The Centre for Entrepreneurship (C4E) of the University of Cyprus and The Hellenic Initiative (THI) announce the organization of the 2017 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum for the commercialization of innovative research and technology startups (IEF2017). The event is being supported by the MIT Enterprise Forum Greece (MITEF Greece) , PwC Cyprus and the USA embassy in Cyprus.

IEF2017 will take place at the University of Cyprus on the 28th of November 2017.

IEF2017 will bring together Cypriot researchers and Cypriot start-ups with world experts and leading minds in innovation, successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from the USA and Europe.


  • Showcase cutting-edge university research in Cyprus which has the potential to be commercialized and launch as a startup.

  • Present successful examples of mature technology startups from Cyprus and the region.

  • Connect university researchers with expatriate innovation leaders and successful entrepreneurs from Cyprus and abroad.

  • Stimulate partnerships between the researchers and respected venture investors from the USA, Europe and the region.

  • Provide opportunities for sharing experiences and know how on best practices in research commercialization through structured and unstructured networking.


Competition Track Winners:

1st Level 5

2nd AJMmed-i-caps

3rd AMDM

  • [2017-12-21] Website Update:
    Videos, slides and extra material from the day of the event are now available at the Forum section.

  • [2017-11-23] Panel Of Judges Update:
    Mr Evgenios Evgeniou will not be participating in the panel of judges. Instead, Mr Petros Maroudias will take his place.

  • [2017-11-17] Announcement:
    Instructions for the Research Capacity Exhibition are available here and for the Competition Track are available here.

  • [2017-11-07] Announcement:
    Details about the Research Capacity Track exhibition and the Pitching Competition teams are published here.

  • [2017-11-07] IEF2017 Agenda:
    The 3 rd Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum's agenda is now published here.

  • [2017-10-31] Workshop on November 06:
    "Key Financial Principles". More information here.

  • [2017-10-25] Announcement:
    Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ms Marina Hatsopoulos will not be able to travel to Cyprus for the Forum. Consequently, she will not participate in the panel of judges of the pitching competition during the Forum.

  • [2017-10-06] Workshop on October 23:
    "Product-Market Fit: Identifying if the market is ready for you".
    More information here.

  • [2017-10-06] Workshops on October 23-25:
    "Pitching Preparation & Practice ". More information here.

  • [2017-09-28] Workshop on October 04:
    "The Innovators' Compass: Developing powerful, portable Design Thinking".
    More information here.

  • [2017-09-25] Submission Deadlines Update:
    Submission deadlines for all tracks have been extended to 09 October.

  • [2017-09-21] FAQ:
    Frequently asked questions can be found on the FAQ section.

  • [2017-09-18] Competition Track Eligibility Criteria Update:
    Companies do NOT have to be incorporated less than 3 years ago. More information about the Competition Track are available here.

  • [2017-09-06] Competition Track:
    Information, Guidelines and the Competition Track Form are available here. For the Competition Track Form only, click here.

  • [2017-09-06] Research Capacity Track:
    Information, Guidelines and the Research Capacity Track Form are available here. For the Research Capacity Track Form only, click here.

  • [2017-09-06] Student Track:
    Information, Guidelines and the Student Track Form are available here. For the Student Track Form only, click here.

  • [2017-09-05] Leon Sandler Presentation:
    "Technological Innovation- commercializing university technologies for impact. The experience of the MIT Deshpande Center". Click here for the abstract.

  • [2017-09-05] Panel Of Judges:
    Have you met the Forum's judges yet? Just head over to the Judges' section here and learn more about them!









09:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Research Capacity Exhibition *

10:00 AM


10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Opening Remarks

11:00 AM - 11:20 AM

Keynote Speech by Mr. Leon Sandler - Executive Director, MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation

"Commercialization research: Why it matters; What is its impact & the MIT experience?"

11:20 AM - 12:30 PM

Pitching Competition

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Networking Break

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

5' Q & A for the best 5 start-ups

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Networking Session and Lunch


03:00 PM - 03:15 PM

Announcement of Competition Track winners

03:15 PM - 03:45 PM

Speeches by:

Mr. Herbert Chen - Vice Dean, TusPark Tsinghua University

"Why China needs a Science Park?"

Ms Anna Protopapa - President and CEO of Mersana Therapeutics

"Learning from two decades in Biotech"

03:45 PM - 04:30 PM


Topic: Key factors for successful commercialization

Panelists: Evgenios C Evgeniou - CEO PwC Cyprus (Moderator), Leon Sandler, Herbert Chen, Anna Protopapa, Marios Dikaiakos - Director C4E

* The research capacity exhibition will be open to the public from 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM




C4E is happy to announce the 10 teams who have been selected to participate in the Final Pitching Competition of the 3 rd Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF2017) to take place on the 28 th November at the University of Cyprus.

The following teams were selected among a total of 30 who applied to the Competition Call of the IEF2017:

The IEF2017 attracted 30 very worthy applications from Cypriot start-ups based in Cyprus, the UK, Dubai and Greece. Of the 30 applications received, 10 were from the academic research communities of Cyprus and 20 from the Cyprus start-up community.

