- Ηλεκτρονικό ταχυδρομείο
SK - Please introduce yourself and update us on your latest endeavors.
YD - My name is Yiannis Deliyiannis, I am 42 years old and I hold a BA on Engineering & Management and an MBA. My professional career, focused mainly on business process consulting and Internal Audit, took a twist two years ago when I decided to embark on an entrepreneurship journey with tradeNOW – an online barter marketplace. Together with 3 friends, we decided to build an online marketplace where consumers and companies can trade goods, services and real-estate. www.tradenow.gr was launched on 9th of January 2013 and one year later has more than 17.000 members and 300 companies – mainly in Greece. We are currently raising funds to expand our operations into Europe. Meanwhile, on February we will attend a 3-week acceleration program in Silicon Valley, exploring the opportunity to establish a US – focused barter platform.
SK - Your personal opinion about the Greek start-up ecosystem. Will Greek start-ups manage to scale up and expand to global markets?
YD - The Greek start-up ecosystem is at an infant stage but it is rapidly building up attracting attention from European investors. Having said that, there is a lot more to be done in organizing and structuring a healthy start-up ecosystem with solid foundations. There are numerous start-up activities taking place all around Greece, but these need to be aligned and coordinated by a formal framework backed up by investment institutions, angel networks and the Greek State. It is fundamental to our country’s recovery that we invest in the cultivation of the “entrepreneurship boom” and build an ecosystem that supports, promotes and develops rock-solid start-ups ready to scale and expand to global markets. Greek start-ups have all the talent and potential to scale up and expand globally, but need proper coaching, mentoring, advice and support to reach their full potential.
SK - Tradenow offers a unique platform that perfectly adapts to the current economic environment in Greece. There is less money available in the market but more need to barter and exchange. How will you respond as a company when Greece's economy will return to normal levels? Is demand for bartering connected with the current state of a country's economy or there is always a need for bartering independent of national borders and variable financial conditions?
YD - Indeed, tradeNOW offers a unique proposition to both individuals and companies to offset the current economic environment. Individuals barter goods they don’t want any more with products & services they really need and therefore save money. On the other hand, companies see bartering as a way to extract value from perishable or underperforming assets, and to expand into new market channels and find new customers.
Whilst, the current monetary crisis seems to be the perfect timing to launch a barter platform, it is not the most critical success factor. The key to success is a cost conscious, resource utilization, value creation socio-economic culture in all aspects of our economic behavior. A recessionary economy helps to build on these behaviors, but we have invested in the belief that Greece and the rest of the European countries will develop a different consumer profile than the one we have experienced over the past years and that barter will play a significant role in the economic cycle, even when recession is over.
Barter was the first form of financial exchange, thousands of years before money was invented. Even after money was invented, barter was always there filling the gaps but kept low due to two main limitations: Distance and matching needs. Technology advances have lifted these limitations and enhanced the scope of barter.
According to the IRTA, 400.000 companies using the “Modern Trade and Barter process” world-wide managed to utilize their excess business capacities and underperforming assets, to ear an estimated $12 billion in previously lost and wasted revenues.
SK - Your goals in 2014?
YD - Our goals in 2014 are to perform a major upgrade on our platform - providing our users a unique barter experience, to launch a mobile app and to prepare the grounds for global expansion.
SK - Please close this interview as you see fit.
YD - First of all I would like to thank you for the opportunity to present our start-up.
My closing note is to all those thinking whether or not to take the risk and start their own business – “Do it now!”