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Startup Europe promote opportunities for Cyprus

11 July, 2014

Cypriot Enterprise Link and Startup Europe co-organized the event “Entrepreneurship in Europe: Opportunities for Cyprus” that took place on July 7th at the CYTA Amphitheatre in Nicosia.

The event, which was supported by Cyprus Telecommunications Authority and Action Global Communications, aimed at presenting various funding and other opportunities for startups in Cyprus, including Startup Europe, the European Commission Digital Agenda action plan, which is supported by Vice President Neelie Kroes and helps ICT/web entrepreneurship flourish in the European member states. Launching startups creates new jobs and economic value, which can be a long term solution to the unemployment crisis. In Cyprus there are several examples that demonstrate how entrepreneurship can contribute to innovation, growth and job creation. EU funded companies like Infoscreen and Engino have introduced disruptive products, creating a new local industry and expanding steadily abroad, while soon to be released Covve has managed to receive support by big Silicon Valley investors. Funifi, Teach’n Go and Diyful have caught the attention of local and international investors with the creation of some very promising business ideas in ICT/web.

Through a teleconference call, Bodgan Ceobanu representing the European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, gave the audience information regarding Startup Europe, the European Commission Digital Agenda action plan, under the auspices of Vice President Neelie Kroes. Mr Ceobanu stated “Technology is disrupting industries like music, education, healthcare, retail and more. Today agile and innovative startups compete with large corporations and they are able to do it successfully. Spotify and Soundcloud are the new MP3 player, Hailo and Getaxy are disrupting the taxi industry and Airbnb has challenged the hotel market. Those are just a few examples showing that the app economy in Europe is booming. This sector has gone from zero to become the superhero of Economic growth in less than five years. By 2018 it could employ 4.8 million people and contribute €63 billion to the EU economy. There are more than 1000 EU startups that build on top of technologies such as social media, mobility and cloud computing and aim to become future unicorns. The Startup Europe initiative aims at helping to stimulate the European ecosystem of founders, to scale up and to take advantage of this opportunity“.
“We Europeans tend to get dazzled by the 60 year old Silicon Valley ecosystem or the 20 year old Israeli one and we totally forget that Europe, despite being a Union a little more than the better half of the 20th century, is still the home of some of the most long lasting family businesses, the most famous luxury brands and the champion of the “heavy weights” industries. We need to remember and be proud of that, in order to successfully take the next step into creating multiple startup ecosystems”, said Cypriot Enterprise Link representative Andrea Solomonides who discussed youth entrepreneurship in Europe.
At the event Andreas Koupparis, Chairman of Cyprus Business Angels Network presented the new project Capital Impact, a working space for Cypriot startups, and provided information concerning the European Business Angels Network. Chrysalis LEAP founder Alexandros Charalambides invited young entrepreneurs to apply for participation in CleanLaunchpad, Europe’s largest business idea competition in cleantech.

To get started in entrepreneurship in Cyprus you can benefit from funding programmes such as 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. You can apply today on http://ec.europa.eu/easme/sme_en.htm