Why being honest matters

I don’t hide being an avid Netflix-created content binger. Among those binges, I found this great documentary series called “Dirty Money”. It outlines many dishonest business practices being performed by many companies around the world. The impact of this dishonesty is not only felt by consumers but also the businesses themselves. It turns out that being dishonest can only mean a short-term gain. In the end, we all must pay the piper.

What we have to keep in mind, is that in business, time can slow down considerably. This “slowing down” effect that might leave you thinking that “all is well”, means that you are probably surviving on borrowed time. At some point, past dishonesty will come back “in the now” and will be a critical, time-consuming affair that may impact your business. This could be in the form of losing a valued client, a business partner or damage your credibility as a business.

Being tainted in that way, especially when a business is just starting out, might mean the end of the business. Because when honesty is at stake, there are rarely second chances. Having the courage to own the mistakes and taking responsibility for the dishonest behavior are only two ways to mitigate the results.

As the famous auto industrialist John F. Dodge said: “There is no Twilight Zone of honesty in business — a thing is right or it’s wrong — it’s black or it’s white”. Nothing grey about it.

I hope to see you at Startup Weekend Thessaloniki where we can talk about it more!

This post was originally written by our Speaker and Prize provider Mr. Leontaris.

From an idea to your own business, are you ready?

Changing your style of work and setting off to the unknown can surely be both an exciting and challenging cause!
What will you need to get you started?

A clear vision – You want to create, dream of having your own company, working on your own ideas, changing business in your field. Start walking towards your goal then!

Teamwork – No man is an island, as such without awesome people beside us to share our vision we cannot achieve full results, think in community, stay social, stay helpful and inclusive.

Mentors – Barely anything is more helpful and important than people you look up to and admire in your field of expertise, they will propel you towards faster and smarter routes in achieving your goals!

Location, location, location – Community hubs and lovely places to live, nurture creativity and productivity. Community, workshops – and well, events like Startup Weekend! – test your ideas and skills, they polish them so you stay on track with the market!

Don’t bother thinking about ifs and hows, join us in Startup Weekend Thessaloniki 2018 to live out your ideas in action!


5 reasons you should attend a Startup Weekend!

The work. You get to test and live through the whole process of idea, team and business creation in a direct and hassle-free manner.

The people. You’ll certainly meet lots of like-minded people, mentors and role models that are the key to you stepping up your startup game!

The feedback. Mentors, judges, and companies share their views on your idea and working style so you avoid common issues that set you further away from a healthy business.

The causeCommunity, networking, and volunteering is the best environment to meet your future teammates that you share a common vision.

The fun. An event without fun is clearly not worth it, so join us for 3 excellent days!

What is Startup Weekend anyway?

Short explanation 

A weekend for you to test your startup idea, business plan, and teamwork while meeting cool people and eating delicious food!


Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups! 

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

Day 1:

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees are encouraged to bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team.

Day 2 and 3:

Over Saturday and Sunday teams design and develop business plans while constantly streamlining their startup vision.


On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes, listen to judges’ feedback and in some cities, win prizes.

Startup Weekends are specifically designed for entrepreneurs interested in receiving feedback on an idea, looking for a co-founder, or who want to learn a new skill. We also welcome anyone looking to test the entrepreneurial waters. Startup Weekends are risk-free environments where everyone is expected to roll up their sleeves and dive into the exhilarating world of startups.

Get your ticket now!

How volunteering could help you get a job


Written by Sophie Christakidou


Hey guys! In this article, I would like to talk about how volunteering experience could help you get a job.

But the following text comes from my previous experience as a volunteer and I think it could highly motivate you.  Things discussed here are my personal beliefs and I am convinced that most of the business world share these values. Generally speaking, volunteering has much more benefits than allowing you to just get a job. I think I could write a book about it! You can make new friends, improve your mental health, even burn your stubborn body fat! Yeah seriously working hard on something makes you thinner!


But let’s get to the point now. 


Here are main reasons why being a volunteer raises your chances of getting an actual job. 


