The IDEA Innovation Centre yesterday celebrated the graduation of seven start-ups. Armed with knowledge, experience and a toolkit for the future, the new start-ups continue their journey to realising their vision. The seven start-ups are: Lemon Labs, Wellretreat, Hegemonic Project, Kyamos Ltd, GenuIN, Ppissis.com.cy and Teembly.
Addressing the event in honour of IDEA’s new graduates, Dr Christakis Patsallides, Bank of Cyprus Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, stressed: “We have had the pleasure of witnessing IDEA grow from a small programme into an entire cluster of activities, a huge national and international network of partners and friends. IDEA has reached significant milestones, leading to its recognition as 2018 National Winner in the ‘Promoting the Entrepreneurial Spirit’ competition of the European Commission.”
Dr Patsallides called on business and academia alike to embrace the innovative activities of young people, so that Cyprus may firmly feature on the world map of innovation.
In his own address, Dr Charis Pouangare, Chairman of the Board of IDEA, referred to the development of the seven SMEs were created through the programme, and of the contribution by Bank of Cyprus and its partners in the whole endeavour through providing education, guidance, financing and networking opportunities.
Pouangare also highlighted the role of the Programme in promoting Cyprus internationally, stressing: “We are ambassadors for innovation, collaborating with 11 embassies in Cyprus and overseas.”
Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority, an event participant, made a presentation themed on ‘How to become an Executive Director and Founder of a start-up’, citing important information on various developments in the technological revolution era. Among others, he observed that “in 2020 you will be speaking more frequently to a chat bot than with your husband or wife; after watching television for only 500 hours, Google algorithms have learned to lip-read better than any human.”
For his part, Kyriacos Kokkinos, Chief Scientist of the Republic of Cyprus, spoke about the creation of a vibrant start-up community whose duty it is to tackle major social and economic challenges. “Be agile! Ready to alter your journey and still stay focused on your destination!” Mr Kokkinos went on to note that “our goal is the marry research with entrepreneurship. Research should yield concrete benefits for Cypriot society.”
Attending the event were the ambassadors of Israel, Italy, Portugal, permanent secretaries of ministries, department directors and others.