Entrepreneurship is a long road with its ups and downs. It takes a lot of strength and courage to keep on. That’s why here, at Starttech Ventures, we do all we can to relieve the pressure and cultivate a pleasant environment. Cue foosball.

Life at Starttech: Foosball league

Among other things — that we’re proud to have in our spaces — like 3D printers and arcade video game machines, we also have a playroom with Foosball tables that make time breaks more fun.

In a quest to find a way to fire up our passion – as we do with all of our endeavors – we organized a Foosball tournament. And in order to get more details off the backstage of this Foosball tournament of ours, we’ve asked one of the participants, Christos Georgiou, a Software engineer at Yodeck, to take on the role of a sports broadcaster and give us the whole picture.

Christos was more than happy to help and here’s his narration as a testimonial of our company culture 😊


The foosball league

Life isn’t always smooth and easy. Even if our workplace is one of the most welcoming, peace-loving, good-feeling workplaces existing, tensions occasionally arise. There are many ways to handle these: face-to-face discussion, friendly banter, workstation relocation and complete cease of communication etc. But these do not provide the persons involved with a feeling of fulfillment, generally acknowledged as necessary for personal happiness achievement.

So we — mostly Mediterranean guys and gals with the associated overly warm blood — decided to go the civilized way and form an Internal Committee, to decide and act upon the issue of improving happiness levels for everyone at our premises.

Some time after the forming of the I.C. (three minutes and twenty-three seconds later, if I recall correctly), we got tired of waiting and decided to let the people take matters into their hands. There was a brief exchange of ideas until someone silently spread a picture of people playing over a foosball table. What we felt looking at that image, can only be compared to experiencing love at first sight. The accounting department obeyed the people’s wishes, and the rest is history (still in the writing).

We formed teams (plus name plus logo for each team), we organized a championship (not a cup! although we are open to the idea of play-offs after the championship ends), we wrote epic tunes to sing on the path to Valhalla, and we asked an actor to come dressed as a Roman emperor and cry:


So, the war is still going on…

The task forces

The Dancer and the Darkness a.k.a Liverπούλο

Liverpulo logo

The first team proving that foosball knows only one gender: winners. The first player obeys the only directive that makes sense: to live life to its fullest extent. The other is a low-key first (and second, and third) strike officer, silent but deadly. We tried seducing them with music while they played; it didn’t work. One kept on playing while dancing, the other celebrated each goal by a fit of headbanging. Countermeasures remain to be found.

The Full-Stack Guy and his Boss a.k.a Colorblinds

The colorblings logo

These guys are focused. The first one oozes pure concentration while playing; there is no “rest of the world”, only the foosball table. The other one, a silver-tongued devil, as always, gentle and kind with the opponents, overcomes the laws of physics by oftentimes making the ball defy gravity. Feared by everyone else, they relentlessly march to victory. Neither of them can read the words on their logo.

The LHC and the General a.k.a D Generals

The generals logo

Karate for defense only, as we know, and foosball for offense only, as we still learn. Our own LHC (Large Hovering Co-worker) masterfully performs experiments, waiting for the peak of the wave function and then accelerating heavy orange particles to near-light-speed velocities. Collisions abound, and according to the Heineken Uncertainty Principle, sometimes the ball can be both inside and outside of the goal, at the same time (the phenomenon colloquially known as “not this hard, man, it bounced back again!”). The other player silently takes over the rest of the experiment, by enforcing spin on little humanoid wooden particles and ordering the ball around.

The Veteran and the Commando a.k.a D Specials

DSpecials logo

The first one is a huge investment of the government; years ago he completed a very expensive all-around training to become one of the deadliest agents on the playing field, in any of the available spots. Rumors have it he’s the only one capable of confronting the LHC. Hopefully, someday, there will be audiovisual evidence of their standoff. The other one  is an experienced soldier, handling the wooden players with the same ease as an AK-47 or a Bren machine gun; the ball is the bullet, the goal is the mission. Rumors have it that he suffers from trauma, from horrible previous war experiences and he is diagnosed with PTSD, but he has never openly acknowledged any of it.

The Silent and the Deadly a.k.a VTripioi

Vtripioi logo

These two desperados are a pair made in… sorry, no location comes to mind. No one really knows how they met or how they became a unit. One is allegedly an apprentice of the LHC, a man of few words and fairly abundant actions, while the other is a soft-spoken (like a black mamba), sensitive (like a wild hog) and tender (like an overdressed armadillo) guy, loved and cherished by everyone, who typically scores verbally (because he usually doesn’t score plain bally).

The Overseer and the Posh Executioner a.k.a Ματιασμένες

Matiasmenes logo

Unfortunately, this team’s logo was deemed not suitable for… um… anything except for internal use. These two ladies shoot down both their opponents and the myth that the Force has two sides; you see, there is only their side of the Force. If anything does not get approved by them, then it just doesn’t happen (guess who got us the foosball tables). Generations have been raised with the saga of the iron lady in the defense who, despite the occasional flesh wounds, cries triumphantly “None shall pass!”; and the elegant sniper at the front who manages to score goals without ever breaking even one of her perfectly groomed and painted nails. Love them or hate them, you just can’t ignore them.

The Testosverone and the Nice Kid a.k.a Σβεπάστας

Svepastas logo

These two are an unstoppably good-looking force; the first employs pure, undiluted physical strength and will in scoring goals, while the other is the typical example of a skillful and handsome young man, suspiciously full of good qualities and character traits. Both faster than a mom who races against the first rain drops towards the clothesline, they’re as merciless as they are efficient.


The Psychologist and the Joker a.k.a ΣτάΓερ Ελλάς

Steyr ellas logo

And then there’s these guys, your standard-issue cannon fodder. The first one ignores all his education and any psychology papers written and studied. He lands instead, as a warmonger on his feet, blood-thirsty, with the parachute still blowing against the wind behind him; eager to spread lead in all possible directions. The other one gives a higher priority to “witty” (he wishes!) comebacks and snarky remarks than placing the goalkeeper in the general area of the ball’s trajectory. These facts clearly result to — as not foretold by any prophecy ever in the history of humankind — a world record in consecutive defeats. Both being married (not to each other) though, with children, they have a good grasp of what Chaotic Neutral means and they keep on coming for more. 🙂

Settling the score

“Some guy” appropriated the use of one of our digital-signage screens at the reception, and crudely set-up an “almost” live coverage for the championship.

That’s all, folks. It is possible that when the championship ends we will come back with an update… if there are still people standing, that is!

P.S. The Internal Committee is still at the procedural design process; we’ve let them enjoy their bliss, undisturbed.

P.S. 2 The whole post is barely related to true facts; however, any similarity with real individuals, is highly deliberate.

And that’s how it’s done!

Thank you Christos, for your wonderful and lively narration, and well done to all of our champions!
So, that’s what life at Starttech Ventures feels like. A part of it, at least 😊. If you want to learn more, you might want to check out what our people say.

Christos Georgiou