The mentorship guidance as one of the important key success factor : meeting with Alexandros !

Published on 28 June 2018

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Alexandros Trepeklis ok

Alexandros Trepeklis  shared his background and the mutual benefits he got from his relationship with his mentor, Charles-Antoine.

What is your background? How did you come up with the entrepreneurial idea?

My background is thankfully quite diverse. I studied IT engineering back in Greece and then did a master in Information Security at University College London (UCL) but then when I started my professional career, I joined EY Greece and 2 years after moved to EY Luxembourg where I spend another good 6 years. So although my background was completely focused on IT and engineering, at EY I had the chance to work closer to the business aspects such as processes, finance, management, sales, audit, recruiting, etc.

I truly believe I was always entrepreneurial.  When I was 10 I was already copying CDs for my classmates at school (back then it was not called pirating) then at 17 I was going around summer resorts and building websites for restaurants, bars, etc. After few years of university, I joined EY. I saw it as an opportunity to see how companies work from the inside. During the next years I worked for companies ranging from 2 employees to some of the biggest companies out there. The idea of starting my own company never left my mind but I felt that I was learning so much that I thought that building up this knowledge will help me when I will open my own company. The actual idea of Yollty came up by talking with a friend from Greece but as you know it has changed a lot since we started. I really think that execution and changing the idea to meet the market need is one of the most critical skills for an entrepreneur.

What kind of product/app  did you develop?

Yollty is a simple and innovative solution which helps businesses bridge the gap between the online world and their physical (brick-and-mortar) stores. Yollty enables businesses to run their loyalty programs on a mobile app while at the same time incentivizing their customers to engage with their social media pages and provide them with feedback. By performing such activities, end-users collect stamps that they can then redeem towards gifts.

On the other side, Yollty provides businesses with access to an online dashboard, allowing them to better understand their customers’ needs and behaviors. Additionally, businesses have an easy way to reach back to their customers, through messages, based on smart segmentation rules such as days from last visit, etc.

What are the most important challenges that you’re facing or have to face ?

Over the last year we focused on finding product market fit. As our initial idea did not work as expected we had to pivot and adjust to what we were hearing form our customers, both users and businesses. But now we start moving on the next step which is how we scale Yollty to serve Europe. Having a good proof of concept with more than 60 paying businesses and 7000 users, the main next challenge will be how we can manage to make our product reach our potential customers without relying solely to sales reps.

Back when I was at EY they had this concept of a counselor, an experienced manager acting as a career advisor to younger team members. I was quite found/fond of that process as it allowed me to have discussions with someone that had been already through this process. So when I saw an article about Business Mentoring I didn’t have to think twice.

Which point did you work with your mentor on?

I think we have discussed with my mentor more or less every important decision I had to take over the last years. It has never been a discussion about what should I do, and I think this is the magic of it.

It has always been a discussion of how would he think about it, which at the end of the day has equipped me not just with a solution but with a way to solve a similar problem in the future.I believe that the overall guidance I had from Charles was definitely one of the important factors for our success till now, we are approaching a financial break even which for a startup is one of the major turning points.

When did you feel that your business grows up?   How do you see the evolution of your company in the next 2 years?

Looking over the numbers for the last 8 months growing constantly at approximately 30% month over month is definitely a way to feel that what we have built is growing but the feeling of meeting a random person that already knows Yollty or even better having businesses that you never contacted reaching out to ask for your product is definitely what makes us move.

In the next 2 years we want to have a good coverage of Europe service more than 10K businesses and few million users. Another way to look at this is the Yollty team, when I started with the business mentoring I was the only full time person working at Yollty, we are now 3 and we are planning to grow to 10 by end of the year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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