Last night I attended Open Coffee Cyprus with my colleague Antreas. It was a fascinating night and we hope we will be able to attend many more in the future.
Lydia successfully spread the word over the Facebook and the theatre soon was out of chairs.
Presenters of Open Coffee Cyprus 2012
The first presenter was Andreas Kamilaris. He presented the social application Social Electricity which is very interesting and I encourage the people that pay our electricity authority a lot to use it!. This application shows how much electricity is consumed in houses and it compares it with other house in the same neighbourhood.
The next presenters were Andreas Vourkos and Vasileios Mitrousis that presented their application Braille messenger. This application allows the visually impaired people to send messages through their iPhones. There are over 400 million visually impaired people in the world so I think they found a very good niche market there and of course they will do some good by helping people in need.
The next presenter was Alexandros Charalambides. I had the chance of listening to Alexandros in TEDxNicosia last year and his ideas are truly amazing. But Alexandros doesn’t just have ideas, he implements them. His idea of Interactive Mapping of Energy Houses is excellent and I hope it succeeds.
Following Alexandros was Alexis Piperidis. He talked about his experiences starting proto.io which is used for mobile app prototyping. Alexis mentioned that he got his first client after two months, so I asked him if he had an exit strategy in his mind. In other words, how long was he willing to wait before quitting his idea. His answer astonished me. He told me that people should never begin a startup having an exit strategy in mind. They should work hard and have patience and persistence. (υπομονή και επιμονή!).
The next ones were my friends Michael Strouthos and Elena Georgiou. They designed a free iPhone application called Paphos Treasure Hunt that can be used for finding out the most interesting places in Paphos. As a Paphian I am very proud for this application and I hope lots of people, especially tourists will use it. If they ever develop an Android version, I will be the first to download it!
The last speaker (before the guru!) was Konstantinos Stergiopoulos. He shared with us his idea of a free wifi zone in the highways. He looks like he is really into his idea and he has the knowledge to implement this idea, so I hope he will make it.
And then the guru came on! Tolis Aivalis. My first thought was…WTF a Greek guy is doing in Silicon Valley? To be honest in the beginning I thought that the guy is just full of words, but after listening him for five minutes I realised that the guy knows what he is talking about! I already read many articles about startups but Tolis shared with us, something more important that just advices, his experiences. He founded many startups and participated in the beginning (and failure) of several others. His words were inspirational.
Networking is one of the most important aspects of startups. It is not so important of who you know, but who knows you as Michael Virardi says. So after all those interesting presentations it was time of networking and meeting new interesting people. But before that, Stavriana Kofteros shared with us tricks on how we can do that, the right way! To be honest, I didn’t get the pieces of papers game she proposed but her advices were very good. Listen! was one her main main ideas and I truly agree with that.
After all these presentations we surely needed some drinks! We moved to the next room and after some beers (and/or glasses of wine) we started meeting people. I met some very interesting people and I already connected with them through the social media websites.
The event was very well organized. My only suggestions for the organizers are the following:
- Time issues: Maybe next time the event could start earlier and over a public holiday so we won’t face any time issues and have lots of time to discuss. For example one of the most interesting presentations was of Alexis Piperidis (IMHO). Unfortunately he had to shorten down his presentation because the other presentations took more time than expected.
- Some more breaks: I don’t know about the rest of the people that attended, but I needed to go to the toilet and I couldn’t because the presentations were very interesting!
- Place: Maybe the theatre wasn’t the best solution. I can understand that was the best they could get, but a more interactive place could work much better.