Thomas Papakostas is driven by a desire to develop new technologies that will enhance human lives. He gathered experience in Greece, the UK and America before pursuing his dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Thomas is the founder of R&D CORE Ltd, a business specialising in the research, development and commercialisation of new technologies.
“I always wanted to become an entrepreneur,” he says. “It was never a question of if it was going to happen but when. I waited until I felt I had enough experience, know-how and maturity to start my own business. I want to leave something behind and have a good effect on as many people as possible.”
Thomas grew up near Athens, in Greece, and wanted to learn programming from a young age as he supported his father’s business selling electronics equipment. He studied Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Patras before he was lured to the University of Southampton to complete a PhD on cutting-edge sensor research.
He next sought work in the private sector and moved to Boston in the USA for a role which exposed him to product development and the intricacies of growing a business. “The USA appeared to be a place where anything was possible,” he says. “I found a company called Tekscan which was working in the same field as my PhD and the rest is history. I loved the US from the first day I stepped foot there. I worked there for a long time and finished as the Vice President of Technology.”
Thomas founded R&D CORE in April 2011. He set up the company with a special emphasis on research and development, with the early work including a unique sensor technology for future generation smart devices. The business has developed products and services around this technology including a device which senses customers’ shoe sizes and data analytics which process how a store is performing. “What I like most about being a head of your own company is the freedom you have to go after your own initiatives,” Thomas says.
With some business guidance in his university years, Thomas suspects he might have entered the world of entrepreneurship sooner. “It’s really important to support university students who want to commercialise their ideas,” he says. “I want to be a Future Worlds mentor because you need to give back at some point in your life.”
Thomas is ready to assist in any step of product development, ranging from the initial ideas phase through to the later stages of commercialisation.
“If you have a product in mind which you want to develop into technology then I would be glad to help,” he says. “There are a lot of stages and some may sound intimidating, but everything can be done well when you approach it in the right order. Just ask for some advice and I would be happy to assist.” You can get in touch with Thomas using the contact form on this page.
Thomas has identified three qualities he believes are the key to being a successful entrepreneur.
“You need to be persistent, hard-working and patient,” he says. “You must keep these qualities no matter what to overcome the difficult circumstances you will encounter, otherwise you will quit and that will be the end. Never quit.”