Log in to favorite
No bill yet? Login
Markellos Diorinos is the CEO and co-founder of Bryq. Bryq provides a science-based, AI-driven talent assessment platform that helps companies eliminate recruitment bias and meet employer demand by enabling recruiters and hiring managers to recruit talent for any position with specific skills.
With a strong background in technology and marketing, Markellos is an entrepreneur with a passion for achieving results and building great teams.
Prior to that, Markellos spent 10 years with Upstream, the world leader in mobile marketing, where he held various positions, including head of Latin American operations and development of new product lines.
Prior to mining, Markellos worked in product marketing at Microsoft in Seattle and founded ArtLogic, a software development company.
Markellos holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and an MBA from the University of Washington.
An exclusive interview with Markellos said:
The most important capital of a company is its staff. When you bring the right people together, magic happens. And that’s even more true for starters. Put together the right starting team and the rest will be easier.
Our mission is to help the millions of candidates who are discriminated against or simply forgotten to find a better career. At the same time, this is only possible thanks to our great team. My motivation is to make sure that we as a team succeed in our mission.
It’s not enough to work hard, you have to work smart. The only constant is change – the sooner you accept it, the sooner you realize that having control means you can let go. If you don’t make mistakes and fail, you don’t try hard enough.
Read on to learn more about Markellos Diorinos and his career.
Tell me about your personal experience and why you started your business.
Markellos Diorinos: I worked in technology and marketing for a number of years before I founded Bryq. One of my previous teams travelled from Argentina to Vietnam – and it clearly showed me how the traditional approach to recruitment has failed to identify talent. Diplomas or even past performance in another company can often be a poor indicator of a candidate’s potential for a job. Factors such as skills, personal suitability for the job and corporate culture should be considered at the same time.
I’ve often sat at the interview table with a shortlisted candidate where I thought: That man shouldn’t have gone that far. There must be a better way to find talent.
What is your current core product and can you tell an earlier story about your current core product?
Markellos Diorinos: Have you ever seen the movie Moneyball? The one where Brad Pitt builds a baseball team based on objective criteria and statistics instead of intuition? It brings together the cheapest team of talent that outperforms multi-million dollar teams. Did you know that the film is based on a true story? That’s what we are: mercenaries for hire.
Bryq provides a science-based, AI-driven talent assessment platform that helps companies eliminate recruitment bias and meet employer demand by enabling recruiters and hiring managers to recruit talent for any position with specific skills. Our chatbot evaluation only takes 20 minutes and has a score of 77%, the best in the industry. We recently launched an ATI offering that analyses job descriptions and predicts the most accurate performance measures to better match open positions with qualified candidates.
How much money have you raised so far? When was the last financing cycle?
Markellos Diorinos: In the fall of 2020, we announced the closing of a $1.4 million seed financing round led by BigPi Ventures, a seed financing and technology transfer fund with experience in supporting workforce solutions such as Workable.
Which internal decision-making processes determined the start of fundraising and what was its logistics? And how many investors did you meet, how did you meet them and which channels served you best?
Markellos Diorinos: Our biggest concern was time to market. We could have brought down the company, but it would have taken much longer. A strong venture capital partner like BigPi has provided us with funds and a lot of valuable advice on what works. We’ve met a lot of investors, but we shouldn’t forget that it takes more than money. That’s why it’s just as important to find an investor that fits your culture and goals.
What are the main challenges and obstacles you have encountered in fundraising? If you had to start over, what else would you do?
Markellos Diorinos: Fundraising requires confidence in the product offering and the flexibility to continuously update the company’s offering to potential investors. At the same time, owners of start-up companies need to think about attracting investors that match the stage and growth profile of the company – a good match in terms of sector focus and expertise is the key to long-term success.
What are the milestones for the next cycle? And what are your goals for the future?
Markellos Diorinos: We have focused on leveraging our recent funding round to expand our global reach and further improve our product offering by introducing new tools that provide objective, non-judgmental solutions for individual development, team building and internal mobility.
How did you engage users and what strategy did you use to grow your business from start to finish?
Markellos Diorinos: We started working with our relations to get our top ten clients. We have also built up a web presence and started investing in quality content at an early stage, which has borne fruit. Then we added more traditional methods to the mix – meeting, digital marketing, cold calling. What surprises us is viral growth – we’ve created a product that appeals to our users, and we win a significant percentage of our customers through referrals and word of mouth.
Which software was the best marketing tool for the growth of your start-up and why?
Markellos Diorinos: We use a technology stack large enough to keep our marketing on track. We learn that investing in technology isn’t enough to solve problems – if we don’t have the right people and the right time to manage the tools, they’re ultimately a waste of money.
What do most start-ups have wrong with marketing in general?
Markellos Diorinos: Starters must remain flexible and take calculated risks where appropriate. It is also important to prioritise the business objectives that the marketing strategy will serve. We all have limited resources – in terms of time and capital – and we need to use them to get the most out of our marketing efforts.
How do you plan to expand globally?
Markellos Diorinos: We currently work with customers in 15 countries around the world. As part of our recent seed financing round, we plan to expand our sales force to meet growing demand around the world and to expand our business globally, starting in the United States.
What are the most common mistakes companies make in their global expansion?
Markellos Diorinos: It makes a lot of sense to focus on one region at a time in order to establish the local presence of a company and then transfer the experience gained to other places in the world.
How do you deal with the COWID 19 epidemic to ensure the survival of your business?
Markellos Diorinos: The COWID-19 crisis has made it clear which system barriers highly qualified candidates have had to deal with in the past. Companies have responded by accelerating their investments in diversity and inclusion, with an emphasis on biased recruitment. The role of companies like Bryq in helping qualified candidates get started and helping companies recruit the right talent for the job is even more important today.
What are the most common mistakes founders make when starting a business?
Markellos Diorinos: The founders are guided by their vision of the company and how it can change the way we live or do business. However, it is not about maintaining flexibility, innovation and adaptation to the changing global environment. Our success lies in our ability to adapt and respond to unfulfilled market needs.
What is the best advice you have ever received? And what advice can you give to someone who wants to do similar things with you, or go in a similar direction?
Markellos Diorinos: The most important capital of a company is its staff. When you bring the right people together, magic happens. And that’s even more true for starters. Put together the right starting team and the rest will be easier.
What are the three most popular books or movies (TV series) that changed your life and why?
Moneyball. I already told you. It is about making better decisions based on objective data.
Gattaca is the dystopian version of Moneyball, where data dictates everything. That is why it is important to supplement the decision-making process with data, rather than relying solely on data.
Matrix – AI is a powerful tool, but if we don’t learn to use it properly, the consequences will be disastrous. Maybe not as dramatic as The Matrix.
How to stay motivated every day
Markellos Diorinos: Our mission is to help the millions of candidates who are discriminated against or simply forgotten to find a better career. At the same time, this is only possible thanks to our great team. My motivation is to make sure that we as a team succeed in our mission.
What are the three most important life lessons you want your (future) sons and daughters to learn?
Markellos Diorinos: It’s not enough to work hard, you have to work smart. The only constant is change – the sooner you accept it, the sooner you realize that having control means you can let go. If you don’t make mistakes and fail, you don’t try hard enough.
Why would you want to be remembered?
Markellos Diorinos: Make a difference and change the recruitment process from a crapshoot to a fair trial where everyone has equal opportunities.
You can follow Markellos Diorinos.
Tweets from BryqHR
If you are looking for a solid investment for your start-up or a lover, keep an eye on our interview section.
Follow Asia Tech Daily to learn more about innovative start-ups and how they are revolutionising the ecosystem.
What’s your opinion?
Into the fire.