Hi, I'm Akis Laopodis
I help B2B companies grow their customer acquisition through content & other channels
Here what's I've done until now
✔ Founded 3 companies
✔ Raised $480.000 from investors
✔ Signed 100+ companies
✔ Ran sales in 9+ countries
✔ Managed a lead generation team
✔ Signed a Global VP Sales as advisor
✔ Hired a team of 10+
✔ Created a reseller/affiliate program
✔ Created software product (SaaS)
Tying shoe laces, as an unfair advantage
Since a very early age, I felt an attraction for all things entrepreneurial. My first venture was when I was 6. I was the first kid in my school who learned one of the 44 ways to lace shoes on my own, so I asked the other kids to buy me stuff from the cafeteria in exchange for tying their shoelaces. I lost the advantage rather quickly, as you can imagine :-)
Language as a venture
Few years later, when I was 15, I felt that the languages I could speak then (French, Greek, English) weren't developed enough so I created a new set of characters and sounds as an alphabet. I tried to market it to my classmates but none of them were really into developing a new language so we formed a hard rock & metal band instead :-)
23 years old, cosmetics & textiles
At 23, I decided to launch my first company. I had no idea of anything business-related so I searched for an industry that: a) was growing globally at more than 20% per year, b) that had some level of sophistication that made sense to me, and c) where I could get started by doing something very simple.
So I reached out to new organic cosmetics brands and I proposed to help them export their products to distributors in new countries. I had zero understanding or experience of cosmetics, exporting or selling to distributors and I couldn't do it. So I shifted to trading hotel textiles and selling them directly to hotels, which is something that I could do with zero experience.
A productized service + a SaaS
Trading wholesale products wasn't my dream. I had already started following the tech ecosystem and learning about innovation and innovative business practices.
So after some time I founded NaturCert, an innovative consulting company that was selling a productized certification service for environmental management. I signed multiple partners for offering the product across 12 countries within 3 years.
And during the last year, I also created my first SaaS which allowed hotels to measure their environmental performance against a set of benchmarks online.
Few years had gone by and none of these ventures became a major success. So I wanted to try something new. I started working as an independent consultant in a variety of projects around business development and there I learnt A LOT!
I worked with several companies like LSH and CBRE and global organizations like the British Council along with several smaller ones and I understood many things I missed while trying to build my own companies.
Technology + $480,000
In 2012, I decide to go for my next venture: Offerial, an online marketing tool that would help hotels compete better by allowing them to show better offers to anyone who visited their website. I managed to sign 12 hotel companies during the alpha version of the product, and then I convinced a venture capital investor to invest $480,000 in that company.
We then signed 70+ companies in 12 countries and we had amazing results. We managed to increase the bookings in every hotel that used our product but we had one problem: It turns out that finding team members who also get shares, building a company with them, and having investors (who have a strong say in major strategic decisions for the company) is great when it works, but it's a nightmare when it doesn't.
In my case it didn't work, so after some point, 90% of our time was spent trying to work out things internally between us and that made it impossible to grow.
Since 2015, after having acquired all this experience and having developed expert know-how in creating demand, marketing and selling innovation as an entrepreneur myself, I decided to focus on helping founders and business owners grow.
Until now I've already worked with 15 companies (indicative list here) and I've developed a set of systems, methods, techniques and tactics along with a very advanced understanding of the required technology for allowing companies to grow.