- Start-uppers: Collaborative Consumption and Sharing Economy. Interview with Kokkinakis Dimitris , Co-founder of Impact Hub Athens.
Sharing economy and Collaborative Consumption are two models really famous in the world of new businesses , which we are going to explore in details. This is our interview with the co-founder of the Impact Hub Athens, Dimitris Kokkinakis, who started this idea. It is about a business field, that aims to keep businesses, startups and generally people closer in order to empower their ideas.
1.Could you please tell us a few things about you? Your studies, your previous jobs.
D.K. I am Dimitris Kokkinakis one of the co founders of Impact Hub of Athens. I was interested in Community Building since my early years, so I educated in ASOEE, department of Management Science and Technology .During my studies I used to work in AIESEC which is the base of element of youth entrepreneurship. In one of my travels in Madrid I decided to develop the Impact Hub in which I am the Director and business developmer. I used to work at OTE Greece, during my studies at the University, in Aiesec ,as a sales manager, Hr of the organization, in 2008–9 President of AIESEC Greece and re presenter in international netat an art bar all at the same time due to his goal; saving money in order to travel. I also worked in a workshop in Erasmus Placement in Vienna , and in Impact Hub ( internal communication ), I was the community manager in Head Cost and responsible for the education Community Programs. Another job I used to do was in a consulting company named Frame.
2.What is the Impact Hub?
D.K.It is a global and local network which brings companies, businesses and people who want to give viable solution to the social environment. There, they start their plans and they evolve them.It is a reference point of entrepreneurship and innovation.
3.We would like you to keep a distance from yourself and tell us the characteristics that a start upper should have.
D.K.First of all, you must want it. You have to be willing, you have to dare, to trust, to like the multitasking, to have a multi-tool personality and the element of collaboration.
4.Which elements can lead a startupper to success or failure?
D.K.I think the same , as I said.
5.Which of these, do you think you have?
D.K.The first important thing is the capacity building. The second one is the element of collaboration and then the flexibility. It is also important the anthropocentric user based design.
6.On the one hand we have the general profile of a startupper and on the other hand we have a car. Which car reflects the general profile of the startupper?
D.K.A bike, especially an electric one, because we can handle it the way we want.
7.I want you to imagine being in a table with some people around you. Which elements would reveal to you the start upper?
D.K.The one that believes he is a start upper he will say it in the first 10 minutes.
8.Which was your motivation to start the Impact Hub; As a personality which bell rang inside of you?
D.K.I was curious since my childhood. I think it was the fact that I was setting targets and I was occupying with my passion and my interests. It is about combination of activism and social side with business.
9.How did the whole idea started? Did you start as a team and how many people were you? Do you have the same characteristics that you mentioned with the other members? If no, do you decide to add members that have the same characteristics with you?
D.K.The first members were Sofi and I. We started together in AIESEC. The first idea was the creation of a gym for creative things.
10.Which difficulties did you face at the beginning, referring to the collaboration part?
D.K.Well, we were not paid for two years. And since it was a new suggestion in the market, we had to develop International experience and authority to acquire credibility.
11.Let’s talk about the socioeconomic sector of incorporation. Does it build a bridge, covering a gap in Greece. Does it offer to a need?
D.K.That is why it was created. Our target was the social positive impact. Creating equitable economy that recognizes the misdistribution of the resources and inequality walks and wealth. We also organized events, hackathons, startup weekends and tried to find solutions.
12.We live in the period of Greek crisis. Do you think that the economic situation helps the Impact Hub?
D.K.Not at all. It is just an attention for the social media.
13.Let’s talk generally about the strategy you used. In which way did you promote the Impact Hub?
D.K.First of all the team work was the most important part. Then we started searching (first touch with Mrs Tsakarestou) and we were looking for acquaintances with business people. Our likes are organic we did not pay any promotion or advertisement. Moreover, we made exercises in marketing to ameliorate the communication of Impact Hub.
14.Which was the target group?
D.K.Civil society,NGO and Activists.
15.Did you need to redefine your strategy?
D.K.Not yet. They are at the same way.
16.Let’s see which models use the new businesses in order to find out if Impact Hub uses some of them, like sharing economy and collaborative consumption. Do you think you use this model?
D.K.I say YES to collaborative, but I have doubts about consumption. We have the facilitator role.
17.Which characteristics in today’s society do you that have helped Impact Hub, and 10 years ago we couldn’t do much without them?
D.K.The innate disposition for cooperation helped a lot, but the society changes. It needs more of a benchmark, more role models.
18.So, in the future do you think that there will be created more businesses based on this model?
D.K.Yes, if they will have small samples. Such models are proven to be sustainable and they have social impact.
19.Would you like to give some advice to someone who is about to start his own startup?
D.K.To do it, to try it, to try to fail quickly and stand up again.To take small risk, make steady steps and to be trained at it .
20.Anything you would like to add?
D.K.Our next steps are an open competition for the municipal market management of Kipseli. It is about a business center. Like a field market in order to empower the groups.
In the end, concerning the social media strategy of Impact Hub Athens, Danae Vardali Media. & Communication informed us that they use the Facebook , twitter and instagram. platforms. with a view to informing their. community with the latest news. Furthermore, on fb and twitter page, they prefer to upload articles related to the interests of their community , such us technological articles and researches . However, mrs Vardali. underlined that the engagement via these platforms is not high . Only the foreigners ,who visit Athens and they want to find a working place for short time, are used to commenting the fb updates.