You gain new skills

During your volunteering journey, you are going to be asked to perform a bunch of tasks. In order to do this, you need to gain some new knowledge first. The depth of the knowledge you are about to take depends on your duties. If you really want to help your team and get assigned many tasks you are going to learn lots of things. Simple isn’t it?  Also, the things you are going to learn to depend on the nature of the organization you are volunteering. For example, our Organizing Team here in Startup Weekend Kavala used some certain software and applications in order to carry out the whole event. This software is also used by a certain amount of corporations. As you can see we gained an advantage because we know how to use this software now. We have also learned how to make some basic graphics, how to write an article (like this one), how to approach new people, how to manage our relationships in the working environment and how to be consistent. The above things can only be conquered by the implementation. You cannot read a book and be communicative for example or speak in public effectively. You need to adopt the “learning by doing” technique on such topics.


You can show off your pre-existing skills

If you have some special abilities you need to promote them. But when you are in the entry level no one has enough trust on you to assign you anything. People are not going to pay you just because you write in your CV that you are good at Six Sigma or Photoshop. You need to prove this. And the best way to do that is by volunteering. Also when you collaborate with new people you can also promote some particular aspects of your character. You can show people that you are trustworthy,  creative, quick learner, initiative and all good things related to you. But be careful because bad things could also come into surface! Do not promise people things you can not carry out and try to have a good relationship with your partners.


You are able to build a (professional) network

When you get involved in things like that you come across with various people. Some particular tasks have more than one teams in charge and most of the times you are going to need a piece of advice in order to perform them. So you have to communicate, on a regular basis, with other professionals or teammates.This is a great opportunity to cultivate your relationships with these people and build a community. That particular fact can be extremely beneficial for your career. Some people consider connections as the most important aspect of someone’s career. Well, in my opinion, other things also matter, like a person’s skills for example, but your network is also really important!


You become more confident

Your energy speaks for you before you even say a single word! If you feel scared and you shiver every time you have to speak in public you are not very attractive as a person. Managers do not intend to judge you about this. But they want to make their products and services more likable to people in order to boost their sales. And having such an image does not serve that purpose at all! Cultivating your image is a skill. And you can grow that skill by practice. Young people (like me and you) are not experienced enough to promote a perfect presence most of the times. So taking part in such actions and performing even the simplest tasks, such as serving some food, for example, can make you more confident and hireable! In the end of such an action, you get rewarded and your brain feels good about this. So your confidence level raises up automatically!


It is just basic psychology. 🙂

That’s all for now. As you can see volunteering is crucial for your career. In some countries being a volunteer is such a common fact, that is almost compulsory. And of course, people in these places are far more hireable!

So grab this chance now!

Πως να προετοιμάσεις το δικό σου Elevator Pitch!

Κατά την γνώμη μου, όταν ξεκινάς μια κοινότητα, το πιο σημαντικό είναι να ακούς την κοινότητα σου!!  Μετά από πολλές ερωτήσεις που δέχτηκα σχετικά με το Elevator Pitch, αποφάσισα να γράψω για όλα τις σημαντικές πληροφορίες που χρειάζεται να γνωρίζεις, για πετύχεις ένα επιτυχημένο Elevator Pitch στο Startup Weekend Heraklion.

Ας ξεκινήσουμε με τα βασικά,

Τι είναι το Elevator Pitch ;

Μετά από μεγάλη έρευνα, εντόπισα τον ορισμό που ακολουθεί στο startuprunner.com . Το “Elevator Pitch” είναι μια σωστή και δομημένη περιγραφή της ιδέας σου, μέσω της οποίας, πρέπει να εμπνέει, ενθουσιασμό στο κοινό. Αυτή η διατύπωση, πρέπει να είναι κατανοητή ακόμα σε άτομα όπως μέλη της οικογένειας και φίλους.


Ας μιλήσουμε για τους κανόνες του Startup Weekend Heraklion.


Έχεις ήδη μια λαμπρή ιδέα, έχεις κλείσει το εισιτήριό σου και χρειάζεσαι μια καλή προετοιμασία πριν από την εκδήλωση, σωστά;

Υπάρχουν δύο βασικοί κανόνες για την Παρασκευή το βράδυ.

