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Authenticity eliminates fear with angel investor Stefi Vasilopoulou

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Image credit: The Recursive: Stefi Vasilopoulou (on the left) and Irina Obushtarova (on the right).
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“Being valuable to other members of the community”, is the motto of the serial entrepreneur and angel investor Stefi Vasilopoulou. She joins The Recursive podcast as our first guest from Athens.

Stefi Vasilopoulou has numerous roles in her professional and personal portfolio: from serial entrepreneur, consultant, and mentor to angel investor and community builder.

Having been brought into an entrepreneurial family, Stefi launched her first business when she was just 21 years old – a digital platform where students from private colleges could sell their used books to other students.

Learning from the advertising experience she’d had with her first business, a year later, she founded her second company. It became a market leader in online advertising and performance marketing by connecting advertisers with website publishers and creating revenues for both parties.

How to move on after burnout

In the episode, Stefi speaks openly about the sometimes unbearable amount of stress that entrepreneurs face along the way.  She shares how a severe burnout helped her prioritize the important things to lead a healthy life. “It is not only about gaining money, having more clients, and attaining goals; there is something more in life. Failure and burnout are actually parts of our journey”, she adds.

Setting up this path of transferring knowledge and value, in 2018, she started the first motivational podcast in Greek – the SomaPnevma Show.

The most important question: Why

Most recently, Stefi co-founded Hellenides – a career network that supports women in Greece. Filling the gap in the existence of professional networks that empower progressive women in society, Hellenides provides female professionals with tools and knowledge to thrive.

To the question of why society needs female leaders, Stefi answers that companies need to organize their management in a way to satisfy the needs of their diverse target audience and that all human beings possess unique qualities to help achieve that.

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This experience of expanding the entrepreneurial community led Stefi to dig deeper into the world of angel investing. One of the basic questions she asks entrepreneurs is “Why are you doing this?”. Тhe answer she expects to hear must be authentic – be it for upkeeping lifestyle standards, or providing for a generational growth.

Her investment strategy does not choose specific markets but rather product quality – why this product is valuable and what difference it makes to society. She points out that trusting her inner voice when considering making an investment never lets her down, because all she looks for is helping businesses grow while making a positive impact on communities.

Stefi is currently developing her community of angel investors who look to help suitable startups grow.

Watch the previous episode to see why the founder of the edtech platforms ucha.se and eduboom, Darin Madzharov, believes that entrepreneurship is more of a marathon rather than a sprint.

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