece
  26. Nikos Moraitakis, Head of Strategy, Upstream Systems – Athens, Greece
  27. George Moschovitis, Serial web entrepreneur – Athens, Greece
  28. John Nousis, Serial Web Entrepreneur – Athens, Greece
  29. Yorgos Panzaris, Researcher, Entrepreneur – Athens, Greece
  30. George Saliaris-Fasseas, Country Manager, Google – Athens, Greece
  31. Diomidis Spinellis, Professor, Athens University of Economics & Business – Athens, Greece
  32. Christos Tsangos, CEO, Microsoft Hellas – Athens, Greece
  33. Stefanos Vasdekis, Serial Web Entrepreneur – Athens, Greece
  34. Ioannis Vasilaras, Ex-CEO, Infote – Athens, Greece
  35. Marco Veremis, Chairman, Upstream Systems – Athens, Greece
  36. Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Serial web entrepreneur – Amsterdam, Netherlands