Parents all over are looking for ways to enable their children to do their chores but little do they know that Funifi is already doing that, in a digital form, from the small island of Cyprus. Funifi is an online platform used to motivate children to get their chores done while teaching them responsibility and allowing them to be independent. Parents assign chores to their kids on a mobile application and kids accumulate points for each chore, which they can later exchange with digital goods, mobile apps or games, mobile credit or popular subscriptions. It helps parents to communicate better with their children in a fun and educational way.
This interesting initiative is a great example of a combination of creativity and business development and it is the kind of projects that European Union supports through Startup Europe. Startup Europe is the European Commission Digital Agenda action plan which is supported by Vice President Neelie Kroes. 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. A couple of months ago, the Funifi 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.
Funifi consists of Andrew Michael, George Vou, Denis Constantinou, Lachlan Hespe, Chrysovalantis Anastasiou and Kyriacos Georgiou, a strong team of smart and energetic young people who won the 3rd prize at Startup Live Cyprus. The team focused on building a great business on a great idea and moved on to participate in Startupbootcamp in Copenhagen.
After networking extensively throughout the 3-month bootcamp, these young entrepreneurs managed to impress international business angels who supported their company with an investment of 450,000USD. Mr. Claus Meldgaard Rasmussen, one of the international business angels, said: "Funifi is a super exciting project for us. We are not just working with an immensely talented team of very dedicated people, but on top of this the subject matter is, in our view, relevant to every family on the planet. We, as investors, see this as a huge growth market. In addition to being involved in such an interesting product brought to market by this great team, it gives us a lot of satisfaction to be able to also invest in a geographical location that offers an encouraging business environment for early stage start-up enterprises to grow in and create jobs and wealth within, and enables us to collaborate on projects that are supported by the European Union growth framework."
What one notices here is the beginning of the development of a whole new industry for Cyprus. ICT/web startups like Funifi are contributing in creating new ways of thinking, new jobs, and point out the potential of Cyprus to become a Tech Hub. “The greatest innovation often comes at times of crisis”, says the team, “therefore now it’s the time for anyone with a great idea to pursue a career in ICT/web entrepreneurship. Take the challenge and embrace uncertainty. Don’t wait for anything, get started, be persistent, and surround yourself with good people.”
If you have an innovative ICT/web idea and you are interested in following the steps of Funifi in entrepreneurship in Cyprus you will find these steps very useful:
a. Contact an accelerator or business angels network – They 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 in Cyprus
• CleanLaunchpad Competition – 10-11th September 2014 (www.cleanlaunchpad.eu)
• Hackathon 2014 – Dates to be announced – (http://hackcyprus.com/)
• Hack Cyprus 2014 – Dates to be announced - (http://hackcyprus.com/)
c. Benefiting from a 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 Funifi please visit www.funifi.com https://www.facebook.com/Funifi/@funifi
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.
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