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Vana C. Koutsomitis

Serial entrepreneur focused on connecting people. CEO of DatePlay online dating app, and VinobyVana, the low-calorie, fruit flavoured wine.

Vana is a serial entrepreneur focused on human relationships and connecting people. She moved to the London in 2009 to pursue a career in financial services but realised that her true passion lies in changing the world through creating connections.

She currently runs two businesses: DatePlay, an online dating app, and VinobyVana, a low-calorie, fruit flavoured wine drink.

Vana was the runner-up on the last season of 'The Apprentice' on BBC 1.

She great up in New York City and has a labradoodle named Finn.

Four Things I Learned From Gen X Women

For the past few years, I have noticed - more than ever - that I hear about stories of young entrepreneurs and their successes. I have a board of advisors for DatePlay, who helps me make good decisions and who I call upon whenever I need guidance. None of them are millennials. They are all in Gen X.
18/05/2017 15:34 BST

The Fears Involved In Launching An App

That's when we sat down with one of our mentors for lunch at our local sushi place and told him about all our issues. We told him that we were considering postponing our launch yet again. That's when he gave my co-founder, Joris, and I the most valuable advice ever. Just get on with it and RELEASE the app! It is NEVER going to be perfect.
24/02/2017 16:31 GMT

Startup Accelerators Need More Women

Starting a company is especially tough in the early days. The learning curve is huge and the hurdles can be daunting. When I started my first company, The CityStreet, I was on my own and I was proud. I was 23 years old and ready to take on the business community with my new networking site. I rented a desk at an office near my house and tried to make it as a sole founder. I failed.
02/02/2017 10:43 GMT

What Lord Sugar Taught Me On The Apprentice

Overall, Lord Sugar was an excellent boss. Why? Because he explained the goal of the task clearly at the beginning of each week, and then he gave us performance reviews in the board room based on how well we reached his targets.
04/12/2016 17:07 GMT

How Noodle From The Gorillaz Encourages Young Women To Get Into Tech

Corporates have the resources and strength to educate women and inspire them to pursue their dreams. Additionally, they have the ability to change the way women are treated in the workplace. If we want to see change at a large scale, we need to speak about these gender imbalances.
14/10/2016 10:19 BST

Crowdfunding Tips From DatePlay's Funding Journey

We have had valuable support and feedback from both investors and the public and thought it would be worthwhile to compile some 'top tips' for creating a successful crowdfunding campaign.
07/09/2016 15:02 BST

The Case for Eating Lunch Outside the Office

When was the last time you took time to meet someone for lunch outside the office? According to research in the UK, it probably wasn't recently. It is a real shame that the business lunch has been dying out because I am a firm believer in taking the time to get to know someone out of the office environment. If you want to seal a deal, or make a business partnership, I believe it is best to do so over lunch.
15/06/2016 16:48 BST

Eliminating Gender Defining Dress Codes in the Workplace

Employers should not be imposing dress codes that are sexualised in nature or which force women to wear feminine attire. People should only have a required uniform if it directly relates to their job. For example, a doctor may be required to wear scrubs, or a factory worker could be required to wear certain safety attire.
23/05/2016 11:50 BST