“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I still remember the feeling of emptiness while evaluating my career prospects when I graduated college in 2015. With youth unemployment at 50%, I was entering the workforce in one of the worst job markets Greece had ever seen. I was an engineer aspiring to innovate, yet the world’s vibrant tech hubs felt out of reach.

A small startup of five was the antidote to my distress. Huddled around a laptop in a cramped, buzzing co-working space in Athens, our team competed with Goliaths, fueled only by our determination, creativity, and skill. My life started feeling meaningful again, but my dreams still felt bigger.

When I came to HBS, I thought I had finally made it. However, as I delved into the case discussions, my heart tugged me back across the Atlantic. I remembered the hopeful eyes in that co-working space and realized the power we held in our hands—the power to create opportunity for ourselves and for those who later joined us.

In the years to come, I want to create for others what was not available to me: a vibrant European startup ecosystem. One that will empower young dreamers to shape opportunities equal to their aspirations.

— Alex Angelopoulos