Αρχικά, έχεις μόνο ένα λεπτό για να παρουσιάσεις τη λαμπρή ιδέα σου, μπροστά στους πιθανούς σου συνεργάτες. Και κατά δεύτερον, μάντεψε τι… Δεν μπορείς να χρησιμοποιήσεις διαφάνειες, αλλά μόνο λεκτική επικοινωνία. Θα χρησιμοποιήσεις τις ικανότητές σου για δημόσια ομιλία, είσαι έτοιμος;


Σε αυτό το σημείο, θα πρέπει να καταστήσεις σαφή τον σημαντικότερο στόχο της ιδέας σου!

Λάβε υπόψη σου, ότι δεν πρόκειται να προωθήσεις την ιδέα σου μπροστά από πιθανούς επενδυτές αλλά  πρόκειται να παρουσιάσεις την ιδέα σου μπροστά στους πιθανούς συνιδρυτές σου, προσπάθησε να τους πείσεις να συμμετάσχουν στην ομάδα σου.


Φαντάσου τώρα ότι είσαι στη σκηνή. Ας αρχίσουμε!




– Πες το ποιος είσαι !!

Παρουσίασε τον εαυτό σου και το ιστορικό σου σε μια πρόταση. Περιέγραψε τι κάνεις πολύ καλά. Γίνε ξεκάθαρος. Για παράδειγμα, “Γεια σας, είμαι ο Γιάννης. Είμαι υπεύθυνος μάρκετινγκ με προηγμένες δεξιότητες αφήγησης. “Οι δυνητικοί συνιδρυτές σου πρέπει να γνωρίζουν τις ικανότητές σου και το υπόβαθρό σου”.

– Προσδιόρισε το πρόβλημα που επιλύεις !!

Περιέγραψε το πρόβλημα που μπορείς να λύσεις. Ποιες είναι οι ανάγκες των πιθανών πελατών σας; Πες τα με ακρίβεια. Για παράδειγμα: “Σήμερα, οι ιδιοκτήτες κατοικιών δεν μπορούν να διαχειριστούν εύκολα τα διαμερίσματά τους στην Airbnb λόγω έλλειψης χρόνου”.


– Περιέγραψε τη λύση σου !!

Μοιράσου τη λύση σου με τους πιθανούς συνιδρυτές σου. Τι είδους προϊόν ή υπηρεσία πρόκειται να προσφέρετε στους μελλοντικούς πελάτες σας; Ποια είναι η αξία σας; Για παράδειγμα, μια web πλατφόρμα που ονομάζεται flatbnb πρόκειται να βοηθήσει όλους τους ιδιοκτήτες διαμερισμάτων, μέσα απο guest check-in και check-out και από διάφορες άλλες λίστες όπως π.χ λίστα υπηρεσιών καθαρισμού, λίστα ενδιαφερόντων κ.α.

– Παρουσίασε τις ανάγκες σου !!

Αυτό είναι το τελευταίο σου ζήτημα. Πρέπει να αναφέρεις τις ανάγκες σου. Τι είδους άνθρωποι χρειάζεστε για να μετατρέψετε την ιδέα σου σε πραγματικότητα; Για παράδειγμα, χρειάζομαι έναν developer για να δημιουργήσει την πλατφόρμα και έναν σχεδιαστή με επαναστατικές ιδέες για το σχεδιασμό της.


Αυτό ήταν! Πλέον είσαι απόλυτα έτοιμος για ένα πολύ δυνατό Elevator Pitch ! Μην ξεχνάς! Πρακτική, πρακτική, πρακτική! Προετοίμασε  την ομιλία σου και ζήτα τα σχόλια της ομάδας σου! Οι φίλοι και η οικογένειά σου, θα μπορούσαν να σε βοηθήσουν σε αυτό!

How to make a killer elevator pitch


Written by Antonis Spyridakis


In my personal opinion, when you’re building a community the most important thing to take into consideration is the concept of listening. Well, after several questions regarding an elevator pitch I decided to write down all the essential elements you need, to have killer elevator pitch at Startup Weekend Kavala.


