The video recording of the event can be found here. Thursday, November
The video recording of the event can be found here.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
9:00 – 9:45 am (San Francisco)
12:00 – 12:45 pm (Boston/New York)
19:00 – 19:45 (Athens/Nicosia)
Retail has seen dramatic shifts over the last few years, with the advent of technology and e-commerce, but nothing has upended it more than Covid, which has led to massive changes, both temporary and permanent. George Bousis will discuss the impact on his company, Raise, which is the largest gift card exchange and mobile prepaid wallet in the world. The discussion will be moderated by Nikos Bonatsos from General Catalyst, who is on the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Innovation Network.
Hellenic Innovation Network, with the support of the Greek Consulate of Boston and MIT Enterprise Forum Greece hosts events twice per year to educate the Greek diaspora about Greek startup activity, and to offer Greek entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch and network in the US. While our events are typically held in Boston, due to Covid-19 we are instead hosting a webcast series in order to keep our community connected until our next in-person event.
|George Bousis, Raise
George D Bousis began his career at the age of 14 as a professional gamer for a variety of internationally recognized esports organizations. Following the end of his run in competitive esports, he began working at his family-owned business, Cermak Fresh Market which today is one of the largest independent grocers in the Midwest. After a successful tenure in various leadership roles, George went on to chase his entrepreneurial dream, and soon after founded Raise, a leading retail payments, and gift card company, that today is the largest direct-to-consumer seller of gift cards in the world.
Since 2013, Raise has been globally recognized as one of the fastest-growing and transformative e-commerce companies. Under George’s leadership, Raise has generated nearly $4 billion in transactions and saved its millions of customers over $200 million to date. In addition, George has attracted more than $147 million in private funding from leading global investors including Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, PayPal, and a mix of family offices.
Most recently, George returned to his roots and love for gaming by founding Oath Gaming – a professional esports organization focused on the development of experiential gaming lounges and arenas across the United States. The organization also has multiple-professional esports teams and content creators signed to its name.
George has invested and closely advises over 40 plus startups where he enjoys working closely with founders and their management teams on their vision and product. Alongside his private investments, he’s most proud of his charitable works and foundation.
George is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Leadership 100, a Major Contributor to FWD.us, a recipient of Chicago Business 20 in their 20’s, a three-time recipient of the Goldman Sachs 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs List, and an esteemed honoree of the Forbes 30 Under 30 List.
|Moderator: Nikos Bonatsos, General Catalyst
Niko Bonatsos is a managing director at General Catalyst, a venture capital firm with approximately $5 billion in total capital raised. Working from the firm’s San Francisco Bay Area offices, Niko focuses his investment strategy on finding first-time technology founders with strong product instincts, a robust appetite for learning, and a desire to create innovations with the potential to benefit millions.
In his nine years with GC, Niko has been instrumental in the firm’s investments in Atrium, Audius, Cover, Hive, HubHaus, ClassDojo, Paribus (acquired by CapitalOne), Sleeper, and Snap (NYSE: SNAP) among others.
Prior to joining General Catalyst, Niko attended Stanford University as a Fulbright Scholar earning an MS in Management Science and Engineering. He has studied in several countries earning additional degrees in Manufacturing Engineering & Management and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and worked as a part of the R&D team for Yokogawa Electric Corporation in Japan.
(Thursday) 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm