IATI CEO meets with Cyprus Entrepreneurship Ecosystem playersNov. 14, 2012
KPMG Cyprus and Curveball Ltd hosted IATI CEO Karin Mayer Rubinstein for a productive day trip in Cyprus to discuss best practices Israel, the world-class performer on building a fostering entrepreneurship ecosystems. The visit culminated with Ms. Rubinstein giving a keynote speech during the launch of a ground breaking new study, examining the current situation and carving a roadmap to organic growth is released titled Cyprus Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: A roadmap to growth.
Compiled by economist and entrepreneur Marina Theodotou of Curveball Ltd, an independent economic intelligence consultancy, with sponsorship from KPMG in Cyprus and Cyproman Services Ltd, completed the study tackling the challenges and highlights the opportunities and drafting a roadmap to nurture the entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Cyprus. The study sets a key milestone in this journey: to take a Cypriot start-up to an IPO and ring the opening bell at NASDAQ in 2020. The roadmap outlines the steps Cyprus can take in the next eight years to get there.
In particular, the study defines and highlights the key stakeholders and drivers of entrepreneurship ecosystems and VC activity, identifies key best practices from the peer country group (Denmark, Estonia, Ireland and world class performer, Israel) including specific tax incentives for angel investors and start-ups, such as a adaptation of the Angel Law, to foster the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Cyprus in line with the EU Single Market Act and EU2020 goals.
“For us the study is the first important step in assessing the current situation in entrepreneurship in Cyprus and we hope it becomes a catalyst to innovative thinking outside the barriers within our small country,” says Christophoros Anayiotos Board Member and Head of Transactions & Restructuring advisory at KPMG in Cyprus.
Speaking about the findings of the study, its author, Marina Theodotou explains: “There are several key components of an entrepreneurial ecosystem including the legal and regulatory framework, culture, finance, human capital, voice of the industry and access to customers and markets. Cyprus currently trails behind in several components but also has many ingredients that can be leveraged into significant opportunities to increase risk appetite, spur innovation, provide access to finance through venture capital and private equity funds and articulate success stories that resonate with key opinion leaders, angel investors and venture capitalists locally and globally”.
An entrepreneurship ecosystem can help close this gap by fostering innovation, start-ups, access to new customers and markets and job creation. Despite all odds and amidst the dire financial crisis, there are signs of nascent grass roots entrepreneurial activity with disruptive innovation tech start-ups, hackathons, meet-ups and a start-up accelerator, all of which are sprouting fast in Cyprus. “ Undeniably, a country’s future hinges on its ability to nurture its most valuable resource: its people” says Costas Christophorou, General Manager of Cyproman Services Ltd. In order to work however, all of these initiatives need support including mentoring, funding and a supportive legal framework and a strong voice of the industry.