Hackathon on a Cruise! #CruiseINN

Start a new venture while cruising the Aegean Sea

If you are a passionate student or a young entrepreneur, and don’t want to take the traditional path of finding a 9–5 job, want to create jobs, solve problems and create value in today’s sinking economy, this story is for you. I wanted to share this incredible experience of hacking an idea and building a startup all while cruising Greece and Turkey, hopefully one day you’ll share yours too.

Well… hop on board captain!

The journey and destinations of CruiseINN. Source: http://getcruiseinn.com/

Here’s what happened:

Pre-Educational Bootcamp: At Tripsta offices, we were inspired by entrepreneurs and individuals from the Tourism & Gastronomy industry. Then for those who had an idea, we had to pitch it in 90 seconds (mine was to automate the mundane task of ordering coffee every day with a chatbot making it much faster and easier!), we voted, and formed teams with awesome people we mostly didn’t know. From 17 ideas, 6 were chosen! 😅

Gathering room at Tripsta offices in Athens, Greece.

Day 1: Boarded the cruise, allocated to cabins with random awesome roommate (in my case “psilos” from Thessaloniki), welcome presentations, lunch, tech trends and business model workshop, first time team work, arrival in Mykonos, team and participants bonding, dinner on board, and kept building our idea and business canvas model till we fell asleep.

Our Cruise ship Nefeli part of Celestyal Cruises fleet.

Day 2: Arrived at Kusadasi, Turkey, breakfast, toured around and got feedback from locals on our ideas, lunch on board, mentoring sessions (super helpful). Arrived in Patmos, enjoyed and searched for local partners, dinner on board, kept building idea and feasibility study plus prototyping.

Kusadasi, Turkey.

Day 3: Arrived at Rhodes, breakfast, headed to Aldemar Resort where we had presentations from entrepreneurs and pitched our startups, lunch and team building (and a dip in the pool 😉), sightseeing of castle and old city of Rhodes, kept working on board plus mentoring, dinner, and continued to work for prototype deadline next day.

Castle of Knights, Rhodes, Greece.

Day 4: Arrived in Heraclion, breakfast, meet the locals workshop and one minute pitches, workshop with Stefanos Katsimpas from VentureFriends on board, finalized pitches, pitched for 3 minutes plus 5 minute questions, arrived in Santorini, wine tasting at Santowines winery, awards ceremony (3rd place 😃), back to ship for final departure toward Athens, last dinner altogether 😢, than disco party till the morning 😂.

Pitching Θέλω τον καφέ μου to make ordering coffee faster and easier.

Overall I gained a lot of knowledge that will be useful in the upcoming challenges that await me, a magical experience that I will treasure forever, but most importantly, a family of like-minded individuals working on great ideas that I care for and want to see succeed in their endeavors. To all of you, thank you for everything, this is not goodbye, this is hello! 😃

CruiseInn Family ❤️