Introducing the Rising Vtrip Award

We all want to feel that our contribution matters and that all of our efforts are recognized. Don’t we? No doubt about it. That’s why at Starttech we do our best to show our recognition and our appreciation in many different ways. One of them is our employee recognition awards: our traditional Vtripper Award and our new Rising Vtrip Award. 

Introducing the Rising Vtrip Award


If you are a regular reader of our blog or if you somehow have a connection with Starttech you may already know all about our very own version of Oscar awards. If not, you may read all about it here. In short, the Vtripper award is an act of rewarding extraordinary performance, a way to praise and say thank you to the top employee that went the extra mile the previous year. And that is the reason for why we have established this award as a kind of ritual for more than 10 years.

But that was not enough. We also wanted to honor our newest team members that have also contributed with their efforts to our companies’ growth and to our community in general. That’s why we have instituted the Rising Vtrip Award. Before we learn all about it, let’s take a look at our last-year’s two top performers that have recently been awarded. So, here we are:  

  • Vtripper of 2019 – Panagiotis Sarantopoulos, Head of Content Marketing of our Lean Acceleration Team
  • Rising Vtripper of 2019 – George Zaroulis, Systems Engineer at Stackmasters

Introducing ‘Rising Vtrip of the year’ award

Rising Vtrip Award is our way to express our gratitude to that person, among the youngest— not in age but in terms of years served within our companies— members of our team that the previous year has shown a great performance. And that because we believe that devoting precious effort and making the best you can is not determined by the time in accumulated years you have spent in company. You may be a ‘newcomer’ employee and still be a really precious member of our team. 

So, with the Rising Vtrip Award we want to express our gratitude and our appreciation kind of early on to those people that joined our team not so long ago and have proved themselves to be exceptional in their performance and their achievements.

The honored Rising Vrip person is a model of behavior, one that sets the pace for the rest of the younger team members already in our companies and for the ones to join in the future. It’s a person that without a doubt embodies Starttech’s five core values:

  • teamwork
  • entrepreneurship
  • innovation
  • quality and
  • usefulness.

A relatively new member of our team that during the previous year offered a lot. A talented and promising team member that has indeed yet a lot to offer within his/her team and within our organization in general. 

Now let’s learn all about our first Rising Vtrip honoree George Zaroulis, Systems Engineer at Stackmasters.  

Rising Vtrip of 2019 

How does it feel to be the junior/new entry Vtripper of the year? Did you expect it? I guess you were aware of the whole Vtripper story, right?

I was aware, of course, but still it came out of the blue for me, totally unexpected. It feels really great that my efforts and my work were acknowledged. I think this is the best reward for someone who loves what he does.

And what was the prize that you received? 

A trip to Serbia, Belgrade for two. I will take it with my girlfriend, I’m sure we will enjoy it.

Tell us a few words about Stackmasters: the product you’re developing, your team and where you see Stackmasters in two years from now? 

I joined Stackmasters in February 2018, the period when Thanassis Parathyras, Stackmaster’s CEO, was recruiting and forming the team to develop Cycleops, an online Cloud Management Platform with self-service DevOps capabilities. And I consider myself very lucky. I joined a team with so much experience and I felt very welcome from the very first moment. I’m really enjoying working here, with people with different personalities and points of view. It never gets boring and I think it is very important for an engineer to always have different perspectives available. 

I frankly believe Cycleops has a lot to offer as a product and I’m excited about its potential. I don’t know what the future holds for Stackmasters and Cycleops. All I want and wish for is to see people using it and enjoying it. I can’t wait for it and for their feedback.

Tell a few things about your role at Stackmasters? What do you enjoy most about it? What is the most challenging part?

I joined the team as a Systems Engineer, having a developer’s background. My main job is to make development easier and faster, applying the DevOps methodology through modern tools and techniques. I also assist in the design and the development. I enjoy a lot of things, I have a big list, but seeing a git push getting built, tested and deployed within minutes is a magic moment for me
The biggest challenge is to keep things simple. It’s hard and it demands deep knowledge of what you are doing.

How would you describe working with a startup like Stackmasters? And what about life within a startup accelerator like Starttech?

To be honest, I didn’t know a lot about startups before joining Stackmasters. And to be more honest, I didn’t think much of startups. Not because of my personal experience, but from the things I used to hear. Now, having 2 years of work experience in a startup, I have to say that there is no better choice for an engineer to work for one. At Starttech I found what I was looking for, from a working environment. A seed needs fertile soil to grow, and I really believe that having your roots at Starttech can be more than beneficial.

Finally, what do you like to do in your free time?  

I like TV shows and documentaries. I love music, history books, camping, cycling and listening to people’s stories.


Well done and well said George. 

The best is yet to come!

So, one more time kudos to our two honorees, George and Panagiotis that managed to stand out the previous year. Now, we’re all looking forward to the next Starttech Ventures stars to shine :).

 P.S. Stay tuned for the other honoree, our Vripper of 2019 micro-interview

Introducing the Rising Vtrip Award was last modified: March 19th, 2020 by Konstantina Ferentinou
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Konstantina Ferentinou

The Starttech Ventures Content Marketing Writer. Studied Computer Engineering and Informatics at the University of Patras. She has working experience in technical writing, sales and support related roles. She now focuses on content creation. Channeling her creativity into writing, she hones her ability to communicate the right message through various content types.