Discover more from Startup Pirate by Alex Alexakis
The 2022 Startup Pirate Year In Review
Year in review, compensation in Greek startups, Viva Wallet / JP Morgan deal, breaking into crypto, identifying your ideal customers, investing for Gen Z, jobs, and more
This newsletter is about startups and technology — with a Greek twist. Subscribe below for tech trends, startup advice, news, and jobs. Come aboard and join 4,297 others.
The 2022 Startup Pirate Year In Review
For the third consecutive year in this newsletter, we continue to explore what matters in tech and startups. From the very beginning, I decided to do that using a Greek lens. People think locally and globally. There are plenty of resources that cover the latest global tech news & trends, long before I knew what a startup is. Though, many of the stories of Greeks in tech remained unsung (and still do).
Europe is on the cusp of diversifying beyond the big tech hubs. In a year where tech valuations plummeted, and layoffs became part of the news agenda, countries that perhaps experienced less of the 2020-2021 euphoria showed more resilience. Greece was among them. According to The State of European Tech, Greece saw a rise in capital invested in 2022 vs 2021 (equity & debt financing), being a positive outlier among European countries. This rides an existing trend, as CEE and Southern Europe are the European regions that grow the fastest in VC investments since 2018. After years in the shadow, Emerging Europe grows fast enough to attract eyeballs — capital and talent.
This year Startup Pirate published 22 posts. Below, as per tradition, I share a brief summary of them.
Five most-viewed articles
The five most-viewed articles according to page views:
The holy grail of energy generation - The primer to nuclear fusion with the co-founder of First Light Fusion was the year’s most popular article. As the world wrestles with high energy prices and the need to move away from burning fossil fuels, nuclear fusion — this virtually limitless energy source — appears as a possible game-changer. Using it in our energy mix might be closer than we think.
Behind every great product - Nine product leaders from the likes of Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Spotify joined me to discuss what it takes to become a great product manager.
Building high-performing product teams - Another article on product management. Six product people from Greek startups answered key questions on hiring, scaling teams, and culture.
Why blockchain matters - An intro to decentralisation and blockchain technology from the CEO & CTO of a crypto startup.
Hack the hiring funnel - A guide to creating an efficient hiring process from a software engineer with experience from big tech and startups.
How to kickstart a marketplace business - A playbook on launching marketplaces with stories from Uber and a B2B timber marketplace.
Advice for aspiring founders - Validating your startup idea, launching early, adding co-founders, and why now is the best time to build, with the co-founder of a YC startup.
Community as a moat - Why should enterprise companies invest in building communities?
Prototype and test ideas like a hacker - Key principles and best practices on idea prototyping and user testing.
How to lead remote teams - Zaharenia has been working remotely long before it was cool and joined me to discuss what it takes to build successful remote teams.
Generative AI - Machines are just starting to get good at creative work, whether we talk about text, audio, video, images, code, etc. Following the recent ChatGPT boom, we explored why search might be the next generative AI battleground.
Crypto is a theme we revisited often this year. We went down the Ethereum rabbit hole, discussed how Sui aims to bring crypto to the masses, the potential of Decentralized Science to positively impact millions of people, and explored what a community-powered weather network looks like.
Advanced manufacturing - Technological progress has somewhat stalled in multiple industrial domains. We looked at how composite materials can reverse the degrowth by manufacturing lighter rockets, cars, aircrafts, and other vehicles.
Virtual worlds and 3D content creation - Virtual, immersive experiences need an abundance of 3D content creation. We saw how this can become a reality at scale by easily turning 2D assets into 3D.
Brain-computer interfaces - What are the latest trends in BCI and what would it take for it to reach wider adoption?
How the internet works - We unpacked how the internet works down to the BGP level and explained how malicious attacks cause internet outages like the one that took Facebook down for 6 hrs.
List of Greek startups within particular industries
I’m thankful to everyone who shared their insights and lessons learned through this newsletter, and to all of you for giving me a little bit of your time, attention, and thoughts in 2022. Stay tuned as we continue to deep dive into the building blocks of startup creation next year.
Looking for your next career move? Check out job openings from Greek startups hiring in Greece, abroad, and remotely.
The Viva Wallet and JP Morgan deal, first announced in January 2022, was officially completed last Tuesday. As part of the deal and Share Option Plan, 35,000 shares of $50m will be distributed to 200 Viva Wallet employees.
Travel startup, Welcome Pickups raised €5.3m to double its destination network, improve customer experience, and develop new products.
Huupe, an AI-powered smart basketball hoop, raised $3.1m in a pre-seed round.
CheMastery raised a seed round to grow its chemistry automation platform with the aim to transform production and R&D of small-to-medium scale chemical outputs.
Upstream, the mobile technology company secured a loan agreement of €14m.
Demo Day of Visa Innovation Program with 16 fintech startups. Here’s the list of teams.
A €30m Cyprus Equity Fund aims to bridge the financing gap in Cyprus for tech startups. More details here.
Interesting Reads & Podcasts
At Marathon, we announced the launch of our 2022 Greek Startup Compensation Report with 40 companies participating and compensation data from over 3,000 employees. Take a look at the report published by Sanne Goslinga, here.
Recording of the latest Open Coffee with Aris Kolokythas, Dimitrios Kottas, Manolis Nikiforakis, and Tasso Argyros, founders of Velos Rotors, Lambda Automata, WeatherXM, and ActionIQ.
A podcast on identifying your ideal customers with Andrew Michael, founder & CEO of Avrio.
Investing for the Gen Z audience and decision-making for new investments from Niko Bonatsos, Managing Director at General Catalyst, here.
How to break into crypto as a non-technical person with Vassilis Tziokas, Global Lead Web3 Strategy & Business Development at Microsoft, here.
What are key reasons why some organisations move too slowly by Aris Catsambas, Product strategy at Monzo, here.
Ten product leaders from big tech and startups share lessons learned from 2022, here.
A Mikri Kouventa episode on ChatGPT and AI with George Yanakeas, founder & CEO of Maya Insights.
An introduction to stablecoins and marrying OpenBanking with crypto by Stelios Gerogiannakis, Senior Engineering Manager at Ignite.
If you’re new to Startup Pirate, you can subscribe below.
Thanks for reading. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I’m looking forward to a great 2023!
P.S. if you’re enjoying this newsletter, share it with some friends or drop a like by clicking the buttons below ⤵️