One of the hardest things in life is learning from your mistakes and moving on. In the business world, giving up just proves that you are not cut out for it. Cypriot startup Teach n’ Go is evidence that having past failures only means that you are going to produce something better next time. Besides, this viewpoint is also supported by Startup Europe, the European Commission Digital Agenda action plan, under the auspices of 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.
Haris Petrasitis and Natalie Masrujeh have been working together for years and they started several businesses, including a popular e-commerce site, an sms service, and a unique advertising service. Some of them were successful and some were unsuccessful. The e-commerce site for example was going well for a while. At some point, even though the market changed, the team was feeling confident from sales up to that point and failed to see that many of their customers weren’t coming back, and slowly sales dropped to a minimum. At that point they had already spent all they could afford on marketing without any ROI, so they decided to close the business.
Haris says “You should never take success for granted; you should always listen to your customers, communicate with them and analyze their needs. You should be ready to pivot your business in a new direction when the situation isn't looking good, and finally you should know when to quit and focus your efforts on something else.” And that’s exactly what they did!
The team created Teach n’ Go, a learning management system specially designed for professional education providers, and were the first Cypriot team to be accepted into the international accelerator program StartupBootcamp in Amsterdam. The system combines course management, scheduling, online teaching and payment tracking in a simple user-interface, which automates and centralizes the educator’s workflow, allowing them to spend less time doing routine tasks and more time teaching. After winning 2nd prize at the 2013 Cyprus Entrepreneurship Competition, Teach n’ Go pitched their idea at the Cyprus Business Angels Network meet up and managed to secure significant investment and collaboration. With operations in Cyprus and the Netherlands and users in 15 countries, the company will soon create 4 new job positions that will increase to 8 by the end of this year. This Cypriot product is new and modern and quite competitive globally.
Based on their rich experience in the business world, both Haris and Natalie believe that ICT/web entrepreneurship is a great career option as it opens doors to the whole world, as you can make a product that can be sold fast globally at relatively low cost. Haris stated “You have limitless opportunities. All you have to do is select a great team of at least 3 people that you can trust, and that you can stand to be around 24/7”.
If you have an innovative ICT/web idea and you are interested in following the steps of Teach n’ Go 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)
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 Teach n’ Go please visit http://www.teachngo.com https://www.facebook.com/iteachngo
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 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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