Startup Weekend is off and running at the Innovation Center!

Kicking off Startup Weekend here at the Innovation Center, Daniel Johnsen helped bring together the crowd with a rousing introduction. Johnsen has participated in over 30+ Startup Weekends, ranging from a competitor to a judge, and now as a team coordinator.  Johnsen challenged the idea of “Fail Fast” and proposed his own idea of “Speed to Outcome.” He suggests that individuals work their hardest to head towards an outcome, whether it be a good one or not.

“The importance of this idea”, Johnsen said,”is that you learn from your failures and successes to become a better entrepreneur overall.”

Johnsen then introduced Dr. Christopher Crawford, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Ohio University College of Business.

“If you don’t dare greatly, you don’t achieve greatness”, Crawford said.

Crawford challenged the attendees to avoid being normal and expect greatness from themselves. The main topic he wanted the attendees to take away from his speech was “Expectation drives actions, and actions drive outcomes.” Crawford believes that you must expect outlier outcomes to achieve them. You must do things differently from the normal to receive abnormal rewards.

After our guest speaker concluded, Johnsen moved into the pitch stage of the weekend. Various attendees volunteered and pitched a variety of different ideas, which they will vote on later in the evening. David Stroud lead off the pitches with the idea of a solar shade canopy. Another idea pitched was by Michale Adams, who came up with the idea of a mobile t-shirt shop.

Startup Weekend is off and running. Make sure you stop by the Innovation Center on  Sunday to find out which pitches will make the judges cut. We look forward to seeing you there!

Startup Weekend Brainstorming Session

The Innovation Center Startup Weekend continues, and you can feel the excitement from both the coaches and the team members. Last night was the first day and people had the opportunity to form teams around business ideas that they came up with within minutes! Since then, the teams have been meeting to brainstorm how they can turn their ideas into money.

Craft IPA Group
Group 3 hard at work.

This year, there are three teams that are competing. The first team is working on Homeless prevention, and the second team is developing a ‘ dining hall hacks’ app, while the third team is developing a strategy for delivering IPA beers. Each of these teams have a room to themselves for the duration of the Startup Weekend, and has access to coaches who have the entrepreneurial expertise to guide their ideas.

Group 2 generating future ideas from past and present.
Group 2 generating future ideas from past and present.

The Homeless prevention team spent the day brainstorming on who their customer segments would be and how they would structure the way they provide assistance.

Group 2 working hard to fight Veteran Homelessness.
Group 1 is working hard to fight Veteran Homelessness.

The dining hall hack team was brainstorming their value proposition to make it both appealing and affordable.

Group 2
Group 2 brainstorming ideas to improve culinary services.

The IPA beers team was brainstorming their business focus and some of the challenges that they may have to consider with the alcohol business.Group 3 listens intently to gain insight. Group 3 listens intently as Leslie shares advice and insight. 

This promises to be an exciting weekend!

By: Abena Agyei-Boateng and Michelle House

Winning Award #1

impact HubThe winning team will get one month free membership at Impact Hub Athens

We are happy to announce our ‪#‎aswuni‬ judge, Konstantinos Akrivos !



#‎aswuni‬ judge Konstantinos Akrivos is the CFO of He has worked for more than 6 years at Deloitte in the Financial Advisory Services department, where he was involved in projects providing expert and in-depth services to corporate clients, private equity/venture capital firms, entrepreneurs, and the government, He has also several years of experience in ABB and Johnson & Johnson.

We are happy to announce our ‪#‎aswuni‬ judge, Andreas Grammatis !



#‎aswuni‬ judge Andreas Grammatis is Founder & CEO at!
Leadership: Have created and managed numerous teams in a professional and social context.
Business Development: Have led negotiations and reached multi-million business agreements with companies such as Unilever, Nestle, Tesco and Pizza Hut.
Strategy: Have designed, managed and executed a number of standalone projects and operations across different sectors including technology start-ups, services, retail and food.

We are happy to announce our ‪#‎aswuni‬ mentor, Spyros Lambrinidis !



#aswuni mentor Spyros Lambrinidis is CTO at PeoplePerHour / SuperTasker ! Spyros is a graduate of the Department of Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh and after spending 6 years in London where he took a long walk along the technology and web pathway, working on software development, web marketing and other web related areas, he decided to come back to Greece in order to build his own company. Two years later, he undertook the responsibility of building from scratch the Athens PPH Team. Currently he manages the Athens PPH Team holding the position of “Head of Engineering”.

We are happy to announce our ‪#‎aswuni‬ mentor, Sebastiano Mion !



#aswuni mentor Sebastiano Mion – Seba for most – is the cofounder and operations director of Daring Star, a fresh ICT system integrator based in Greece. He’s been managing multinational teams, delivering projects and generally keeping it funky for years. His dream is to open a digital beach bar….whatever that means.

We are happy to announce our ‪#‎aswuni‬ mentor, Dimitris Kotsakos !



Our #aswuni mentor is Dimitris Kotsakos. Dimitris is a Software Engineer at, the leading shopping comparison engine in Greece, with branches in Turkey and the UK. As part of the User team at Skroutz, his work focuses on user personalization and data analysis on user interaction with the platform. His research interests revolve around Data Mining, Machine Learning, and Social Computing.

We are happy to announce our ‪#‎aswuni‬ judge, Katerina Pramatari !



Our #aswuni judge Katerina Pramatari is Associate Professor at the Department of Management Science and Technology of the Athens University of Economics and Business and scientific coordinator of the ELTRUN-SCORE research group. She holds a BSc in Informatics and MSc in Information Systems from AUEB, and a PhD in Information Systems and Supply Chain Management also from AUEB.

We are happy to announce our ‪#‎aswuni‬ mentor, Eleonora Kourtzi !



#aswuni mentor Eleonora Kourtzi is currently an Industry Manager at Google. She received her Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering at NTUA and a MSc in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. She has extensive experience in management roles at top leading companies.