Business Development Team

Damian Vavanos

Head of Business Development

Damian is passionate about all things that has to do with building relationships, supporting people reach their potential and all aspects of entrepreneurial mindset.

His background is in Marketing and Operations although his favourite aspect of his pre-NPO life was that he was a digital nomad.

As Head of Business Development he makes sure that our fundraising, partnerships and company’s strategy is  being implemented while making sure to build long lasting relationships with our stakeholders.

Vaida Saulyte

Business Development Associate

Originally from Lithuania, Vaida graduated with a degree in Business & Entrepreneurship in the UK. Most interested in forming new connections, exploring the intersection between technology and social change, Vaida is supporting SHA with finding hiring partners for the students.

Being passionate about exploring different cultures and gaining new perspectives, she worked, studied and volunteered in almost a dozen countries in Europe and Asia. Vaida has experience working in sales for an international consulting company.

Education Team

Kostas Minaidis

Head of Education

Kostas is a Software Developer with more than 10 years of experience with Web Technologies and System Administration.

He was working at PlethoraThemes as a WordPress developer until 3 years ago when he joined Social Hackers Academy as volunteer and he fell in love with teaching others.

Since then he has worked in most coding schools in Greece and has now joined our team to support our students growth, while building instructional journeys to provide the best possible education experience.

Fundraising Team

Aggelina Mila

Managing Director – Chief Fundraiser

 

She recently graduated with a Business Administration diploma. As a student, she was involved in several organizations and projects, and travelled a lot around the world. Her most life-changing experience took place in India, where she created exchange programs for students.

Aggelina is passionate about education & long-life learning, as they offer the tools to unlock everyone’s potential. She has worked in the HR field for a multinational company. What inspires her the most is the transformational change that education can generate.

Alex Garcia

Junior Fundraiser

Alex has graduated in naval engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalunya and recently obtained a joint master’s degree in the same field in Belgium and Germany. After some years focusing on science, he is willing to add the social dimension to it since technological progress is senseless if the human part is left behind. 

In the last years, he has been combining his studies with international activities and projects based on non-formal education. He is a member of an NGO in Barcelona which deals with cultural and artistic issues (one of its passions) and is currently developing an international project using art as a method of expression and dealing with socially vulnerable groups.  

Marketing Team

Maria Gonzalez Rodrigo

Head of Marketing

 

María is passionate about people, conversations and travelling. Her passions led her to study a Degree in Journalism and a Master’s in Social Intervention.

She has lived in Madrid, London, Brussels and Dubai, where she developed her career as a journalist and corporate comms & marketing manager.

At SHA, she is Head of Marketing and she works with the support of a great team to convey our mission and achieve a world where equal opportunities become real.

Aya Raghed

Social Media Manager

 Aya is passionate about Social Media and travelling. Her passions led her to study a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and Business.

She has lived in Egypt, Kenya, and traveled in 7 countries which led her to move to Dubai, where she developed her career as a marketer and developed a “Think out of the Box” mentality which leads her to having creative ideas.

At SHA, she works as a Social Media Manager and she joined the organization to support the team reach its mission and support more people in achieving their goals.

Founders

Damianos Vavanos

Co-Founder

Damianos’ background is in Digital Marketing and Operations and has taken the role of Director. He’s worked in different NGOs all his life and recently he was working with Solidarity Mission as a Digital Marketing Consultant.

Right before embarking on the Social Hackers Academy project he was travelling the world while building his businesses.

Chris Owen

Co-Founder

Chris’s background is in Computer Science with several years professional experience working for start-ups, international companies and freelancing. Most recently he was working for The Guardian as part of their engineering team. Chris has taken on the role of CTO and deals more with the day to day running of the school.

Michael Thomas

Co-Founder & Investor

Michael is a US based entrepreneur and journalist who originally laid the groundwork that the organisation is built on. Having spent times in refugee camps as a journalist he gained vital knowledge for the project and developed the first concept for the code school as it exists today. In the past, Thomas has worked in San Francisco working on his own start-up. As a successful journalist and storyteller, Michael has written for Fast Company and The Atlantic.

Volunteer Instructors 

Dionyshs Tsoumas

Database teacher

I’m an agile enthusiast, trying to always build things that create value to the end user, optimising the resources at hand. I’ve a passion for designing scalable systems and managing co-located or distributed dev teams to achieve great outcomes.
Currently I am a backend engineer in Transifex, mainly designing and building software that is being used by thousands of users every day.

Aspasia Gkotsi

Career Counselors/Main Soft Skill Trainer

Aspasia has graduated from the Department of Management Science and Technology and she is an IT Recruitment Consultant since then. She is a passionate volunteer who has been part of many organizations. She loves helping people grow and reach their potential. Since a little girl, she liked to live her values, smile and dance around the people she loves the most! Her motto: “Only the one who is fighting the darkness inside him, will have a chance in the sun tomorrow”. 

Paulin de Naurois

Full-Stack Developer

Paulin is a senior Full-Stack developer working remotely for France. He used to give volunteer code classes back in Paris so after arriving in Athens he joined Social Hackers Academy straight away to continue teaching.

Nikos Kleidis

Front End Developer

Nikos believes that knowledge should be shared like the open-source code. This is the reason he joined the Social Hackers Academy’s cause. Seeing his students learning and accomplishing things is what drives him. He lives in Heraklio and works as a front-end developer for Athens. He loves dev communities as he is a part of Devstaff and GreeceJS.

