PointGreek is a digital platform that connects Greeks around the world, helping them to easily make and foster social, community and business connections.
Greece’s economic crisis has fueled one of the biggest modern era brain drains in the western world. Since the economic crisis began, hundreds of thousands of Greeks have left Greece for a better future. Out of this harsh reality, a promising start-up called PointGreek was born, a digital platform aimed at helping Greeks cope with the life-changing transition to living abroad.
PointGreek connects Greeks around the world.
PointGreek: an online Greek Community
Start-up PointGreek is a free online community that connects Greeks around the world, helping them to easily make and foster social, community and business connections. One of the founders, Zois Koukopoulos spoke about the inspiration for this community.
“Since the beginning of the crisis we noticed a disturbing fact: many of our dearest friends started to immigrate abroad. To date, 500,000 compatriots have relocated from Greece to a foreign country for work. Many of them did not want to leave Greece but they simply had to.”
Through PointGreek, a member can find all kinds of information about various “points” which are Greek businesses, Greek authorities, Greek schools, Greek media, Greek Orthodox churches and more in their new home city. Moreover, second or third generation Greek immigrants could find ways to get in touch with their Greek heritage.
PointGreek beginnings and growth
The first edition of PointGreek launched in 2013, a privately funded joint effort by the owners of an Agrinio-based small business called Western Computer Services. The trio, which includes Zois and his business partners Ioannis Kotrotsos and Thomas Potsios, created the business plan and platform. Since then a dozen colleagues have helped to grow the site.
To date there are more than 4,300 different cities from 152 different countries represented on PointGreek and more than 25,000 points.
“Each day we try to enrich our content with new Greek points. Every new points helps us provide a better online portal where a Greek easily get in touch with Greece and the Greek way of life.”
A growing number of social media followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has helped spread the word. Members are also active by constantly contributing and validating data. To help curb maintenance costs, PointGreek also accepts PayPal donations and advertising options.
Start-Up obstacles and inspiration
Zois says Greece hasn’t proved to be very friendly to start-ups like their own and he says the team struggles with the “obstacles that the Greek state lays” in their path. Yet, they remain inspired, thanks to success stories such as Google and Facebook.
“Google and Facebook are now two of the biggest companies in the world but back in the early days, they were just like us. They had an idea.”
With time, Zois says that PointGreek will be more than a social connection. He envisions that the start-up could also assist Greek companies who want to get in touch with Greek businesses abroad – a new kind of job and communication platform.
He adds that although he and his co-founders have not lived abroad, they have come to understand the struggle based on feedback from those that have made the move.
“From time to time, we have discussed moving abroad as well but in the end, our dearest family members and friends are here. Apart from the economic crisis, Greece is, in our eyes, the most beautiful country in the world and one of the safest.”
As Zois and his founding team members stay right where they are in Greece, they agree their start-up is shaping up into something great.
“PointGreek is like a positive window of Greece that reaches to all corners of the world. It’s like an atlas of Hellenism worldwide.”
More in this series on Greek Start-ups by Marissa Tejada: