Two years ago, CyRIC – Cyprus Research & Innovation Center (www.cyric.eu), had envisioned an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cyprus, which would foster collaboration over competition. It would finally push beyond the limits and break the traditional barriers and entrepreneurship limitations across the island. Step one was to test and prove that CyRIC can achieve such high standards and then support others.
CyRIC team started blending-in the newly established ecosystem, attending events and competitions. Our interaction with the ecosystem allowed us to meet with aspiring young entrepreneurs, who then propelled our first resident startups; iResTech, Capsule Skateboards, RiseTech Media, Pitch60, SoilTron and recently Tracar. This process was for us a chance to learn what a startup needs, apply it and test it. We are now confident and knowledgeable enough to offer professional support to start-ups, help them develop and succeed.
Our work with the local startups as well as our innovation services to local and European SMEs allowed us to become the first EU Business Innovation Center (EU|BIC) certified by the European Business Network (EBN) in Cyprus. Proving ourselves that we had the capacity to be granted the certification of a BIC, our role had a meaning on a national scale. This, is when Gravity Ventures (www.gravity.ventures) was born.
Gravity is the outcome of endless hours of meetings, intense conversations and sacrifices still due. However, we all share the same vision, the same goals and the same passion. We love working with aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups, we love building new ventures, but most of all, we love helping them to create the future.
Our previous experience had shown that Cyprus is a pool of highly educated people, with the majority trying to create a business but most of the times failing. Lots of competitions, events, winners, but then… nothing. Startups were left with a prize and no options to proceed further and progress. It was clearly obvious that steps had been made forward, but were not enough. The need for something more disruptive was bold and clear, something which was not just a “fly-by”, something that would stay with startups for the long haul and help them grow. So, what started as a CyRIC side-project activity -equipped with all this deep technical and problem solving expertise with years of extensive and high demanding R&D, took a formal shape and gave birth to Gravity, the Startups’ and Entrepreneurs’ Centre of Gravity in Cyprus.
What makes Gravity unique in our eyes, is that is backed with an extensive experience and expertise in deep Research, Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial issues which is the perfect match and combination to a business and Venture Building philosophy. Our aim is to provide targeted, hands-on support to local and international startups towards establishing their business, developing their products and successfully accessing the market. We want to launch meaningful business with founders driven by purpose and passion.
One of our offerings in Gravity’s start-up package, is to promote our startups and equip them with valuable experiences in highly prestigious international events. In those events, startups can gain traction, showcase their prototypes, get accumulated feedback, and of course grasp these experiences and use them as a stepping stone for the next step which would be either investments, funding, networking or access to market.
The WebSummit 2016 Experience
Before even officially launching Gravity, our team accompanied by our first 5 startups attended WebSummit in November 2016. All the startups had been working hard to present their products at their exhibition booth, showcase their products and services, discuss with investors and potential partners regarding their offerings and funding needs.
Our presence at the Websummit was a real blast! Our startup SoilTron made it to the finals!! Filtered among 1000 startups down to 200, then passed to the 33, followed by another battle to 11, finally made it to the final 3! We may not have got the first place at the end, but this has set the expectations quite high, not just for Gravity, but for the Cypriot startup scene!
Our enthusiasm and passion is constantly evolving and we want more, this was just the beginning.