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Nextgen

THI/TNH Takeover – Kostas Speridakos

Welcome to TNH’s Takeover! In collaboration with The Hellenic Initiative (THI), The National Herald and THI have begun a partnership to introduce the NEXTGEN of Greek/Cypriot ‘movers and shakers’ to the rest of our Diaspora community around the world. Established to inform its readers about all things related to our homeland and its respective communities throughout the world, TNH is now providing THI’s New Leaders (40-years-old and younger), with a new platform to showcase their ideas and to engage their communities in a deeper, more meaningful way while simultaneously building a bridge to Greece and Cyprus. Our next featured New Leader is Kostas Speridakos. Get to know him below!

Last Name, First Name

  • Speridakos, Kostas

Alma mater?

  • MIT

What city do you live in?

  • San Jose, CA

Where in Greece are you from?

  • Akovos and Monemvasia

Occupation?

  • Founder and CEO – Emva Systems

What motivated you to get involved with THI?

  • Greeks are a team with great potential. Great teams need great coaches. THI is the Bill Belichick of Team Diaspora.

What do you hope to achieve through THI?

  • I’m here to help Greeks help everybody else. The days of thinking like Country A and Country B are over. We’re in it for our common survival now. Greece inspired the world in ancient times, in 1821, and in 1940. Let’s do it again.

Favorite activity to take part in where you live?

  • I live in Silicon Valley. Our favorite hobby here is doing startups! A company is the largest entity over which one can exercise complete control.

Favorite place to take your non-Greek friends when they visit you in Greece?

  • Odeon of Herod Atticus – no matter the performance, the atmosphere is amazing!

Go-to Greek dish when you’re missing the homeland?

  • Bamies (stewed okra)

Favorite Greek product you can find outside of Greece?

  • Papagalos Greek coffee

Top three people of Greek/Cypriot descent you admire?

  • Peter Poulos (thanks for your service to THI and the Diaspora)
  • Arianna Huffington
  • Christos Dimas

What is the biggest crisis Greece faces today?

  • Brain drain: I meet a lot of brilliant Greeks here in Silicon Valley and wonder where Greece would be if they had all started companies there. The Mitsotakis administration is doing great work to promote the growth of the Greek tech ecosystem and attract Greeks back home. It’s exciting to think about the enormous potential for collaboration between the U.S. and Greece in entrepreneurship, innovation, and proving in these precarious times that democracy is the world’s brightest path forward.

One piece of advice an elder has given you that has proved invaluable?

  • The ancients knew it all… Just read the classics. If you read nothing else, read The History of the Peloponnesian War [Thucydides] and The Republic [Plato]. – Uncle George

Favorite quote from a Greek philosopher?

  • Choose to be loved rather than to be feared. The man feared by all, fears them all. -Democritus

One Greek/Cypriot tradition you’ll never stop keeping?

  • Thinking for myself.

How has your Hellenic background helped shape who you are today?

  • Sparta gave me the sense of duty and courage. Athens gave me the introspection. The Church gave me my obsession with service. My immigrant parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and mentors gave me the guidance, grit, and work ethic. Now I’m working to pay it forward.

Life Motto?

  • Duty, not desire.

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