Call for startups across the divide

StartUps4Peace invites Cypriots from both side of the divide with innovative business ideas to join the competition.

“Applicants must be Cypriots. We are looking for startups with innovative business ideas with growth potential, incorporating vision and strategy for a united Cyprus,” the Home for Cooperation announced, adding that they are looking mainly for intercommunal projects but Cypriots with other projects may also apply.

The winners will have the opportunity to attend ‘Slush’, Europe’s leading startup event which takes place every year in Helsinki, Finland, in November and December. It attracts around 15,000 people from the world of business and technology seeking recognition and funding for their ideas.

The first Slush event was held in Helsinki in 2008. Six businessmen felt that there was not enough available risk capital investment in Finland. For this reason they invited other employers to attract international investment.

“Entrepreneurship is a great way to do things differently,” Ghita Wallin, responsible for marketing Slush said, “Slush and startups in Finland managed to change the mindset, creating growth in difficult economic times.”

“For small countries, such as Finland and Cyprus, the same logic applies. To become internationally attractive a country must first obtain a critical mass to attract the investors’ interest,” she said and added that cooperation is an important factor for international recognition.

In Finland those who participate in startups are mainly students and people who actively demonstrate their interest in the business world, Wallin explained. In Nicosia she expects to encounter a diverse audience that seeks to contribute to positive change through entrepreneurship and who are prepared to see Cyprus as a whole.

Interested parties may submit an application for participation until August 31 via email. Application forms will be available on the Finnish Embassy website at http://www.finland.org.cy/Public/Default.aspx

For any questions contact Hanna Verkko at hanna.verkko@formin.fi, Tel: 99 381589

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