Wed, Feb

The game of entrepreneurship needs patience


The story of Yiannis Hadjiconstantouras, founder of StudentLife, and his advices to new entrepreneurs

Startup founders’ stories are always interesting to learn since they can be a powerful motivation and a good lesson for future entrepreneurs on what to follow and what to avoid in their own business.

For Yiannis Hadjiconstantouras, founder of the Cyprus based startup StudentLife, as he revealed at ‘Business success stories: The real version’ event organized by JCI Nicosia, all began back in 2011 when he created along with a cousin of his azzen.net, a site for exchanging study notes.

In 2012, during his master degree majoring in Entrepreneurship he had the opportunity to study the case of chegg, a site for selling used university books. Coming back in Cyprus from his studies in abroad, full of optimism and fresh ideas, he tried along with his brother to apply his business and academic experience by cooperating with eSelis.

Starting from a small corner in a copy center near the University of Cyprus in Nicosia, Yiannis and his brother were trying to sell used books to university students. According to Yiannis, eventually they succeeded in owning 80% percent of the market because of their aggressive marketing strategy. “Along with 20 other promoters, we were waiting outside class rooms the day that the course outline was presented describing the books needed. We were giving to students flyers with the specific book noting the price and were to find it”, Yiannis said.

From the day of his return in Cyprus and the year to come, Yiannis and his team were participating in various networking events and startup competitions. The team won the first prize on a business idea completion and later on they met three investors, members of the Cyprus Business Angels Network who trusted the team and their idea.

StudentLife emerged in 2014. In its original form, StudentLife was a platform that provided all the necessary tools for a student including finding apartments, buying and selling new and used books and a media portal. Nowadays, StudentLife has three pillars: Youth Media, Youth Marketing and StudentLife Academy. Youth media includes a website and social media while Youth Marketing is a service providing corporations with market reports on student and youth trends. StudentLife Academy is the newborn child of the team, a complete four month training programme on digital marketing for recent graduates.

yiannis hadjiconstantouras studentlife

Addressing the audience of the JCI Nicosia event, Yiannis pointed out that for a startup to succeed, team members must firstly start smart by a targeted marketing campaign. Then adjust to the users’ needs and wants. Always work hard and be patient through the ‘entrepreneurship game’ which is certain to take long. And last but not least, to create a culture within the team that responds to the investors’ trust and inspires the new generation to stand on their own feet.

Concluding, Yiannis underlined that startuppers should not be occupied by doing a lot of things at the same time. Instead, they should focus on do less better. They should also keep in mind that when their startup becomes successful there will be many good opportunities coming on their way. At that time, Yiannis’ advice is to remain focus on their tasks and be on alert to choose the best opportunities.