After a year of training, coaching, mentoring and consulting by the IDEA Programme and its supporters and hard work by the IDEA teams, the first cycle of the IDEA program, co-founded by CIIM and the Bank of Cyprus, successfully came to an end. On Wednesday, the 8th of February 2017, the 1st Graduation Ceremony took place at the Andreas Patsalides Hall at the Bank of Cyprus Foundation, Phaneromeni. His excellency the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Nikos Anastasiades addressed the participants and presented the diplomas to the teams. Short speeches were given by Angela Panayiotou, the IDEA programme manager, Dr Charis Pouangare, Director of Consumer & SME Banking of the Bank of Cyprus, Dr Theodore Panayotou, Director of CIIM and Mr John Hourican, CEO of the bank of Cyprus. The former President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr George Vassiliou, the former European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Mrs Androulla Vassiliou and other officials honoured the IDEA Programme with their presence.

The four recently graduated IDEA teams are the following:

·         Materics:

Professionals in the construction industry who are responsible for selecting and specifying materials for their projects are facing a real problem. Information on materials is scattered, unstructured, and difficult to find and compare. This information exists in brochures they all have in a physical or digital library, or around the web in inconsistent formats resulting in them wasting their time.

Materics provides design professionals access to a specialized all-round digital platform facilitating material research and decision making. It is an online research platform that assists on one side architects, interior designers, civil engineers and contractors to research construction materials in the local market, and on the other side material providers to connect with them, promote their products and generate leads. The use of the system is designed to be streamlined and easy. The users type in what they are looking for, the system analyses their profile (profession, location, etc) and compiles a list of available products from resources in the database. Materics arrives at a moment where intelligent decisions are essential, whether they are directed towards reducing cost or new greener considerations about the ever evolving construction technology.

·         Bandster: is a management and collaboration tool for performing artists that work with one or more groups and hence depend on each other’s availability for putting events together. Features include ultra-networked calendars, instant band availability, 1-click group notifications, transparent group finances and file-sharing

·         iCheers:

i-Cheers is an application that gives everyone the ability to send real drinks to their friends, anywhere around the world at their favorite I-Cheers bar, or, even request for drinks from their friends!
Bars can now end real drinks to their customers in order to promote an event, thank their customers or attract targeted customers on a slow night.So, whenever someone wants to impress, flirt or congratulate his/her friends with a drink, iCheers is here to help!

·         Prediti:

Prediti is a purchase decision making tool that inspires consumer’s purchases with the help of a highly sophisticated algorithm that analyses consumers’ purchase behavior. Hence it enables brands to set offline marketing campaigns just like they do online and provides retailers cutting edge in-store analytics.

Further to the 12-month training, guidance and support from distinguished field experts, the start-ups received visibility and the amount of €10,000 by the Bank of Cyprus.

CIIM, through its Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre, ENTICE, led the design and development of the IDEA Programme and the design and coordination of the IDEA Programme Accelerator training, involving CIIM faculty and staff in the training and coaching of the IDEA teams. CIIM is involved in the IDEA Programme management through its participation in the IDEA Programme steering committee.

It is also worth noting that two out of the four graduating teams, Materics and i-cheers, are co-founded by CIIM students and alumni.

Photographs from the ceremony below: