All about Impact – A Day on the birth and rise of our startup ecosystem
“If you go for business, wear a white shirt and a red tie. If you go for sales wear blue!” Practical advice such as this can be pivotal, especially for first-time entrepreneurs and startups striving for traction and their business development.This one, in fact, came straight from the startup workshops organized by Metavallon as part of our Impact Day on March 3rd.
What was the Impact Day all about?
The Impact Day by Metavallon was created as a celebration day for our 3 years of actively contributing to venturing and innovation within the Greek entrepreneurial ecosystem – and beyond! It was a day full of workshops for startups, a tribute to all those we have had on our side during this time, and an opportunity to share insights from our #StartupSurvey with the rest of the community. In fact, it was a day that unfolded in two parts.
Volume I was all about the empowerment of entrepreneurs, full of unique workshops and feedback from Experts. As it happens, the themes of the workshops originated from the founders themselves, through the #StartupSurvey that we carried out the past couple of months.
Volume II was a festive get-together for our Network and a celebration of what has been accomplished since 2012. Results from our recent #StartupSurvey were also presented to the community, triggering a lively discussion on perceptions and next steps for our ecosystem. Still, at the heart of Volume II were all those people and organizations that have made a difference all these years: our Champions!
Impact Day Volume I – This is a startup’s world
The first part of the day was dedicated to startups and founders, with 5 highly-targeted workshops taking place from 12.00 to 17.00. Here’s a brief description of the workshops together with some key insights from the startups that attended.
Workshop 1 was called “Show me the funding” by Arnaud Henin. A former VC executive among others, Arnaud touched on the basics of funding and fundraising for startups, explaining issues like evaluation, and processes involved in raising funds.
Key insight: Founders need to be realistic and seek the amount of funds they actually need.
Workshop 2 was titled “Soft-landing to the US: The legal and business side” by Babis Papadopoulos, Christina Tsakona and Konstantinos Rokas. The 3 distinct professionals explained the steps a startup needs to make in order to be incorporated to the US, not only on the business side but also on the legal side.
Key insight: Nothing is impossible unless we want it to be. The cost of creating a US based company is very reasonable.
Workshop 3 was “Sales to sail your startup” by Charles Legrand. Startup founders need to “wear different hats” often and acting like sales people is indeed an important issue for them. Charles touched particularly on the psychological side of selling explaining that it is small details that make the actual difference especially when sales are combined with business development as it happens with startups.
Key insight: “If you go for business wear white shirt and a red tie. If you go for sales wear blue!”.
Workshop 4 was “Cash is a startups’ best friend” by Myrto Papathanou. This time the focus was on financials and management. Myrto provided some great insights on how startups can find the right balance between the money they earn and the money they invest. It is exactly this factor that has been identified as one of the most important reasons why startups fail.
Key insight: “People are king and cash is queen”.
Workshop 5 was “Connect & Conquer” by Leda Karabela. Leda talked about the “science” of networking, while she also explained the most common mistakes people make on this end. Participants were excited with the strong element of gamification that she added to the workshop, which allowed everyone to get a clear understanding of the points she made.
Key insight: “Network network and network, and do not unless you mean it”.
Impact Day Volume II: 3 Years of Champions and startup ecosystem evolution
The second part of the Impact Day was based on a different mindset and concept. Participants were our Partners, Experts from our network, Metavallon supporters, ecosystem stakeholders, and investors.
First, it was time to present the most significant findings from our 3-tier survey: #StartupSurvey, #InvestorsSurvey, #CommunityLeadersSurvey. An outline of what was expected and unexpected triggered a fruitful discussion among the attendees and interesting ideas on how we could move forward.
Let’s look at the first insight shared as an example, the #StartupSurveyFlash1. It reveals some contradictory results between startups and investors:
- 50% of new ventures are looking for equity investment
- 20% admit to be fundable business-wise
- Only 7% of startups are considered fundable by investors
The survey discussion, of course, was our warm-up; this day was about celebration and, above all, about recognition. Three years of work and impact, three years of founders and startups, it was all made possible for Metavallon by the support of amazing people, organizations, and friends. It was time to honor all those who believed in our vision when nothing was there and who contributed on a daily basis towards the fulfillemnt of our mission.
Here are our Champions of these 3 bold years:
- Ιnnovation & Impact Champion: Stavros Niarchos Foundation
- Star Collaboration Champion: ALBA Graduate Business School at the American College of Greece and Alexis Komselis
- Round-the-globe Champion: U.S. Embassy in Greece
- Media Lovin’ Champion: Epixeiro.gr & startup.gr
- Space Lovin’ Champion: Orange Grove
- Startup Fuel Champion: Odyssey Venture Partners
- Restless Community Champion: Charles Legrand
- Impactful Expert Champion: Leda Karabela
- Loyal + Royal Ambassador Champion: Myrto Papathanou
- Hot Design Champion: twode and Babis Andreanidis
- Startup-on-fire Champion: liateR and Antonis Argyros
About Metavallon: 3 Things
And as the day was coming to a close, we shared 3 vital things about Metavallon:
- The Name. Yes, a lot of people are confused about it. So let’s pronounce it correctly. It is: metavállon. A Greek word essentially, “μεταβάλλον” in ancient and modern Greek means “bringing change” (“το φέρον αλλαγή”).
- The Value: It is not what we do, it is how we do it. To that, we are proud to have produced value in multiples: for every 1 euro invested in us, we have returned 7 euros in financial and social value.
- The Impact: We started back at the end of 2011. At that time, in Greece one could count perhaps 2 programs related to early stage entrepreneurship. Our vision was to ignite an entrepreneurial movement in Greece and to promote the development of a multi-faceted ecosystem. How? By building an infrastructure and nurturing programs that would systematically empower startup founders and their high-growth businesses. Soon enough, in 2013, the ecosystem counted 5 accelerators/incubators and over 6 entrepreneurial workshops and seminars. Now, the ecosystem is booming. We are counting 28 accelerators/incubators and over 14 entrepreneurial education and training initiatives – and our vision is a sparkling reality. This is what we have created above all: a ripple effect.
Looking forward to a future full of venturing
Our loyal community and team at Metavallon are honored by the people we have on our side and proud of what has been achieved. In fact, these make us feel that much more confident about the days to come and the future overall.
The trip has just begun. Get on board Metavallon, engage with the community, you will enjoy the ride.
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