Cooperating with a start-up abroad was a useful experience
I learned about the program by lack, while I was searching for good opportunities abroad. When I saw it I felt that this program suits exactly to my needs and I applied immediately. I had already created a start-up in the past and I thought that cooperating with another start-up abroad could give me a quite useful potential.
Though, I did not search for a Host entrepreneur immediately because in the meantime I went to Italy for a Master degree with a scholarship from Telecom Italia. So I activated my application again 1 year later after I finished my master.
It the beginning of the program application, I got lost. The IO that I choose by lack, among the 3 available options, was trying to dis-motivate me, telling me that “we cannot guarantee your salary” and that you can try with another IO. So, I changed my IO and from the first moment of my collaboration with ASSET Technology everything started running smoothly. I got all the needed support from Manos Andreadis and finally I found a start-up in Milan, very innovative and exactly in the sector of my thesis (about sharing economy platforms).
First day in Milano, I got excited with the Host central offices and the city. I started working immediately on establishing the business in Greece. It was not that easy as a task because the law system in Greece is quite straight and it takes almost all the freedom from individuals that want to have a presence in sharing economy. Furthermore, in a sector like sea-traveling, where Greeks are the best in the world from ancient years, nowadays we have the fewer marinas per sea coast in all Europe.
Overpassing all difficulties we decided to continue. Even as an experiment. “Do or do not, there is no try” as Yoda said in Star Wars movie. In the next 4 months that followed I did a quite big research on how to expand the business and make people in Greece feel happy as customers. Succeeding on this I got a 200€ bonus per month, although my financial assistance was not enough even for my house rent and my beers. I was lucky that finally I lived together with an Italian girl in a very central and nice house in Torino so I became viable again sharing the living costs. Although I had to travel 2 hours to go and 2 more to return back every day. YOLO!!!
Definitely, the owners of the host company were very cool guys. All of them were managers and they had outsource all IT! They were extremely profitable and had a rapid growth that was visible month by month. Three new employees, new giant offices and TV shows with us!! We ruled the world.
After the end of the program, I returned to Greece. Thinking that this company was not possible to scale in Greece under the existing legal barriers, I stopped dreaming myself in this sector. Though, I remained active on the same activities and role. Right now I am working in a Greek company, using my experience in Marketing from Milan (before that, I had no marketing experience) and at the same time I created a small start-up with my family, in the tourism sector as well.
I am highly recommending EYE program to all young entrepreneurs. Good business ideas are everywhere, so traveling and working abroad can advance your capabilities and make your business ready.
Ioannis Mourgis (Greece)
Company name: (Start-up)
Sector: Community, social and personal services
“Good business ideas are everywhere, so traveling and working abroad can advance your capabilities and make your business ready”
Simone Marini (Italy)
Company name: Sailsquare srl.
Sector: Hotel, restaurant, tourism, travel services and wellness
Period of exchange: 11/2015 until 03/2016
Duration of exchange: 4 months
For more information, please contact the local contact point:
New entrepreneur’s contact point:
Asset Technology (Athens)
This article was funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020).
The content of this article represents the views of the author only and it is her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.