( MENAFN - Editorial ) (15 September) A competition to attract global startups to help grow Cyprus''s tech ecosystem has attracted more than 300 applicants. The first ever Reflect Impact Awards aim to highlight companies that have a ''''noble purpose and a goal to help humanity''''. The winning startup wins an acceleration boost, including access to partners in government, universities, investors and other private companies, and exposure in local and foreign media.
Applications have come from Egypt (19), India (17), Nigeria (29), Pakistan (17), Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Kenya (7 each) and the United Kingdom and US (both 15). Other applications have come from Singapore, India, Tunisia, Finland, Netherlands, South Africa, Costa Rica, Jordan, Portugal, Palestinian Territory, Sweden, Ghana, Lebanon, Oman, UAE, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Estonia, Malaysia, Tanzania, Uganda, Spain, Bahrain, Serbia, Taiwan and Luxembourg.
Entries include innovation in agriculture, logistics, finance, automotive, fashion, transportation, software development, robotics, e-commerce, banking, manufacturing and film production. A shortlist of the top 10 entries will be announced this week (September 18)
Stylianos Lambrou, co-founder of Reflect Festival, said: "Our wildest expectations have already been exceeded. We are thrilled to associate Reflect with those startups which relentlessly work on innovative solutions that help build a better new normal."
"The home of Reflect, Cyprus, is booming with incentives and opportunities for businesses, and we are happy to shed some light on those companies which truly deserve it.''''
The Reflect Impact Awards are part of the annual Reflect Festival, which takes place over three days from October 8th digitally, with a vision to promote Cyprus''''''s massive potential for business activities and expansion. The Reflect Impact Awards is a pivotal part of the programme, with the aim of opening Cyprus to hundreds of startups worldwide and building Cyprus''s innovation ecosystem that will continuously embrace development in all its manifestations and become a pillar of sustainable growth. The Festival is supported by Invest Cyprus, the national investment promotion agency, and the Research and Innovation Foundation of Cyprus.
George Campanellas, CEO of Invest Cyprus, said: ''''This is an exciting opportunity for startups and for the broader tech sector on the island, which is already helping to transform business operations across Europe and beyond. With the global pandemic accelerating digital adoption globally, our focus is on providing a new generation of tech-savvy entrepreneurs with a safe and business friendly environment where they can grow their businesses and respond to evolving demand for new technologies.''''
Startups no older than five years, which have not raised more than 500.000 EUR, are eligible and their product/solution must demonstrate serve a global audience and must be able to provide a positive impact on the world. The awards are now closed for entry.
The shortlisted companies will have an opportunity to attend an exclusive pitching workshop with a respected investor, followed by a pitching competition during Reflect Festival on October 8th.
Now in its third year, Reflect is the largest event of its kind in the region, bringing together businesses, corporates, startups, academia, entrepreneurs, students, and tech and science enthusiasts, both local and international.
The event will be attended by 40+ speakers, including Claude Silver, the world''s first Chief Heart Officer, Yossi Vardi, one of Israel''''''s first high-tech entrepreneurs, Bryony Cole, the world''s leading authority on sextech and future of sex, Petr Ludwig, the author of the bestseller The End of Procrastination, Christian Maats, designer of the world''s first fully biodegradable shoes and Mona Ataya, CEO&Founder of Mumzworld.
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