Dimitris KogiasSoftware Engineer
Transport of the mails, transport of the human voice, transport of
flickering pictures - in this century as in others our highest
accomplishments still have the single aim of bringing men together.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
A Sinclair ZX Spectrum at age 12 started it all, bringing with it the wonders of BASIC and Z80 assembly. Through an upgrade to an Amstrad 464, and after a year-long sabbatical pretending to know what I'm doing on pirate radio, I reached a milestone: My first connected machine, was a 286 PC with a modem (1200bps, no error correction, get off my lawn). That, and several BBS handles.
A B.Sc./CS and M.Sc./Data Comms from UCL followed, after which I spent a combined decade at Reuters, TIBCO and Amazon focused on connecting people with the information they need: integrating heterogeneous systems with EAI and what later evolved into web services and SOA.
I then switched to mobile with Pragmaticomm, working on connecting mobile users with their data as well as, with mobile VoIP, with each other.
With Missum I'm finally scratching an itch I've had for a while: Automatic and instant discovery of useful news and opinions, while avoiding the noise, echo chambers and propaganda.
It's a fun and worthy journey.
Dr. John Pagonis Software Engineer
Having been impacted at a very tender age by the movie "WarGames", John decided early on he would be messing with computers for the rest of his life.
Not owning a computer at the age of 10, did not stop him from learning to program by reading magazine program listings, which he sometimes executed in his head using the paper computers he devised. He owes a lot to magazines, thus his passion for Missum.
In his early teens, having failed to connect his Amstrad CPC-6128 and PACE British Telecom 300/1200 Baud modem to greek BBSs (although he had better luck with his Atari 1040 STE), he decided he had to truly understand computer communications and so he now holds an MSc in Computer and Information Networks and a BEng in Computer and Networks, both from the university of Essex Electronic Systems Engineering department.
After having worked for 12 years in the mobile telecoms industry, at Symbian and Pragmaticomm, on operating system internals and mobile VoIP, John decided he should complete his PhD on evolutionary computation and content-based recommender systems and thus help his friends and the world combat information overload. This didn't only make his Essex PhD supervisor, friends, colleagues and family happy but also lead to the birth of Missum!
John is considered by many as a geek hybrid as he doesn't only love software development but also enjoys teaching --he was also a visiting lecturer at City University of London-- giving presentations and bringing other geeks together through various events and meetups. Most of the time he acts as the front-man for Missum, as he is ok with being grilled publicly by investors. In reality though, he just executes orders his partners give him!
Angeliki PapagiannopoulouComputational Linguist
Angeliki has been messing up with Artificial Intelligence during the past... a lot of years, basically, since she was a child. As with all children, she really loved games, not only playing them on her dad's Commodore 64 -preferably out of his notice- but also programming them.
As she grew up, her relationship with AI evolved towards a BA in Linguistics from the University of Athens and two MSc degrees in Artificial Intelligence one from the Catholic University of Leuven and the other from the University of Athens and the National and Technical University of Athens. Since her focus on languages did not stop on programming and linguistic analysis, she decided she had to be able to speak five languages.
However, damn! people still grow up after their studies. As a result, she had no other choice but to apply information retrieval, natural language processing and machine learning on text compression, classification and labelling, event detection, ontology expansion and sentiment analysis. These techniques have been used in various projects at NCSR, ILSP, the University of Leuven, the University of Antwerp, the University of Athens and in collaborations with Google and Xerox. Angeliki has seen her fair share of business intelligence and analytics, social media analysis, buzz monitoring and insights driving, for worldwide multi-national companies. Angeliki loves solving problems related to user needs and user experience by means of behaviour analysis.
Stefanos Kornilios Mitsis Poiitidis Software Engineer
One day, when he was 11, Stefanos accidentally downloaded the source code of a modding tool for a Playstation 1 game and had his eureka moment: "aha! so THIS is how software is built!". Soon after, he started improving existing tools, investigating network protocols, compression formats, 3D graphics and eventually wrote his own video game bots because he was too bored to play games by himself.
Strangely enough he loved reading low-level documentation for games consoles. As a result, at the age of 14, he wrote his first hardware emulator of the Nintendo GameBoy. As this wasn't obscure enough for his loved ones, when he was 16, he started building from scratch what is now the most popular Sega Dreamcast emulator, which was subsequently ported to Sony PSP, Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3.
As he got involved with the open source community, Stefanos' knowledge grew exponentially and ended up working as a freelance games developer for Linux arcade games. After having become comfortable with Linux, he started running his own servers and improving the sites of projects he was involved in. During his first university years, he worked as a freelance web developer and grew an interest in embedded platforms and robotics. Later on, Stefanos worked as a systems administrator for his university's OS laboratory, where he helped organise two open source festivals (Openfest 2010 & 2011). In 2010, he joined the first "hackerspace" team in Athens with which he has been very active. Since then, he has been working as an Android developer, porting and optimising many projects as well as his unique Sega Dreamcast emulator on ARM-based hardware. These days he is applying his magic on Missum's unveiled paths...
Maria KolitsidaAngel Investor, Missum Operations
When she was a kid, at the age of 5, Maria had some issues with food. Any food that she didn't like she would throw it from her mother's kitchen balcony to her neighbour's balcony. As expected, she got busted.
