#FoundersFridays: Meet Konstantinos Kouzelis
Meet Konstantinos Kouzelis, founder of Greencast. Founded in 2021, Greencast provides a digital platform where companies can measure, analyse & reduce their carbon footprint.
Founders Fridays is a StartupAmsterdam initiative showcasing local entrepreneurs who help strengthen our ecosystem. By inviting founders to answer five questions, we want to shine a light on our ecosystem’s most inspirational stories and role models. We hope we’ll all learn and grow together by providing startup founders with a space to share their insights and experience.
This week we spoke to Konstantinos Kouzelis, founder of Greencast, an all-in-one decarbonisation platform for SMEs. With machine learning, Greencast’s software can connect to your business accounting system, so you can quickly and instantly identify your carbon emissions and take action. They also recently launched the Greencast Academy, where you can learn more educational content and dive deeper into decarbonisation.
How did your career journey lead you to found Greencast?
I have an engineering background from TU Delft but knew early on I didn’t want to become a traditional engineer. From a young age, I’ve been building things which transformed into the ambition to join an early-stage startup.
Joining startups early gives you the freedom and opportunity to take ownership of your work and get from zero to one. When two high school friends founded their startup, I asked them to join them as the first external hire.
We took off to London and spent a few months building the product and growing to €20k MRR. We had a lot of fun, but I wanted to finish my Master’s before hopping on this journey - so I went back to studying. I think London is where I caught the startup bug and got motivated to start Greencast some years later.
I always said I wouldn’t start a startup until I found a problem that was worth solving. During my Master’s, I validated several ideas, collected emails and built MVPs but never to the extent that I wanted to make the leap. I decided I would go into Private Equity and perhaps retry in a few years, but a few months was all it took.
After becoming more aware of sustainability and the limits of our planet, I got excited by the opportunity to help businesses decarbonise. By 2027, over 1.5 million small businesses will be required to report on their sustainability metrics, while traditional reporting methods require up to ½ FTE or extensive consultancy projects that often take 6-8 months. For small businesses, this is simply unmanageable.
That’s why we started Greencast! We’re building the decarbonisation platform for small businesses where our customers connect their accounting software in a few clicks, and our software helps them measure, analyse and reduce their footprint. By applying Machine Learning, we can understand thousands of data points in a matter of minutes to make decarbonisation easy, actionable and fast.
What makes Amsterdam a great city and ecosystem for a startup founder?
Amsterdam is a city of networks. Although sometimes less obvious than in startup ecosystems such as Silicon Valley, the city hosts hundreds of startups and entrepreneurs that are building or have built impactful solutions for our future.
What keeps impressing me is the willingness of people to help younger founders through all stages of their journey. Being feedback on your go-to-market or practical advice on structuring financials, Amsterdam has a culture of helping each other out and passing this on to the future generation.
What are the goals and needs of Greencast for the upcoming months?
We’re preparing our next funding round in September, where we’re looking for high-value-add investors to join us on this journey. We have decided to open up the round to smaller angel investors, too, as we’ve seen how impactful a network of (ex-)operators can be in solving specific problems.
Furthermore, we’re actively hiring to expand our team, and we keep investing in our product and customers as the ultimate goal is to help them make an impact.
What has been a recent win for your business?
Although this one is slightly more personal - the most significant win was finding the right co-founder. As a single founder, things can get tough, and it’s essential to surround yourself with the right people.
For the past year, I’ve been looking for the right match to join us on this journey as a CTO. Just a few months ago, I met an amazing individual who was at least as excited as I am about what we’re building at Greencast. They have been building startups for years, and we recently decided to join forces and make our mission a reality as co-founders. We’re all very excited!
What has been a recent “challenge” for your business, and what have you learned from it?
That summer is a difficult time to sell! Luckily this offers opportunities to focus on building. Balancing priorities is always challenging, but I think a large part of building a successful startup relies on the ability of the team to act fast and focus on the things that matter.