The IDEA Accelerator in Nicosia, Cyprus has launched a call for innovative teams and start-ups to join the programme. Deadline for applications is 15 February 2017. We are pleased to distribute this news item as part of our commitment towards fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in Cyprus
The Innovate Develop Excel Accomplish IDEA Programme (IDEA Programme) is an integrated acceleration incubation programme, founded by the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) and The Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM), aiming to develop and support innovative entrepreneurship and to create employment opportunities for people wanting to set base in Cyprus, ultimately boosting the competitiveness of the Cyprus economy at an international level.
IDEA programme currently has four strategic partners, MTN Cyprus Ltd., Deloitte Limited, Innovation / Leo Burnett and Lellos P. Demetriades Law Office LLC. IDEA programme is supported by mentors and other supporters.
Eligible Areas / Sectors of Activity
Business concept ideas may fall under any one or more (maximum of three) of the following categories (as per NACE code):
Agriculture, forestry, animal farming and fishing
Mining and quarrying
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
Water supply; sewerage; waste management and remediation activities
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles
Transporting and storage
Accommodation/ Hotels and food service activities
Information and communication (software, video etc)
Financial and insurance activities
Real estate activities
Professional, scientific and technical activities (legal, accounting, consulting, research)
Administrative and support service activities (renting/leasing etc)
Public administration; compulsory social security
Human health and social work activities
Arts, entertainment and recreation
Other (as specified by the applicants)
In order to be eligible for the submission of an application to the IDEA Programme, all of the following requirements must be met:
The application is submitted by a team composed of 2 to 5 participants.
Team members are 18 years or older.
Team members are citizens of the European Union. Third country citizens are not excluded but all IDEA programme participants will need to provide evidence of permit to work or reside in Cyprus.
Team members must set up a company in Cyprus within two months from their successful entry in the incubator stage of the IDEA Programme.
Team members have a new, innovative idea for an independent for profit enterprise addressing the global market.
The team members have a good command of the English language as the IDEA Programme language is English. At least two members of the team have high command of English.
Buy-outs / expansions of existing companies, franchises of existing companies, commerce, retail, licensing agreements for distribution in a different geographical area, and subsidiaries of existing corporations are excluded.
The business proposal is in the idea, seed, start-up, or early growth stages and does not exist for longer than 3 years.
Depending on the development stage of the teams, they can enter into one of the two stages of the IDEA programme, Stage A: Three-month accelerator training, suited to early development concept stage with no minimum viable product (MVP) or proof of concept, Stage B: Six-month incubation phase suited for more mature teams with an existing MVP or proof of concept (see section IDEA stages for more details).
The IDEA Programme can, at its discretion, terminate the term of IDEA Programme teams at the Accelerator and Incubator stage who are not making sufficient progress.
Members of the IDEA Programme Steering Committee, the IDEA Programme evaluators and Bank of Cyprus group staff are excluded from participation in the IDEA Programme.
Benefits of Participation
The Programme will provide structured training in the form of workshops (IDEA Accelerator training programme) to the team members during the accelerator stage (the first 13 weeks of the programme), with regular classes (2-3 times per week, afternoon hours, 3 hours per session). The training consists of short workshops (1-2, 3 hour sessions) on start-up creation and growth related topics which cover all aspects of the creation and development of a sustainable venture with a global outlook. Among others, the core subjects will be communication & pitching, business model and business plan formulation, digital marketing, sales and branding and lean metrics. Further training will be delivered through events and public presentations throughout the IDEA Programme duration as well as speciliased workshops on topics of interest and/or importance to the incubator teams.
Each hosted team (stage A or B) will, upon entering the IDEA programme, be assigned a coach. Coaches are individuals with extensive experience and expertise in various sectors surrounding the creation and operation of a startup and are resident in Cyprus and hence within reach and can play a dual coaching – consulting role for the teams and assist in their work towards reaching the milestones. Ideally, the team will have one coach for the duration of its residence in the IDEA Programme.
The IDEA Programme will utilise its founding and strategic partners as well as mentors, coming from business, industry, finance, academia technical and consulting background and covering all aspects of business creation and development to each participating team. Mentors will play a guiding and facilitating role, meeting regularly with the teams to discuss the progress on the implementation of the business plans and providing consulting and recommendations for more specialised assistance (e.g. the need for specific training, specific services etc) within the network of the IDEA Programme partners.
Continuous guidance, feedback and monitoring by the IDEA Programme: The IDEA Programme team will hold regular meetings with the teams, both at accelerator and at incubator stage in order to review progress, identify issues that need attendance, provide feedback and monitor the milestones set during the programme to ensure their timely completion.
Cooperation with other Programme Teams
The teams in the IDEA programme are encouraged to cooperate between them and offer any kind of assistance to each other from brainstorming and pitching sessions to testing of each other’s product/service, to feedback and to resource sharing.
Specialised Consulting and Other Services
The IDEA Programme will provide pro bono consulting services to the participating teams as follows.
Accounting, tax and audit services: assistance in the establishment of the company, including accounting, tax, insurance and corporate law advice.
Human Resource management services: assistance in the recruitment, selection, development of human resources specifically suited to a start-up business.
Corporate identity, branding, marketing, advertisement and communication services: assistance in the creation, branding and promotion of the new venture corporate identity and the branding of their products and services.
International business and networking services: Consulting and support on solving all aspects of international business and assistance in finding potential customers, collaborators and partners abroad (Business to Business match making).
Legal and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) services: assistance and support in the process of the protection of the teams’ intangible assets such as patents, trademarks, copyrights etc within Cyprus, the European Union and internationally.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) services: provision of ICT assistance, support and software / hardware consulting to the IDEA Programme teams.
Individualised development of skills: Identification of the skills the team needs to have enhanced through the recommendation of their mentor and provision of tailor-made support and training for the enhancement and further development of the skills identified.
Financial advisory services & networking with investors: To inform the teams of various financial instruments, grants or competitions that can be utilised to cover some of the initial business operation costs. Also, through the IDEA Programme, the teams will be brought in touch with a network of investors (business angels or Venture capital firms) for possibility of funding their start-up with the IDEA Programme preparing the teams for investor pitching.
Funding: For the successful stage A teams entering stage B, €10,000 seed funding will be provided for the development of the start-up from the Bank of Cyprus in exchange of 5% equity, the equity going to a not-for-profit entity and any profits will be utilized towards the sustainability of the programme.
Deadline 15 February 2017