Perhaps more appropriately for her neighbourhood, Maria became a "not-so-mad" scientist. She went on to obtain a BSc in Biology from Aristotle University and an MSc in Food Biotechnology from the University of Reading. Naturally, she went on to work for the food industry in order to make something that she would really enjoy!
While still a student, she traded recycled old technology materials in order to help finance computer upgrades for her university's computer lab. Alas, it wasn't long until she realised that she needed to lead a more extroverted life. As it happens, she took this idea a bit far and became a lobbyist and food policy maker for Europe! After working for 7 years for the Coca-Cola Company, McCormick and GlaxoSmithKline, she gained a lot of experience in the FMCG industry while involved in product innovation and international trading.
Being restless and hungry to get out of her comfort zone, in 2010, Maria began her journey into the start-up world. Two years later, she obtained her MBA from the University of Liverpool when she realised that start-ups don't actually need MBAs. However, Maria is currently living her passion for helping start-ups and more importantly making sure Missum makes sense for investors and partners ...she also cracks the whip when things need to be done on time (i.e always)!
Dimitris KourkoulakosCorporate Development
Dimitris started his introduction to computing with the Commodore-64 when he was just 6 years old (the same year that the C64 was released :-) consequently few things have impressed him much after that!
As a young teenager he moved his tinkering and imagination into constructing radio controlled model helicopters. His life in engineering and physics appeared all set, until he turned to finance and economics believing that he could better understand how our world works! As a result, he graduated from the University of Essex with a BA in Economics and then was awarded an MSc in International Securities, Investment and Banking from the University of Reading where he first got involved in financial engineering.
Dimitris has 11 years of experience in finance and business development with companies such as IDEA Global, Diageo, the Boston Consulting Group and Alpha Bank. As a result Dimitris has gained significant exposure in investment valuations and structuring as well as in business strategy.
Truth be told Dimitris' unique combination of tech understanding (we're talking about really geeky stuff here...), finance and strategy makes him perfect for Missum. Even even if he didn't know about Missum in the late nineties, which he did, he would still be the ideal co-founder!
Dimitris PapazissisAngel Investor, Missum advisor
Dimitris has 13 years of experience in Executive, C-Level and/or Senior Sales & Business Development positions, in B2B environments in the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, SE Europe, the Mediterranean and Australia. He is responsible in building revenue streams and identifying revenue opportunities in target enterprise accounts, in developing sales & business plans and in executing in order to close revenue. He is also responsible for developing and cultivating relationships with C-Levels and Commercial divisions, as well as delivering annual sales revenue as defined in budgets and targets.
Dimitris is experienced in pre-listing (pre-IPO) period for NASDAQ (USA), adhering to the SEC audits and guidelines. He built and effectively managed a huge sales team that covers vast regions such as EMEA. He holds a C-Level position since 2011 and is the co-founder, CEO and co-owner of BigTime, a mobile marketing company.
He has vast experience in developing strategic sales in a solutions orientated and services environment, strong network of existing relationships and prior experience in strategic selling and large account sales. He is a self-starter pro-active – with the ability to open doors and close deals kind of guy that you'd love to work with. Dimitris is skilled in consultative / conceptual selling and accustomed to working and traveling around the globe.
Apart from starting his academic studies at Berklee, as a young musician, which made him confident performing in-front of somehow strange crowds, Dimitris has studied ay esteemed institutions such as Harvard Business School, The American College of Greece (Deree College), TASIS (The American School in Switzerland), Pierce College and holds an MBA and B.Sc. in Business Administration. Before he became the entrepreneur he is today, he once was a teenager composing music on his Amiga 500 in front of his dog... and this kind of thing stays with you forever!
Dimitris PapanikolaouAngel Investor, Missum advisor
When Dimitris realised he wasn't going to become a professional basketball player he pivoted to electronics engineering. Luckily his gaming experience as a young teenager, with the Amstrad CPC-6128 and later with the Amiga 500, was enough to get him interested in programming.
It was during his late teens that he started punishing Z80 boards, with add-on circuitry and assembler, that he realised he would be hacking hardware and software for fun and profit in his life. Since then, Dimitris has worked for more than 14 years as an embedded electronics and mobile systems engineer designing hardware and software for control and communications systems as well as mobile VoIP on Symbian OS and iOS smartphones.
Dimitris' background in image processing and low level operating system hardware interfacing came handy while at Xerox Europe Ltd, where he was appointed as the UK envoy to the US R&D labs of Xerox to work on ASIC interfacing and real time operating systems. He also has an extensive experience with a wide range of micro-controller architectures and telemetry systems.
Dimitris holds a BEng in Electronic Systems Engineering (Computers and Communications) and an MSc(Dist.) in Telecommunications and Information Systems, both from the University of Essex. Such is life that while studying at Essex he met some of the other Missum co-founders. He has worked for years with some of the rest of the Missum co-founders when they co-founded Pragmaticomm Limited in 2005. These days, he is the principal at Pragmaticomm and fiddling with parallel programming for GPUs so that he can help Missum's machine learning engines perform faster!