Founders

Damianos Vavanos

Damianos Vavanos

Co-Founder & CEO

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

Chris Owen

Co-Founder & CTO

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

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.

Core Team

Aggelina Mila

Aggelina Mila

Business Development Coordinator

She recently graduated from Primary Education Department, acquiring a Business Administration Diploma.  As a student, she has been involved in several organizations and projects, and has travelled a lot around the world, while 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 and what inspires her the most is the transformational change that education can generate.

Ahmed Fayyad

Ahmed Fayyad

Head of Education

Ahmed’s background is in physical Sciences. He has several years of professional experience in industrial fields, teaching undergraduates and academic researches.
Ahmed has taken on the role of Head of Academic Department and deals upgrading with the curriculum, teaching methodologies and training the trainers.

Viktorija Ignataviciute

Viktorija Ignataviciute

Business Development Specialist

Viktorija has graduated from Publishing in her hometown Vilnius, Lithuania. She volunteered as PR and organisational staff for conferences and festivals. After the trainership in Portugal, she he‘s been working in the international company as a sales manager and learning about startup community in Krakow, Poland. Diverse experiences, travelling and meeting people with global mindsents inspired her to join SHA team in making a change together. Viktorija loves people, ideas and explores the world with curiosity and energy. She believes anyone can be successful if they try hard enough.

Human Resources

Maria Paliothodorou

Maria Paliothodorou

Chief Love Officer

Maria Paliothodorou is an HR Professional and the Chief Love Officer at Social Hackers Academy. She has over 12 years of Professional experience in both Greek and Multinational Companies.

With evident knowledge in Human Resources Management, Maria is running all HR Operations in our organization where at the same time she helps to spread the love internally and externally.

She holds an MBA in International Business and a Bachelor’s in Economics. Her personal Mission is to help the World become a safe place for all.

Fania Pallikarakis

Fania Pallikarakis

Recruiter

Born in Belgium and based in Greece, Fania studied Communication and Organisational Psychology.

With many years of experience in the fields of Culture, Communication and HR, she has been working, since 2011, as a Certified Coach (ICF) with individuals, teams and startups that seek to see change(s) happen in their performance, team spirit and soft skills.

Iosif Sofios

Iosif Sofios

Admissions Super Hero

I was born in Sweden and reside in Pireus, Greece. My background is on Social Psychology which was the field of my master degree.

The focus of my academic research has been placed on vulnerable social groups and minorities such as Muslims.

Having worked as a consulting psychologist and more recently as a technical support agent, I enjoy working in teams and to contribute on projects with social value.

Teachers

Kostas Minaidis

Kostas Minaidis

Javascript teacher

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

He currently works at PlethoraThemes as a WordPress developer.

Dimitris Michalakos

Dimitris Michalakos

Javascript teacher

Dimitris is a senior software developer with 12+ years experience in web technologies.

He is the founder of Yeep _RBAC-as-a-Service_ and is co-organizing GreeceJS.

Aristeidis Bampakos

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 am 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

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.

Kosmas Pouianou

Kosmas Pouianou

Javascript teacher

Kosmas is a full stack developer with more than 7 years of professional JavaScript experience.

He is currently working as a senior engineer at SlashData.

George Sisko

George Sisko

HTML:/CSS Teacher

IGeorge(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

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

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.

George Kary

George Kary

JavaScript Teacher

The foundation of George’s experience is trial and error. Having spent the last six years on web design, he has tackled a different array of projects, working with startups and companies from all over the world. As a front­end developer, his primary focus has been usability and user experience from the spectrum of both commercial application and team working. His passion is bridging innovation and leadership in rapidly expanding teams, applying his passion for operations to team working and collaboration. George Kary is currently the Head of Operations at FightHoax.

Dionyshs Tsoumas

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.

Yannis Rizos

Yannis Rizos

Database Teacher

Codemonkey, with over a decade of experience building web applications.

Vasilis Danias

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.

Marketing

Ifigeneia Byrou

Ifigeneia Byrou

Marketing Manager

Ifigeneia has more than 10 years of marketing experience in startups and established companies. Creating opportunities and mitigating challenges online and offline is part of her daily routine.

With a bachelor in International and European Studies and an MBA, she became a volunteer at SHA in order to give back to the community and be part of a movement, that aims to improve lives through education.

Matilda Spanou

Matilda Spanou

Social Media Manager

Matthildi Spanou was born in Greece and resides in Athens. She is a post graduate student from  the Department of Management Science and Technology, Athens University of  Economics and Business. She is passionate about marketing, literature and making the world a better place!

Natalia Labrou

Natalia Labrou

Community Manager

Natalia Labrou was born in Athens in 1991. She is a postgraduate student in Marketing and Communication of Athens University of Economics and Business.

During her undergraduate studies, she completed an internship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Book Centre. Her interests include music, painting and photography.

Theofanis Stavroulis

Theofanis Stavroulis

Performance Marketing

Born and raised in Athens, Greece. Theofanis Stavroulis is a Digital Marketer who “sees” the performance side of things. Theofanis has several years of professional experience in the field of digital marketing helping small to medium-sized businesses grow. His academic background includes an MSc in Marketing & Communications from Athens University of Economics & Business and a professional diploma from Digital Marketing Institute of Ireland. Theofanis has a passion for marketing, street photography and traveling. He joined Social Hackers Academy because he firmly believes in its vision to make a difference through education.

Maro Verli

Maro Verli

Videographer & Marketing Consultant

Born in Greece, Maro Verli is an international and awarded photographer focusing on humanitarian and cultural projects on the international scene. Building on her academic background with an MBA from the University of Kentucky (U.S.A.), and certified by the Irish Centre for Human Rights of the National University of Ireland, she works as a communication consultant in strategy and visibility with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her portfolio includes a wide range of works commissioned by reputable international organisations, magazines, and corporate assignments.

“I believe that every human hides a Super Hero within and through my work I try to give voice to that hero and release the message that comes to disclose facts of the past and particularly through this project my aim is to empower all these Super Heroes.

BOARD OF ADVISORS

Apostolos Apostolakis

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

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 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

Celia Wells

Celia Wells

Consultant

Even though Celia is from the bottom of the world – New Zealand – she has always taken her responsibility as a global citizen seriously. With a diverse professional background working with refugees and in research, she leapt at the opportunity to utilise her work experience to identify opportunities to enable refugee autonomy in Greece. Celia is the first to laugh or cry at life and misses working directly with everyone in Greece, she is currently working in corporate responsibility and is supporting Social Hackers Academy from afar.

Areti Vassou

Areti Vassou

LinkedIn Consultant

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!
Vicky Nikolaidou

Vicky Nikolaidou

Creative & Crowdfunding Junior Mentor

Copywriter? Marketing strategy consultant? Civil engineer? Journalist? Transcretor? Vicky can claim to be all of the above, but she mostly prefers her Voice-Over Artist persona. A natural born free-lancer, she loves to collaborate with emotionally intelligent doers. Beyond titles, she would like to be characterised as a problem-solver, good-people-collector and creative traveller. She is a 100% Everybody’s-Free-To-Wear-Sunscreen believer.