Nicosia, July 15 2013 – Chrysalis LEAP, a brand new initiative aiming to help aspiring entrepreneurs transform their ideas into marketable businesses is opening its application period from July 15-30.
This is Cyprus’ first accelerator platform and it aims to provide participating start-up teams with the knowledge, network, and mentorship needed to be able to pitch their ideas to investors. It is a rigorous four-month program, designed by a group comprised of entrepreneurs, academics, and private sector professionals for the purpose of boosting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cyprus.
“We wholeheartedly believe that entrepreneurship will have an important role to play in restarting our economy in Cyprus. We need to support our local talent and shift the balance of our country’s GDP onto local businesses if we are to be sustainable in the long run” says Marina Theodotou, co-founder of Chrysalis LEAP, economist, and author of the recently published study titled “Cyprus Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: A Roadmap for Economic Growth”.
Dr. Alexandros Charalambides, founder of Chrysalis LEAP and professor at the Cyprus University of Technology clarified that “Accelerators are a much needed step between business plan competitions and incubators. Our aim is to connect entrepreneurs with investors, only after they have been rigorously trained and their business models refined to investor’s standards.”
Teams, of minimum two members, with ideas in the fields of Sustainable Development and Clean Tech will be able to participate free of charge in a program designed to bridge the gap between brilliant ideas and investment-ready businesses. Following the close of the application period, accepted teams will be admitted to the program which will begin in September with two intense weekends of highly specialised workshops, closing with a final pitch to a panel of industry experts who will select five teams to advance to the second phase.
During October and November these five teams will be matched with mentors who will continue to assist them in refining their ideas and prototypes. A final event will be held in December at which teams will pitch their final business models to a group of investors both from Cyprus and abroad.
“It’s not everyday that you get a chance to pitch an idea to a group of investors” says Paris Thomas, co-founder of Chrysalis LEAP and professional pitching coach for the teams. “Chrysalis LEAP provides aspiring entrepreneurs with the way to prepare for this once in a lifetime opportunity in the hopes that they will impress someone to give them the support and capital they need to take their idea to the next level.”
At the moment Chrysalis LEAP is entirely funded by its founders and is actively seeking sponsors who wish to be associated with the accelerator. Much like accelerators in other countries, the ongoing operations of Chrysalis LEAP will be funded through a combination of sponsorships and equity or finder’s fee collected from investors who have found an interest in any of the graduating teams.
For more information and to apply, contact us here.