While planning, promoting and managing the RG YEP Ignite events in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Greece, we received invaluable support from our team of RG YEP ambassadors. Before we launched the 2018-19 Young Entrepreneurs Programme, we recruited ambassadors in each location. The RG YEP ambassadors play an important role in the programme, acting as a key contact at each local University or co-working space and helping to plan and promote the Ignite events.
This week I spoke to Panagiotis Lampropoulos, who is currently studying Civil Engineering at Imperial College London, to gain an insight into his ambassador experience.
What motivated you to get involved in RG YEP?
I attended last year’s RG connect conference with one of my friends, whose startup was accelerated by Reload. Seeing people with a dream and a clear vision in times when Greece needs it the most was inspiring. You could feel the buzzing energy in the room and after seeing how a goal can bring people together and rejuvenate a country and an economy through the young and charismatic entrepreneurs and their unique ideas that all come from solving everyday problems, I just knew I wanted to be a part of this.
Can you briefly explain your ambassador role.
I am basically the main contact point, the eyes and ears of Reload in the brain market per se. Institutions like Imperial are full of people with potential and great ideas. Being able to promote an RG YEP event, to set it up with Veroniki and the other guys was amazing. We focus on getting people’s attention, and establishing a connection with the university that will help us get a publicity boost and make RG YEP a greatly anticipated annual event. Most importantly, I try to see how we can get the best idea holders to attend the event, see what we do / what they can do with us and to help grow our RG community.
How was the Ignite workshop received and what impact did you see it have on participants?
It was surprising to see the number of people who attended (more than we anticipated). It is worth noting that the people who missed it went to an RG YEP event in another University later on. The participation was great and the mentor-team bonding was amazing and had a clear impact as two teams progressed to the accelerate phase. Also the ones who did not gain access to the next phase have not given up on their ideas and have actually spread the word about the event.
What are you looking forward to during the Accelerate and Pitch phases of the programme?
I am really eager to see what the teams have worked on since we last met, how they have progressed and how we move on from here. I think it will be interesting to see how an actual business plan is developed, what problems exist and how we tackle them to make their idea viable.
What skills and experience have you gained from being an ambassador and how would you sum up the ambassador experience so far?
Responsibility, organisational skills, on the spot problem solving and matching the right people together are the ones to stand out for me. Being a RG YEP ambassador has been a great learning and fulfilling experience. It has helped me grow as a person and learn a lot about the difficulties of setting up a start up, but at the same time I now appreciate what can be done by starting from just an idea. It has also provided me a lot in terms of networking and maturing.
It was great to see how successful the RG YEP Ignite event was at Imperial College London (two of the 14 finalist teams joined from this event) and it’s wonderful to hear how the ambassador experience was so fulfilling for Panagiotis personally. We look forward to bringing together all 14 finalist RG YEP teams at the RG YEP Matching event on Saturday the 9th February. At the event each team will pitch their idea and become matched with their dedicated mentor. Then each team will work with the audience to help turn their innovative idea into a viable startup. Click here to join the event to follow their entrepreneurial journeys and network with our community.