Giannis Syntelis

Career Counselors/Main Soft Skill Trainer

Giannis is an Organisational psychologist with a passion for talent acquisition. In a world of record-breaking low unemployment, he leverages his understanding of organizations and recruitment trends to help companies find, attract and retain talent. His goal is to help the new generations of talent realize their power and use it to find the best role in the market. In his free time, you will catch him listening to a podcast, study Python or read comics.

Bliss Perry 

Full Stack Instructor & Workshop Designer

Bliss is currently a double major candidate in computer science and classical literature at Harvard University (’21). After designing and leading coding bootcamps for college students in the USA, he was inspired to contribute his love of teaching to the mission of SHA while studying in Athens. He looks forward to teaching his impressive and dedicated students remotely and to expanding SHA’s curricular offerings to include algorithms, cloud computing, and general entrepreneurship skills.

Aristeidis Bampakos

Javascript teacher

I started my career as a .NET Developer in various small-medium sized companies and in the last 4 years I have been mainly focused in Web development using Javascript, HTML and CSS, specializing in Angular framework. I am currently working as a Front End Web developer at Plexscape (https://plexearth.com/), and I am also a freelance contributor at UrboTour (www.urbotour.com/en/about-us-menu) online platform. As an active member in the open source community at various Github projects, I enjoy helping other people solve their problems. In my free time, I maintain a little farm of chickens and I am trying to improve my combat skills playing Assassins Creed!

John Tsevdos

Javascript teacher

I’m a front-end developer that hand-crafts usable, elegant and effective web sites. I’m currently working for tripsta / airtickets, an Online Travel Agency (OTA).
I have over 9 years of experience in front-end technologies and love working with Javascript.

George Sisko

HTML:/CSS Teacher

George(Jkr) is a Full Stack .NET Web Developer with 3+ years experience as well as Banking Algorithm Developer for 2+ years, he will be glad to expand he’s journey for the passion of coding with new ambitious persons!

Vasilis Fouroulis

Javascript teacher

UI – UX lover , Android enthusiast , I indeed consider programming a creative act and I try to create software with aesthetics.
I Love to discover new better ways of solving problems. I am attracted to clean code and software architecture.
Keen on helping people to learn programming.
Now I am working for Software Competitiveness International and Gadget flow as Android Developer.

Panagiotis Karles

Database teacher

Passionate scholar that aims towards technological and scientific development through education and programming.
Since 2013 Panagiotis has been studying and working on different Computer Science projects that use relatively new methods, from Raspberry Pi Pentesting to Blockchain Dapps to Machine Learning with Spatial Data.
Now, with 5 years of experience as a Developer, he is working remotely as a head Developer at the University of the Aegean.

Vasilis Danias

Database teacher

I’m a front-end developer that hand-crafts usable, elegant and effective web sites. I’m currently working for tripsta / airtickets, an Online Travel Agency (OTA).
I have over 9 years of experience in front-end technologies and love working with Javascript.

Zannis Kalampoukis

Full-stack Development Teacher

A product-oriented full-stack software engineer, with more than 5 years of experience in large-scale enterprise cloud products and research projects especially in the travel, automotive and supply chain domains. Besides English and Greek, I am fluent in Java, JavaScript, Bash, SQL, and regex. Currently working as a Senior Software Engineer at Socital, a SaaS platform offering personalized and sales-boosting products for e-commerce ad campaigns. Outside office hours, I am usually jamming with friends at small Athenian bars, traveling, or going down really long YouTube trips looking for answers to life’s unimportant questions. Lately using a hands-on approach to teach me about education and public speaking via volunteering at Social Hackers Academy.

Board Of Advisors

Apostolos Apostolakis

Apostolos is a serial entrepreneur turned investor in the internet/technology sector. He cofounded along with 2 friends e-shop.gr the first computer e-tailer in Greece and then was involved in Taxibeat.com where Apostolos served on the board until the sale of company to Daimler. Apostolos was also a cofounder at e-food.gr ,that exited to Delivery Hero group and at doctoranytime.gr an online service helping patients look for, a doctor. As an angel investor Apostolos has supported many startups in Greece and internationally and since Jan 2016 he is fully involved with Venturefriends.vc a 20 mil euro Venture capital fund where he is an advisor. VentureFriends has invested in 20 startups 16 of which have operations in Greece.

Panos Papadopoulos

Panos Papadopoulos is a partner at Marathon VC, an Athens based venture capital investing in tech startups. Prior to joining the finance world, he was a co-founder and CEO at BugSense, a mobile analytics company that was acquired by Splunk Inc. He has invested in more than 20 startups and loves crypto-currencies, IoT and open source infrastructure. He is passionate about change and breaking down existing thinking models.

Chris Jones

Chris grew up between Australia and New Zealand but in 2015, at the height of the refugee crisis, moved to Europe. Feeling strongly for those that are most vulnerable and dismayed by what he saw as a lack of opportunity for refugees in Greece, he decided to seek out a partner in helping refugees achieve their full potential.

Supporters

Areti Vassou

Mission Ambassador

Areti is an awarded Digital Marketing & Strategy Architect and a proficient Digital Copywriter. She has a passion for communication, business storytelling and brand building. She combines academic excellence in Web Design and a rich professional background in Social Media Marketing, in Digital Healthcare Industry and Digital Technology, in Europe, USA and Greece.
She is active in Digital Marketing Field since 2000, starting from Google. As the Digital Strategy Director of Grafimedia.eu and Ideadeco.co, she travels all over the planet for a variety of marketing projects. She loves books, cats, music and good food.
Her motto is: Everything is Doable!