What is an elevator pitch?

After a lot of digging, I found this short definition on startuprunner.comAn “elevator pitch” is a concise, well-practiced description of your startup and your plan, delivered with conviction and enthusiasm. That description must be comprehensible even by your mother in the time it would take to ride up an elevator. (via startuprunner.com).

Let’s talk about the rules of Startup Weekend Kavala.

You have already generated a brilliant idea, you have booked your ticket and you need a good preparation before the event. Right?

We have two basic rules for Friday evening. First, you have only one minute to present your brilliant idea in front of your potential partners. Guess what … You cannot use slides, but only verbal communication. You’re going to use your public speaking skills. Are you ready?

At this point, we should make clear the most important goal of your elevator pitch. 

Keep in mind that you arent going to pitch your idea in front of potential investors. Youre going to pitch your idea in front of your potential co-founders. You’re trying to persuade them to join your team.

Imagine now that you are on stage. Let’s get started!


Who you are 


Introduce yourself and your background in one sentence. Describe what you are doing very well. Be clear. For example, “Hello, I am John. I am a savvy marketer with advanced storytelling skills.” Your potential co-founders must know about your skills and your background.


  Identify the problem you solve.

 Describe the problem that you can solve. What are the needs of your potential customers? State them precisely. For example: “Nowadays, flat owners cannot manage easily their flats on Airbnb due to lack of time”.


 Describe your solution  

 Share your solution with your potential co-founders. What kind of product or service are you going to offer to your future clients? What is your value proposition? For example, a web platform called flatbnb is going to help all flat owners with their flat management through guest check-in & check-out, cleaning services and listing management on several platforms like Airbnb, booking.com etc.



This is your last point. You must mention your needs. What kind of people do you need to turn your idea into reality? For example, I need one ninja web developer to create the web platform and one designer with colorful ideas to design the web platform.


 You’re completely ready for a killer elevator pitch now! Don’t forget! Practice, practice, practice! Prepare your speech and ask for feedback. Your friends and your family could help you on this!

 Need more inspiration for your elevator pitch? Watch an excellent elevator pitch. 







Σε ποιους απευθύνεται το Startup Weekend Heraklion?

Το Startup Weekend Heraklion απευθύνεται σε όλους!

Στις συζητήσεις που γίνονται για τη διοργάνωση του Startup Weekend Heraklion μερικοί άνθρωποι εκφράζουν τους ενδοιασμούς τους να παρευρεθούν. Ακούω πράγματα όπως “Δεν είμαι επιχειρηματίας” ή “Δεν είμαι προγραμματιστής” ή, ακόμη χειρότερα, “Δεν καταλαβαίνω.” Αυτές είναι όλες οι αμφιβολίες και οι αντιρρήσεις. Θα ήθελα λοιπόν σας εξηγήσω τι πραγματικά συμβαίνει σε ένα startup weekend – και γιατί είναι πολύτιμο για όλους. Είτε είστε φοιτητής, ο οποίος ποτέ δεν έχει ακούσει για τον όρο “κωδικοποίηση” ή επαγγελματίας με μηδενικό ενδιαφέρον να συμμετάσχει σε ένα νέο ξεκίνημα, το Startup Weekend είναι για εσάς. Θα καταλάβετε καλύτερα διαβάζοντας παρακάτω:


Χρειάζεστε εμπειρία. Θέλετε να έχετε ένα δημιουργικό και διασκεδαστικό Σαββατοκύριακο. Το Startup Weekend έχει και τα δύο. Κατά τη διάρκεια των 54 ωρών, θα δημιουργήσετε νέες δεξιότητες που ποτέ δεν θεωρήσατε ότι θα μπορέσετε να αποκτήσετε. Θα είστε σε θέση να αντιμετωπίσετε ένα πραγματικό πρόβλημα και να δημιουργήσετε μια πραγματική επιχείρηση για να το λύσετε και, καλύτερα ακόμα, θα διασκεδάσετε να το κάνετε. Εάν έχετε μια καλή ιδέα, το Startup Weekend θα μπορούσε να μετατρέψει ακόμη και στην καριέρα σας.


