Remember the dude facilitating the Captain’s Deck? The one with the awesome beard? The pirate that was so super cool? Sure, you do! Awesome guy this Stavros Messinis! We have spoken to him a few days before Pirate Summit 2014 and asked him about his perception of being a pirate, his feelings towards #eps and ‘the real life’.
Ahoy matey! You’ve been our facilitator last year at #eps13 already – great to have you back this year! What do you think: What is so special about the Pirate Summit?
When I think of I think of the Pirate Summit, I think of the most impactful event on the European startup calendar. No similar event exists! It’s an event where barriers are broken down, normal rules no longer apply, everyone is an equal. All sailors are on the same mission, sailing their startup ship into Cologne for a yearly parle, discussions, a place to meet, talk and learn. It’s a festival to the mischievous lifestyle of disruptive startup founders.
That sounds really special! Was it your first time at #eps last year?
Yes, it was my first time last year in September and I had a great time! I met a lot of great folks: Some very important people and the next generation of massive overachievers (laughs). We had just launched our own business in Athens but felt that the Pirate Summit was too important to miss! We immediately said yes to participating. We love Cologne and the startup scene there!
How did you get to know the Pirate Summit in the first place?
I met Till and Manuel when I had the privilege of facilitating the first Startup Weekend Cologne in 2012. We had a great chemistry and the craziness of startup weekend was something they really liked. It was a perfect fit for eps, so they thought.
Seems like your piraty qualities were pretty convincing last year! In your opinion, what do you think makes someone a true pirate?
I must admit, the Pirate Summit has some crazy hackers showing up, engineer hackers as well as business hackers, growth hackers, marketing hackers – all embracing the pirate way of life, taking risks being smart, being agile. Always seeking to win. Taking losses on the chin but standing up immediately after taking the lesson and going at it again. Never, ever, ever giving up – I think that makes you a pirate.
And of course you’re also a pirate in ‘real life’?
I am indeed. Currently, I run Greece’s largest coworking and startup colocation space – we have over 60 startup pirates working in our facility – I do everything that needs to be done to keep my ship in ship-shape form. Basically my role is to curate an environment that is conducive to doing and performing even when circumstances are not ideal. Sound like a pirate’s life? Well it’s a pirate’s life for me.
Thanks for the great pic @Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media 2014