BOCY, CIIM launch start-up pro­gramme with seed-money

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Bank of Cyprus and the CIIM Busi­ness School have set up a start-up pro­gramme to pro­vide in­no­va­tive busi­ness ideas with seed money, fa­cil­i­ties and sup­port ser­vices.

The pro­gramme aims to en­cour­age star­tups com­pris­ing two to five per­sons to sub­mit their busi­ness plan which, if suc­cess­ful, will be re­warded with 10,000 eu­ros, 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 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 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, ex­pe­ri­ences, 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.

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