Έχετε μια δουλειά ή χρειάζεστε μία. Είτε έτσι είτε αλλιώς, το Startup Weekend θα ενισχύσει τις δεξιότητές που θα σας βοηθήσουν να προχωρήσετε στην καριέρα σας. Εάν ενδιαφέρεστε να ξεκινήσετε ή να συμμετάσχετε σε μια startup, δεν θα μπορούσε να υπάρχει μια καλύτερη ευκαιρία για εσάς από το να λάβετε μέρος σε ένα τέτοιο συμβάν – θα συναντήσετε πολλούς ιδρυτές και θα μιλήσετε με άλλους ανθρώπους που ξεκινούν κι οι ίδιοι ένα τέτοιο ταξίδι.


Οι άλλοι συμμετέχοντες στο Startup Weekend θα μπορούσαν να είναι οι μελλοντικοί πελάτες ή οι υπάλληλοί σας. Ποτέ δεν θα βρείτε μια πιο στοχευμένη ομάδα ευφυών και  δημιουργικών ατόμων στη γενέτειρά σας. Πρόκειται για το «δίκτυο» που θα πρέπει να παρακολουθήσετε όλο το χρόνο. Μην συμμετέχετε προσπαθώντας να πουλήσετε, αλλά ασχοληθείτε σοβαρά με μια ομάδα και προσθέσετε υπεραξία σ ’αυτό που κάνουν. Θα σας θυμούνται. Εάν συμβεί να συμμετάσχετε σε μια ομάδα που εργάζεται σε κάτι που πιστεύετε πραγματικά, υπάρχουν πιθανότητες να βρεθείτε σε μια νέα καριέρα.


Αν είστε επενδυτής που παραπονιέται για την έλλειψη μεγάλων τοπικών εταιρειών για να επενδύσουν, πρέπει να παρακολουθήσετε το Startup Weekend. Δεν θα μπορούσατε να βρείτε μια καλύτερη ευκαιρία για να έχετε πρόσβαση σε δυνητικούς ιδρυτές, να δώσετε πληροφορίες για το πως αποφασίζετε να προχωρήσετε σε μια επένδυση και να δείτε μια ιδέα από τη σύλληψη μέχρι την υλοποίηση.

Δηλώστε συμμετοχή στο Startup Weekend Heraklion, ώστε να μην χάσετε – ίσως απλώς να αλλάξετε τη ζωή σας.

Seeing the community’s perspective: Story #2 Alex Papanagis

I love a creative challenge, and I am eager to see new ideas be fleshed out, which improve people’s lives, therefore I applied for startup weekend.

For me it is an opportunity to learn, stretch my thinking, refuel my motivation to create, be a part of a stimulating team

I am a graphic designer and hope to be able to add beauty, elegance, ease and pleasure to the use to whatever my team creates

Seeing the community’s perspective: Story #1 Panagiotis Xatziionaou

Startup Weekend is all about entrepreneurship. You come, you meet new people, and you form a team so that you can make a business idea happen in 54 hours. How cool is that? Imagine it like this. You get to see all the steps needed to create a real life venture on your own, without taking the risk of losing anything and at the same time you have the opportunity to make some very useful acquaintances or even get inspired to start working on an idea of yours. This event has multiple benefits for you. At the same time, you will get practical knowledge about business and how it works, the opportunity to let go of your fear of doing something like this, and also advice and guidance from people that have been in the business world for quite a long time. You may still be wondering, why would I ever spend my entire weekend inside a room working full time, while I could be hanging out with friends or going out and have fun? Well, let me ask you a question. Have you ever had an idea that you thought it was awesome, but did you not have the knowledge or tools needed to make it happen? Have you ever wanted to see how it is like inside a business and how all parts of it work together? Or maybe you wanted some inspiration so you can start a venture yourself. These are just some of the many things that Startup Weekend will offer you. So what are you waiting for? Join now one of the most inspiring events happening in Kavala. This is an opportunity worth taking.