Panos Papadopoulos

I was raised in Sparta. Yes, it is a real place.

We Spartans know a thing or two about commitment to our cause. My cause is startups.

I started my first company when still a student. Today, we would probably call it “Airbnb for exchange students”. Sadly, I had no one to advise me to drop the exchange student part and take it global. I want to make sure this won’t happen again in our community.

I worked at various startups that took me to Silicon Valley and back. I learned a lot from the mistakes of others but I preferred to make my own – learning is faster when you do things your way.

I started BugSense with Jon in 2011. We lived and breathed tech. Our religion was HackerNews, Reddit, and StackOverflow. We were inspired by founder stories and we had a deep belief that we could make it as well.

We built a world-class product and we never lost our sense of wonder at who was using it. New team members would be fascinated to discover that the first ticket they had to answer on our help desk would be from a company like Skype or Groupon.

An exploding market and a robust product were driving our growth. We tried to build a company to support the growth and it was hard. We learned everything on the fly. It was like jumping from an airplane and assembling the parachute while falling. It does not have to be this hard.

Getting your startup acquired by a red hot NASDAQ-listed company is an experience that gives you a complete perspective of the startup journey. Having gone through it once builds your appetite for what is to follow. Making sure others learn from it is a mission in itself.

Afterwards, I found myself navigating the smooth waters of the corporate world while longing for the excitement of startups. I became an angel with a mission to pair remarkable peers from our community with the best of Silicon Valley.

So I am back from the Valley once again, to do what I like the most: help to build world-class technology companies.

My tribe is the people I find at the intersection of my new world, cloud tech, and the land of my birth, Greece. I want to see Greek founders thrive.

It is a long way to success; you can count on the commitment of a Spartan.

When not running Marathon and talking with founders, I can be found mountain biking, exploring unlikely places of the world, pondering technology’s long-term impact or writing code in Python (Jupyter ftw!).