The emerging start-up scene in Cyprus is steadily developing into an important start-up, innovation and entrepreneurship hub in the Eastern Mediterranean. Whether it is access to markets or talent, low cost or ease of establishing and growing a business, Cyprus is ideal for starting and scaling up, as well as attracting investment.

The Cyprus Government also attempts to substantially enhance innovation and the start-up ecosystem, through the presence of a Chief Scientist to advocate for research and innovation in Cyprus and targeted funding opportunities of the Research and Innovation Foundation, such as that aimed at start-ups with an international orientation. Support for aspiring entrepreneurs has also grown significantly, with various incubators and accelerators established in the past decade with the backing of large national and international organisations.

Cyprus Start-Up Scene

Supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs with innovative ideas in their early stages of development is vital for any ecosystem. Over the past few years, a multitude of incubators and accelerators have been founded with the aim of offering programmes to support start-ups in their various stages of development and growth. Start-ups taking part in these programmes benefit from legal, accounting and marketing support, in addition to networking opportunities and access to investors. Some programmes also offer seed capital in return for a small equity in the start-up. Incubators and accelerators have been initiated or supported by various large Cypriot and international companies, such as the Bank of Cyprus and Deloitte. The main incubators and accelerators in Cyprus are briefly outlined below.

IDEA Innovation Centre was founded in 2015 and is partners with the Bank of Cyprus, CYTA and Deloitte. It offers start-ups a 9-month programme where they are given the opportunity to develop their Minimum Viable Product, a Go-to-market strategy, access to angel investors and €12,000 of seed capital in return for equity.

ARIS was founded by Deloitte and the Bank of Cyprus in 2018. Its acceleration programme, designed and curated by Deloitte’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, gives start-ups a roadmap to design, test and launch their product. It prioritises B2B start-ups in the fields of renewable energy, shipping and fintech.

Gravity is a venture building incubator founded in 2016 by CyRIC, the only certified Business Innovation Centre in Cyprus. Gravity is also a member of Business Angels Europe and has a partnership with FastCapital, a Dubai based online incubator/accelerator. During a star-up’s incubation, Gravity supports with idea validation, business modelling, testing, commercialisation, product design, Intellectual Property, funding and networking.

Chrysalis LEAP was founded in 2012 with the aim of brining cleantech ideas to market. It’s partners with PWC and EIT Climate-KIC, an EU climate innovation initiative. It runs Stage 2 and 3 of the EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator programme in Cyprus, which covers the expenses of meeting potential customers, partners, and investors. Additionally, Chrysalis is the official organiser of the Climate Launchpad for green business ideas.

Kinisis Ventures is an accelerator founded in 2018 aiming to support Cypriot companies with the objective of expanding them in the US.

European Startup Universe is a 6 week pre-accelerator program aiming to connect startups with european angel investors.

Cypriot start-ups, as well as established businesses, enjoy a substantial network of institutions and associations focused on promoting Cyprus as an investment destination, providing start-ups with the necessary support to grow, and promoting the commercialisation of Cypriot research and innovation. The government’s investment authority, Invest Cyprus, collaborates with public and private entities to attract international business and foreign direct investment, assisted by their cooperation with the Cyprus International Business Association, which promotes the interests of international businesses based in Cyprus. Domestically, investment is also encouraged through the efforts of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association, which promotes the domestic investment fund sector, and the Cyprus Business Angels Network, an angel investment network connecting innovative and fast-growing companies to smart equity finance.

The start-up ecosystem benefits from the efforts of entities such as Startup Cyprus, an ecosystem entity that connects start-ups to international start-up hubs, VCs, accelerators, and incubators, along with fostering a local entrepreneurial culture. Furthermore, Cyprus Seeds, a non-profit organisation, aims to assist the commercialisation of innovative academic research by funding research in technology with market potential to reduce the risk for investors. With a focus on developing closer bi-communal relations through entrepreneurship, CyprusInno, a non-profit organisation based in the buffer zone in central Nicosia, seeks to assist Cypriot entrepreneurs from both communities by organising events, bootcamps, workshops and mentorship programmes. 

TechIsland was formed in 2021, has over 130 company members and aims to promote and accelerate the growth of technology and the innovation ecosystem in Cyprus. Some of its key objectives include to focus on the development of SMEs, strengthening venture capital & angle investing infrastructure as well as help transform traditional industries.

Cypriot universities play a vital role in research and innovation, while at the same time nurturing an entrepreneurial culture through programmes and initiatives that operate on their campuses. Such programmes aim not only to conduct research in important areas, but also to seek ways in which the innovation produced by this research can be applied to industry. Additionally, the promotion and development of an entrepreneurial culture is addressed in many of these undertakings. The main programmes and initiatives are outlined below, sorted by university.

University of Cyprus

Centre for Entrepreneurship assists the University community to take innovative and original ideas, within the campus, to the market.

KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence is a research and innovation centre on Information and Communication Technologies with an emphasis on critical infrastructures such as electricity, water and telecommunications.

