Startups4Peace 2018 Launch Event
Startups4Peace was officially launched for the fifth consecutive year on 7 June at the Goethe-Insitut in Nicosia. The Startups4Peace initiative supports young Cypriots with the knowledge and skills required to help them develop their idea into a business. The aim of the initiative is to bring together and to increase contacts between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot startup communities and to support young entrepreneurs.
The winners of Startups4Peace will have the opportunity to participate in SLUSH, one of Europe's largest startup events in Helsinki, Finland, on December 4-5, 2018.
The key contributors and partners of the initiative highlighted in their remarks the importance of the Startups4Peace initiative.
Mr. Timo Heino, Ambassador, Embassy of Finland, mentioned that “the program is part of Finland’s support towards the efforts for the solution to the Cyprus problem. Finland has been and remains very committed and in recent years we have been trying to be helpful offering our knowhow with startups. We very much hope that this program will increase dialogue and trust, paving the way for the better future for the island as re-united, bi-communal, bi-zonal federal Cyprus.” Mr. Ambassador welcomed “the arrival of the new heavy weight partner and contributor, the European Commission. It´s really good to have you on board, as your resources and insight will make a big difference in enhancing the output of the program, getting it rooted and building networks around it.” .
Mr. Arttu Makipaa, Head of Cooperation, EU Programme Support Office, officially announced the support of the European Commission to this year’s Startups4Peace program as part of their “aspiration to provide very tangible technical and financial support to entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers who are willing to turn an idea into action – into action which creates business income and jobs.” Mr. Makipaa added "We hope that this initiative brings greater interaction among the communities, and ultimately contributes to a very practical reconciliation."
Mr. Christodoulos Agastiniotis, President, of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Mr. Turgay Deniz, President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, important partners of the initiative from the very beginning highlighted the high importance of the program.
“The creation of a bi-communal startup ecosystem and of course the establishment of bi-communal startups that will bring together innovative youngsters from both communities before the solution, will prove to be of immense importance after the solution as well where trust, cooperation and common economic interest will be prerequisites as far as the viability of the solution is concerned,” Mr. Agkastiniotis pointed out.
“Both chambers have to work hard in order to decrease the level of economic disparities among both communities and should be committed to organize and initiate bi-communal activities for breaking barriers and biases on our economic cooperation. Our cooperation is a living example of the extended profits of a strategic cooperation between the two communities,” Mr. Deniz mentioned in his remarks.
Ms. Stavriana Kofteros, Head of Startup Cyprus, and Tunc Yalgin, on behalf of the organizers, shared the goals of the program and revealed the methods that will be taught in the Startups4Peace accelerator program in order the participants to turn their ideas into actual startups.
Information about the workshops, selection criteria and the weblink for submitting applications can be found on the project website (www.startups4peace.com). The deadline for entries is June 27 at midnight.