Akos Gabossy

You can slightly reduce the importance of luck in business by critical thinking and persistence.


Akos is the co-founder of the PANIQ ESCAPE ROOM Franchise. Akos Gabossy was formerly working as a banker and financial expert when he became the co-founder and CEO of KACKAC Playhouse in Budapest. Before he started the PANIQ ESCAPE ROOM franchise, he was one of the owners of the Millipop Playhouse and became the key-advisor of several real estate projects. Akos is currently a Ph.D. student, he has been studying the local and foreign entertainment sector for 10 years.

Where did the idea for PANIQ ESCAPE ROOM come from?

A couple of years ago escape rooms became extremely popular in my birthplace, Budapest. It seemed to be a great challenge to “export” this idea to the US, I pretty much saw the business opportunity behind the concept from day one.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I don’t like to wake up early, that was one of the main motivations for me to become an entrepreneur. As our organization grows, I can slowly leave behind the operational struggles and focus more on strategical thinking and building valuable relationships. It’s very hard to describe a typical day at PanIQ Room, my days are completely different.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I get inspiration from multiple sources! Since our job is to entertain people, I have to follow the consumption trends and cultural changes. I consider myself a creative person, it’s always elevating to see my ideas come to life and bring joy to our customers.

What’s one trend that excites you?

It’s not really a trend, but I would like to understand the thinking of Generation Z! The technological revolution made a huge impact on society in the past years, what I consider normal is not normal anymore…

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’m old enough to see, that I don’t have to be good at everything. Being an entrepreneur is a risky career choice, since you need to be very lucky to surround yourself with talented employees and professional suppliers. I’m very persistent, I always have numerous plans to keep my company’s momentum.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be patient, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I hope I will be right at the end of day, but – with rational thinking and a lot of sacrifices – it is possible to build up a global location-based entertainment empire from Eastern Europe.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Using excel is pretty much the first step for me before I launch any project. Money is a major issue in business, numbers never lie!

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Groupon helped to start my company, it helped us to introduce escape rooms to a market, where nobody knew and heard about it before. From the customer’s perspective, it does seem like a lunatic idea to pay for getting locked in a room for 60 minutes for fun… Groupon pretty much legitimized our concept.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I recommended someone to start a selfie museum in Budapest about a year ago. It turned out to be a huge success! I made a vow before I started PANIQ ROOM, that – first time in my life – I will strictly focus on only one thing, and I don’t let myself to get distracted by new projects, like this one.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Huhh, it’s hard to pick one, since I see so many business opportunities on the market. For example, we’re thinking about introducing Hungarian strudels to the American market. It should be an absolute hit with the right recipe.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I hope it was the pair of basketball shoes I bought to my little brother. If he makes it to the NBA, it was a good investment.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

I’m an old fashioned guy this way! Excel changed my life and I still use it daily.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Since I don’t really have time and energy to read nowdays, it would be irresponsible to recommend anything. During my university years probably Aronson’s Social Animal impressed me the most.

What is your favorite quote?

I don’t have any. I don’t believe a simple sentence can summarize a complex personality.

Key Learnings:

  • You can slightly reduce the importance of luck in business, by critical thinking and persistence.
  • Long term strategy overwrites short term interests.
  • It’s time to PanIQ! Playing an escape room is fun, it’s the most innovative concept, that appeared in the location-based entertainment sector in the past 20-30 years.