TechIsland says government needs to ensure startups get investment
TechIsland, an NGO representing 137 Cyprus-based technology companies, announced on Thursday that its member company Embio Diagnostics has entered an agreement with Asbis Group, aiming to accelerate growth and facilitate penetration in new foreign markets.
The deal was first revealed in December, with Embio saying at the time it had successfully raised €1m in seed funding from Asbis, which, beyond aiding distribution, would also allow it to hire engineering talent.
Embio Diagnostics created a proprietary piece of technology called a BELD (Bio Electric Diagnostics) device, as well as related algorithms and software, which it uses to quickly detect bacteria and other dangerous chemicals in food categories such as dairy and leafy greens.
“As announced, we are open to interesting investments that fit into our innovative DNA,” CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors Asbis Enterprises Siarhei Kostevitch said.
“We invest in the development of very innovative technologies that meet the current global needs – fast and effective SARS-COV-2 diagnostics as well as food and environmental safety,” he added, explaining that the introduction of these innovative devices to Asbis’ distribution channels will help Embio Diagnostics achieve global success.
“We are delighted that a strategic investor and an innovator such as Asbis is supporting us with their multilevel resources,” Embio Diagnostics Constantinos Loizou said.
“The extensive geographical presence of Asbis and sales structures in 56 countries around the world, will enable us to commercialise our devices and scale faster,” Constantinou added.
TechIsland said that Asbis’ investment showcases the potential of Cypriot companies and the support they can receive from major Cyprus-based organisations.
Earlier this year, TechIsland also launched a working group aiming to address the needs of the Cypriot startup ecosystem.
The working group identified two key issues that need tackling, including the complexity of doing business in Cyprus, as well as the difficulty of garnering funds during the early stages of a startup’s operation.
“We strongly believe that a privately managed fund investing in startups, partly funded by the Government, as already seen in many other European countries, will be a significant step forward,” working group chairman Marios Demetriades said.
“All in all, we need to involve the private sector as much as possible in the process of assessing startups for funding,” he added, stressing that it is important to create business angel networks and give access to startups to institutional investors with the prerequisite expertise.
TechIsland said that it is keen to work with the government in order to make sure that the necessary resources find their way to innovative companies in an effective and efficient manner.
“We believe that the private and public sector will need to find better methods of cooperation and that large enterprises should lend a helping hand to businesses viable for scaling up,” TechIsland board member Angelos Gregoriades said.
“We believe a huge shift is necessary when it comes to the culture: young graduates need to become more entrepreneurial and feel supported when doing so,” he added.