For the new generation looking to make a difference, entrepreneurship is a very attractive choice, especially in ICT/web. Christophoros Tzirtzipis, Antonis Poupazis and Charis Charalambous are great examples of young people where creativity and passion for work came together to produce an innovative idea which is both functional and playful: Diyful.
Diyful is an online platform that offers useful and innovative information for DIYers. Users can calculate the cost, figure out what kind of tools and material they will need and locate stores to buy everything they require. In addition, the platform provides useful guidelines if the user lacks the knowhow, and expert listings in case they want to hire someone to assist them or undertake the task.
The company, as it is today, was born during the Startup Weekend Cyprus competition in 2013 and won 1st prize. The three young entrepreneurs identified the need for a usable platform that would help, support and motivate people in their DIY projects. After receiving valuable mentoring from the competition, the three co-founders took their first steps to set up and run their business. As the Start-up scene in Cyprus is at a start-up stage itself, there is help and support between new Cypriot entrepreneurs like Diyful, who devoted themselves to this project and work together to succeed.
It is important to note the significant contribution of Diyful not only to young entrepreneurship but to the Cyprus economy in general. The company is registered in Cyprus with local Headquarters to remain even though the primary target group is the UK.
In this way, foreign capitals will come to Cyprus and new job positions will be created. Currently there is a job opening for an Animator who will be creating the animated 2D “How to” videos for a variety of DIY projects. Also, an app is being developed and there are opportunities for interns to fill the positions for iOS and Android programmers. (http://diyful.com/blog/we-are-looking-for-diyful-interns/).
The team is looking for strategic partners and investors, and plans to apply for web/ICT entrepreneurship funding from the European Union which they believe will add value to their business through Startup Europe and the EU network support. Startup Europe is the European Commission Digital Agenda action plan which is supported by Vice President NeelieKroes.
The objective of Startup Europe is to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT startups in Europe, contribute to innovation, growth and jobs in Europe and promote web and ICT entrepreneurs to start their business in Europe and to let them flourish. Recently, the Diyful team was selected and presented as a success story at the Going Local IV “Digital Economy” event, hosted by the Ministry of Communication and Works in collaboration with the European Commission.
Christoforos, who had the original idea, stated: “Being an entrepreneur is an amazing experience. You are your own boss. You are more productive and more passionate about what you do.
But you need to work hard and be devoted. Our motto is ‘you have to be cockroaches that surf within a funnel’ which means that you have be tough like a creature that can survive almost everything, because you need to keep going and not sink despite the difficulties you will face! ICT in general and the web (mobile included) is the future. It's a rapidly expanding sector that offers opportunities and it is extremely challenging for any young person, especially an entrepreneur who wants to "change the world".”
If you have an innovative ICT/web and you are interested in following the steps of Diyful in entrepreneurship in Cyprus you will find these steps very useful:
A. Contact an accelerator – An accelerator will prepare you to pitch your idea, mentor you throughout your journey and get you in touch with potential investors. Such accelerators are:
- Cyprus Business Angels Networks (http://cyban.com.cy/)
- Cypriot Enterprise Link (http://www.projectcel.com/)
- Chrysalis Leap (http://chrysalisleap.com/)
- Repower Cyprus (http://www.repowercyprus.com/)
B. Participate in a startup event (dates to be announced soon):
- Hack Cyprus
- Startup Weekend
- Startup Live
C. Benefiting from funding like the European Commission funding for SMEs under Horizon2020. The European Commission is hand-picking potentially disruptive businesses to invest and support as part of the SME Instrument. Your business could receive up to €3 million in funding, and world-class business support and mentorship. In total, more than € 2.8 billion will be allocated for the SME instrument from 2014 to 2020. Apply now today: http://ec.europa.eu/easme/sme_en.htm
For further information on Diyful please visit www.diyful.com/@diyful/facebook.com/diyful
The Startup Europe Initiative is the European Commission action plan to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs in Europe and contribute to innovation, growth and jobs. This initiative contains a wide range of activities to support European web entrepreneurs such as:
The two latest actions that are part of the Startup Europe Initiative which have been launched on 23.01 by VP NeelieKroes at the WEF in Davos:
- The Startup Europe Partnership (will build bridges between Europe's startup, corporate, investment and education communities to help EU startups to scale up as global players.).
- The European Digital Forum (an independent think tank dedicated to empower tech entrepreneurs and growing Europe’s digital economy.)
Other important actions as part of the Startup Europe initiative are:
- The Accelerator Assembly (connects accelerators, entrepreneurs and policy makers)
- The Web Investors Forum (a community of investors in web businesses and mobile tech)
- The Leaders club (an independent group of founders in the field of tech entrepreneurship, who act as role models for European web entrepreneurs
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