NIREAS - International Water Research Center focuses on the sustainable use of water resources and better management of ecosystems. 

CYENS is supported by various bodies, such as, the European Commission and the Republic of Cyprus and aims to support the development of a business and innovation cluster in Nicosia. aspires to develop front-line research on human genetic diseases and genomics and offer better prospects for diagnosis, prevention and therapy, in the framework of precision medicine.

University of Nicosia

Institute For the Future is a research centre that seeks to advance emerging technologies and help to apply them to industry, government and education.

Decentralized, part of the Institute For the Future, strives to build a community in the area of digital currency and Blockchain technology.

Defence and Security Research Institute’s (DSRI) mission is to undertake research and training activities on defence and security in collaboration with partners in government, industry, and other academic and research centres nationally and internationally.

University of Nicosia Foundation (UNRF) was established in order to provide an independent platform for researchers in Cyprus with a mission to inspire and to promote knowledge, innovation and development through cutting-edge research.

European University of Cyprus

Start-Up Center powered by Microsoft serves as a source of funding and support fostering partnerships between entrepreneurs and initiators in the broader region and is open to students, faculty, researchers, IT professionals and investors.

CERIDES focuses on the development, use, and evaluation of quantitative and qualitative methods to measure, assess, manage, and communicate risk, and to analyze, design, and implement decision-making mechanisms and systems. They mainly concentrate in areas such as security, safety, cybersecurity and telecommunications.

Performance Enterprise Accelerator & Knowledge is an innovation centre that aims to research, support and accelerate efforts of entrepreneurship, business innovation and knowledge transfer.

Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK)

Robotics, Control, and Decision Systems (RCDS) laboratory conducts research, technology development, innovation and commercialisation activities and have developed externally funded activities worth more than €26m.

Archimedes Solar Energy Laboratory (ASEL) is a research lab that deals with research in all areas related to the exploitation of solar energy.

Biomechanics and Living Systems Analysis (BioLISYS) lab is a research group that combines engineering, biology and medicine to provide solutions to clinical problems associated with cardiovascular, cancer and other diseases.

Nano/Micro Mechanics of Materials Laboratory utilizes and develops advanced experimental and computational micro- and nano-mechanical tools for materials explorations.

Device Technology & Chemical Physics Lab (DEVTECH & CP) focuses on the processing of materials, elucidation of process mechanisms as well as engineering of optoelectronic and photonic device architectures.

Eratosthenes CoE conducts both basic and applied research towards improved understanding, management, and monitoring of natural resources and infrastructures.

Open University of Cyprus

Cybersecurity and Telecommunications Research Lab (CTRL) carries out cross layer R&D and training activities, in selected areas in the field of Cyber Security, Telecommunication Networks and Systems, and related security applications.

Cyprus Center for Algorithmic Transparency (CyCAT) aims to promote digital literacy through raising citizens’ awareness of the ways in which data analytics and algorithmic processes affect their access to information and opportunities

Terrestrial Ecosystems Management’s (TemLab)work is based on traditional approaches to ecosystem management coupled with landscape ecology principles, namely the importance of spatial configuration of ecological processes and the emphasis on larger spatial extents.

Research centres, companies and event organisers are key players in the development of Cyprus’s start-up and innovation ecosystem, by supporting incubators and accelerators, conducting vital research projects, hosting relevant events, as well as offering services relevant to start-ups and foreign investors. The major players supporting the ecosystem are outlined below.

Research Centres & Innovative Enterprises

Cyprus Marine and Maritime Institute (CMMI) vision is to drive sustainable Blue Growth by addressing the needs of industry and society within the spectrum of the marine and maritime sectors.

AI Zerocaliberoffers services for product development and embedded systems.

Cognitive UX is a research-driven company aiming to revolutionize the development and integration of human-centered cybersecurity systems.

CYRIC offers Research and Innovation Services for its customers in the fields of engineering design and prototyping, electronics and communications, software solutions, as well as specialised consultancy and entrepreneurship services for startups and SMEs.

EMTECHis a group of SME companies interested in research and development for innovative products and high-tech services.

GeoImaging offers scientific and professional solutions in geo-informatics and IT, participates in research and development (R&D) programs in EU and national funded project and provides consultation services.

The Cyprus Institute is a non-profit research and educational institution with a strong scientific and technological orientation. It addresses issues of regional interest but of global significance, with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary research and international collaborations.

ADITESS is a scientific consulting and research company strategically bridging the fields of academia, industry and government, providing benefits in the form of research and emerging products.

Eight Bells (8BELLS) is an independent research and consulting company specializing in selected parts of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as well as in modelling and analysis for businesses in Cyprus and Greece.

PHOEBE Research and Innovations deals with the design, development and realization of cloud-based solutions to help system operators and consumers enhance efficiency, security and quality of their services.


PWC cooperates with Chrysalis LEAP’s programme and organises, with the University of Cyprus and its Centre for Entrepreneurship, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum. It has also launched its Scale Up programme to accelerate start-ups’ growth.

