George Kourakos is a visionary strategist and a Deree Computer Information Systems alumnus (’02) with expertise in online design, video production, and innovation.
He co-founded two video start-ups, played a key role in creating the world’s first interactive web series, and has held various project management and online product roles in the entertainment and sports industry.
Since 2012, George has been with Kaizen Gaming, where he currently serves as the Group Director of Innovation. He has successfully led teams, established a CX department from scratch, and cultivated a customer-centric culture throughout the organization. Under his leadership, Kaizen Gaming has received numerous awards for its projects.
Currently, George is spearheading Kaizen Labs, a corporate incubator/accelerator that collaborates with startups, universities, and leading tech organizations. The focus of Kaizen Labs is to leverage open innovation frameworks to revolutionize the iGaming industry through cutting-edge technologies such as AR/VR, Blockchain, Computer Vision, and AI/ML.
Q: What are three enduring values Deree has taught you?
Resilience, Fairness, Creativity.
Q: Describe Deree in three words.
Gateway to knowledge.
Q: Which is your fondest memory from your time at Deree?
My Graduation Day.
Q: What do you miss most from your days at Deree?
The interaction I had with fellow students when we worked together on various projects.
Q: If you could go back in time, is there anything that would you do differently?
Definitely pay more attention to the Macroeconomics course. After many years I realized how important is the role of the macroeconomy to the life of everyone.
Q: Where was your favorite spot on campus?
As I have been part of Deere’s basketball team, it is obvious which sport I would choose as my favorite. The indoor basketball court.
Q: Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Manos Varouchas. I am thankful to him for the hard work, dedication, and passion he put into teaching while he kept being always pleasant.
Q: After graduation, have you maintained a relationship with your school and classmates?
“Maintain a relationship” is an understatement as my wife was my classmate when we both studied in Deree. 😉
Q: Looking back, how did your time at Deree help you become the person you are today?
Deree helped me understand deeper myself, as well as develop critical thinking skills and time-management skills. It was also a formative experience that helped me become more well-rounded and prepared for the challenges of the future.
Q: What advice would you give a new Deree student?
Try to absorb as much knowledge as possible, make lots of friends, and enjoy the ride!
Q: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Successful leaders who combine leadership skills along with people-first mentality.
Q: What is your motto in life?
The only way to discover the limits of the possible, is to go beyond them into the impossible.
ACG Alumni: We Stay Connected!