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Cyprus to host Google-backed accelerator, in boost to gaming and tech startups

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Google for Startups, NVO Lab, and GameDev Cyprus (GDCy) are gearing up for the launch of the LVLUP Accelerator, a dedicated programme aimed at supporting gaming companies in Cyprus, according to an announcement released on Wednesday.

The announcement, released by the Cypriot Ministry of Finance, stated that the LVLUP Accelerator programme is strategically designed to bolster new Cypriot gaming studios and startups, boosting their growth, while at the same time attracting new gaming companies to Cyprus.

In addition, participating companies will receive valuable assistance, including support for business development, access to an international network of gaming experts and consultants, as well as guidance for fundraising.

The Games Fund, GEM Capital, and Green Grey are named as partners in the venture, leveraging their extensive expertise in the gaming industry to support participants.

Moreover, the CYENS Centre of Excellence is also set to play a vital role in the endeavour, overseeing the augmented reality, virtual reality, and extended reality segment of the educational programme.

The announcement also explained that throughout the duration of the programme, selected teams will engage in online sessions and workshops with industry experts, collaborating with consultants from distinguished gaming companies, publishers, and investment programmes.

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The majority of the programme will take place online, with scheduled in-person events in Cyprus.

The accelerator partners include The Games Fund, GEM Capital, Green Grey, the CYENS Centre of Excellence, non-profit technology organisation Tech Island, and Borscht.

Applications for programme participation are being accepted until February 29, 2024.

The accelerator programme is scheduled to run from March to May, culminating in the LVLUP Accelerator Demo Day on May 31, hosted at the GDCy festival.

Vladislav Zdorenko, Managing Partner of NVO Capital and Founder of NVO lab, stated that over the past six years, more than 80 accelerator programmes for startups have been implemented across Eastern Europe.

“As a strategic move, we are expanding our knowledge and support to gaming companies in Cyprus who have the potential to grow,” he said.

“NVO Capital’s investment focus on entertainment provides us with the opportunity to identify companies for investments and collaborations,” Zdorenko added.

Tim Fadeev, Founder of GameDev Cyprus, also noted that the introduction of the LVLUP Accelerator represents a new avenue to maintain their commitment to the growth and progress of the gaming industry on the island.

Mariusz Gasiewski, CEE Mobile Gaming and Apps Lead at Google, said that gaming is an integral part of Google’s initiatives, and they are willing to support the development of ambitious gaming companies through collaboration and growth opportunities.

Finally, Ilya Eremeev, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of The Games Fund, highlighted that Cyprus is an emerging hub for gaming development and a key region for The Games Fund.

It should be noted that Google for Startups is a startup programme launched by Google in 2011.

The initiative consists of more than 50 co-working spaces and accelerators in 125 countries, and provides hands-on lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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