On 20th September 2012, a fantastic event happened in Athens, Greece. Entrepreneurs, business start ups, VCs, angel investors and mentors all gathered at the Onassis Cultural Centre to share their passion for innovation. I was honoured to be invited to speak about My Fail Tale, making failure positive.
Ignite Athens ‘a fast-paced geek event started by Brady Forrest, Technology Evangelist for O’Reilly Media, and Bre Pettis of marketbomb.com, formerly of MAKE Magazine‘ was organised for companies and leaders to share innovation. Based on a pecha kucha style presentation, each speaker was given 5 minutes (20 timed slides, each 15 seconds long) to talk.
The morning session…
The day opened with a message from Nellie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission who talked about the Digital Agenda for Europe and the importance of supporting entrepreneurs in Europe.
The morning then heard a number of speakers all connected with entrepreneurship either as mentors, business support, interesting initatives or with successful companies.
Here is a summary of the insights I picked up from the speakers:
- Tolis Aivalis, (@aivalis) a business mentor and serial entrepreneur kicked off the event by talking about the important characteristics of an entrepreneur. Autonomy, strength and liberty were interesting key words.
- Ryan from The Ink Factory (@the_ink_factory) demonstrated (via an animation) their amazing talent at graphic recording. ‘You talk, we draw, it’s that simple.’ Well, they make it look that simple but actually, they are fantastic at capturing the essence of your talk in a matter of minutes. Here is a photo of one of the boards they created throughout the morning.
- endeavor(@endeavorGR) gave an interesting talk about growth and how to support entrepreneurs. Apparently only 15% of entrepreneurs in Greece are female whereas only 8% are female in the EU. Why is this? These numbers are both incredibly low.We need to be more realistic about where we are and what we can achieve: aim high, dream but make sure you can reach that dream!
Explore the power of corporations; but don’t boycot and create issues and share you ideas.
Have a strong commitment to your start-up: solutions are not handed to us!
- Ydir Vissers from Monitor Group explained their view on the paths to becoming an entrepreneur.
– You could set yourself up in Silicon Valley and immerse yourself in the entrepreneurial surroundings.
– Spawn off others through an anchor model path.
– Follow heros that represent entrepreneurship.
– Be put into an event driven environment where you have to succeed!
- I added to the conversation by presenting the My Fail Tale project (video below), working to create a movement of change people’s attitude towards failure. The great news it that the subject was warmly welcomed and people were happy to discuss their failures. Well, more their fear of failure as most people in the room were entrepreneurs about to fail! The Ink Factory created this great representation of my talk:
The afternoon session…
The afternoon session introduced a huge list of budding entrepreneurs in Greece. There were so many of them that it’s best you look them up yourselves if you’re interested. Here are some of my favourite:
Healthster ‘The smartphone app Hippocrates himself would endorse. Be CEO of your own well being. Taste health one bite at a time with Healthster’ @healthsternow
Gnostix ‘Social Media Monitoring & Analytics tool for results driven Social Media Marketing’ @gnostix
Weendy ‘Share the action, fun and conditions from any spot as it happens. Simple. Social.’ @weendyapp
Suibee ‘Suibee collects inspiring posts from people like you’ @suibeeapp
WOTgroup ‘helping women find mentoring in business’ @WOTgroup
Buddy Traffic ‘Buddytraffic is a fun and exciting crowdsourced app that helps you and your buddies report and avoid traffic’ @buddytraffic
Fashinating ‘Fashinating is online window shopping! Thousands of fashion products – apparel, shoes, bags, accessories, jewelry – from the best online stores worldwide are gathered in one place, to enable you to easily discover and buy the items you like.’ @fashinating
To sum up…
Ignite Athens did a great job at bringing entrepreneurs, innovators, business minded, inspiring people together in one place. The passion and excitement in the room created the foundations for business initiatives and forward thinking. I met people from all types of business with different skills and different dreams. I wish them all the best of luck and thank everyone for the insights and contacts I took away.
The talks can all be found here on YouTube.
You can watch Louise speak about My Fail Tale below: