The programme aims to encourage start-ups comprising two to five persons to submit their business plan which, if successful, will be rewarded with €10,000, free office space in Nicosia and IT support from MTN for a whole year, in addition to mentoring and business advice from Deloitte, Lellos P. Demetriades law office and the advertising agency Innovation / Leo Burnett.
Instead of investing in the form of venture capital, the programme will take a 6% stake in the successful start-ups that will be selected. The deadline for applications is July 23, 2015 and the programme will be repeated in Limassol next year.
“Cyprus lags behind in R&D (research and design). This is a small kernel of an idea aimed at doing more and talking less,” said Bank of Cyprus CEO John Hourican.
“Now, we’re closing a chapter and getting back on our feet,” he said, adding that like all seeds, some may not grow, but it is important to help young businesses and entrepreneurs flourish and thrive.
Yiannis Liveris, who heads the programme in Nicosia, said that if the idea is innovative with growth potential, also known as a minimum viable product (MVP), it does not have to be limited to only young applicants or university graduates.
“We also want people of all ages and most importantly, experience, to apply,” he said. Liveris said that the online application form at www.ideacy.net is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
The first three months will be the accelerator stage, where successful candidates will receive hands-on training, followed by an incubator stage of 6-9 months where they will get valuable information and advice from the programme mentors.
Liveris added that potentially, the network of mentors may also help find long-term investors for the start-ups.
Source: Financial Mirror