Deloitte Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre funds and curates ARIS’s start-up programme.

Bank of Cyprus is partners with IDEA Innovation Centre and provides €12,000 in seed capital for its programme.

CYTA’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre organizes and supports various initiatives, competitions and events, such as hackathons and start-up bootcamps for young entrepreneurs.

KPMG Startups has been established to form a reliable and solid base which will assist in the development of new business ideas in Cyprus, helping entrepreneurs transform their startup into a successful business.


Conquest Business Advisors (CBA) is a Nicosia based business consultancy firm which offers services in the field of European and co-funded projects with a focus in the fields of tourism and sustainable development.

MAP Innovation is a digital strategy boutique and works with large corporations, SMES, start-ups, venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators, academic and research institutions, as well as technology brokers.

RTD Talos offers its supportive services to promote innovation, technology transfer, opportunities for financing and assist in the utilisation of development programs.

Navigator Consulting Group is an international consultancy, based in Limassol, specialising in business development and economic transformation in the changing global economy.

Shanda Consult is an international consulting firm, based in Nicosia, which offers an integrated range of business advisory services designed to facilitate and initiate cross-border industrial investments.

Dedicated Events & Media Outlets

Startup Grind Cyprus, part of the international startup community Startup Grind, hosts various events to bring together entrepreneurs, startups and investors in Cyprus.

EcoX Cyprus organises online and in-person meetups relevant to startups, fintech, crypto, investments and blockchain.

Reflect Festival is an annual tech festival attracting entrepreneurs, startups, students, thinkers and corporations from the Middle East and Europe.

IMH is a Corporate Events and Media organization operating in the Knowledge and Information Economy. It provides products and services based on content, intelligence and connections to specialist audiences. IMH hosts annual events such as the Limassol Economic Forum.

Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies (IMET 2022), CYENS Centre of Excellence’s flagship conference, is dedicated to the exploration of current practices in the use of emerging and interactive technologies.

Nicosia², organised by CYENS Techhub, aims to accelerate and support promising teams with hands on training in business modelling, service design, project management and finance as well as provide coaching throughout the entire 3-month accelerator program to help convert ideas into business proposals.

Blockchain Fest is one of the most interactive hybrid European events on blockchain, exchanges, cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance (defi), NFTs, mining, gaming and gambling, online payments and investment.

Decentralized is organized by the University of Nicosia as a learning conference on blockchain and digital currencies.

Future Talks is a Greek language innovation and startup focused chatshow hosted by Michael Tyrimos and includes discussions with entrepreneurs, ecosystem stakeholders, innovators and startup founders.

Gold Magazine is an English language business magazine focused on Cypriot business developments, startups, innovation, related events as well as including interviews with key individuals of the overall business ecosystem.

Brief is an online news outlet in Greek focusing on the Cypriot economy, innovation, tech news, entrepreneurship and startups.

The Cyprus Government places emphasis and has increased its capacity to promote research and innovation through several new initiatives, ministries and departments. The Government’s research and innovation strategy is supported/implemented through the National Research and Innovation Governance System, which has led to the establishment of the National Board for Research and Innovation, the position of  the Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation and setting up of the Committee of Ministry Research and Innovation Coordinators. To approach research and innovation issues in a more integrated and comprehensive manner, in March 2020, the Deputy Ministry for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy was formed. Outlined below are the main government bodies involved in research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and start-ups.

Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Strategy’s mission is to support scientific research and the implementation of a digital transformation in Cyprus. In addition, it issues Certificates of Innovative Enterprises, part of the Deputy Ministry’s Research and Development initiative. The Deputy Ministry consists of:

  • Department of Information Technology Services, responsible for matters concerning the promotion and application of information technology and e-government in the public sector
  • Department of Electronic Communications, aims to digitally transform Cyprus with the support and promotion of Information and Communication Technology
  • Directorate for Research & Innovation, promotes scientific excellence and innovative entrepreneurship, while also responsible for R&I-related strategy issues at national, European and international level
  • Directorate of Digital Policy and Technology will design and implement strategies and policies aiming to digitally transform the state, society and economy of Cyprus.

Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation aims to create a favourable environment for research and innovate entrepreneurs by facilitating institutional and regulatory framework conditions, provide support tools to set up and expand research and innovation activity and increasing availability of funding sources for innovative enterprises at all stages, including start-ups, scale-ups and established enterprises.

Cyprus Entrepreneurship Fund, managed by the Ministry of Finance, was established to support and enhance SMEs’ access to finance. Its funds are financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and managed by the European Investment Fund (EIF).

Cyprus Equity Fund, is a new Fund, focused on startups and innovative firms that is expected to be launched by the Ministry of Finance in 2022

Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) is the national authority in charge of supporting and promoting research, technological development and innovation in Cyprus. Projects funded by the foundation include areas of innovative start-ups and products with an international orientation and green innovation. Projects funded by the RIF can be found below by industry.