Participating teams needed to satisfy a number of criteria in order to be eligible to participate in the Competition Track of the IEF2017. In particular, participating teams had to be companies incorporated in Cyprus or, if not incorporated in Cyprus, more than 50% of the founding members should have been Cypriot nationals. Each team had to have a minimum of two members and team members had to be at least 18 years old.

The ten finalists will compete for awards, both monetary and non-monetary. See the Prizes section for more details on the Competition Prizes.




Marina Hatsopoulos, Levitronix Technologies

Yiannis Monovoukas, Helios Global Investments LLC


Marios D. Dikaiakos, University of Cyprus

Michael Printzos, THI

George Saveriades, Olitech Ltd


Program Chair: Maria Markidou Georgiadou, University of Cyprus

Competition Track Chair: Katerina Saridaki, MITEF Greece

Student Track Chair: George Kassinis, University of Cyprus

Research Capacity Track Chair: Theodosis Trypiniotis, University of Cyprus

Local Arrangements Chair: Elena Tanou, Top Kinisis

Communications and Outreach Chair: Ioanna Tsioutsioumi, University of Cyprus

Web Site: Andreas Andreou, University of Cyprus


Participation to the Forum is open to teams consisting of faculty, researchers and doctoral candidates from universities and research institutes in Cyprus. Cypriot startups, in Cyprus and abroad, are also eligible to apply to the Competition Track described below. Students, from all Universities in Cyprus, with innovative ideas are eligible to apply for participation in a Student Track.

  • Competition Track Selection Criteria: Applications to the Competition Track will be selected based on a number of criteria, the main ones being innovation and competitive advantage, technological readiness and potential for scalability. For more information, visit Competition Track page. Please check Terms & Conditions for participation.

  • Research Track Selection Criteria: Applications for the Research Track will be selected based on maturity of work and commercial potential. Particular attention will be given to the scientific basis of the work. Applications that showcase the capabilities of research laboratories (e.g. specific equipment, unique know-how, etc) are encouraged. For more information, visit Research Capacity Track page. Please check Terms & Conditions for participation.

  • Training: Applicants to the Competition Track and Research Track, will have the opportunity to receive training and mentoring before the Forum to better prepare their business case and presentations/pitches. To this end, training workshops featuring world-class trainers will be hosted by the Centre for Entrepreneurship on: Design Thinking, Business Modeling, Pitching, Introduction to Financial Principles, Incorporating a company in Cyprus, and the Intellectual Property regime of Cyprus.

  • Evaluation: All applications to the Competition and Research Tracks will be evaluated by a committee of top level international business executives, including innovation experts, angel investors, venture capitalists, successful entrepreneurs from Cyprus and abroad, representatives of The Hellenic Initiative (THI) and the MIT Enterprise Forum Greece.

  • Student Track Selection Criteria: Applications to the Student Track will be based on novelty, scientific or technical merit, presentation quality, and potential for business or social impact. For more information, visit Student Track page. Please check Terms & Conditions for participation.


Competition Track: The panel of judges will select the best three cases presented in the Competition track. The winning teams will win prizes and in-kind services offered by the organizers as well as other corporate supporters. In particular:

  • The Hellenic Initiative will offer the following monetary prizes:
    1 st Winning Team $8,000
    2 nd Winning Team $5,000
    3 rd Winning Team $2,000

  • MIT Enterprise Forum Greece ( MITEF Greece), the Greek Chapter of the global MIT Enterprise Forum, will offer to the best participating team free participation of at least one (1) member of the winning team in a three-month business skills accelerator program offered by MITEF Greece in Athens, to the semi-finalists of the annual MITEF Greece Startup Competition, as well as a placement to the semi-final round of the MITEF Greece competition. The travelling and other expenses related to the participation of at least two (2) members of the winning team to the 3 month Accelerator programme of MIT Enterprise Forum Greece will be covered by the monetary prize of $8,000 offered by THI.

  • PriceWaterhouseCoopers will offer as prize to the 3 winning Participants four days of exclusive training on business strategy, costing and budgeting, key financial principles, people management and presentation skills.

Student Track: The panel of judges for the Student Track will select the best three (3) cases presented in the Track. The winning teams will win prizes and in-kind services offered by the organizers as well as other corporate supporters. In particular:

  • C4E prizes: A maximum of 4 individual scholarships will be offered to University students to cover all expenses of attending the 2018 European Innovation Academy Summer program.

  • PWC prize: Access to 4 days of intensive, exclusive training offered by PWC Cyprus on business strategy, costing and budgeting, key financial principles, people management and presentation skills.


Instructions for the Research Capacity Exhibition and the Competition Track are now available in their respective pages:


University of Cyprus
Anastasios Leventis Council & Senate Building, Room B108


The Organizing Committee of the IEF 2017 has secured better Hotel Accommodation Rate for the day of the event at Hilton Cyprus. To book follow the link here and please refer as an IEF 2017 guest.

Payments must be made directly to the hotel

Recommended Taxi Booking Service: iTaxi Cyprus


Q: I am working on a new idea for a product but my company was registered 5 years ago. Can I still apply to the Competition Track?
A: Yes. What is important is that the idea you wish to present is new and has not received substantial funding or reached the market.

Q: Members of our team live abroad and cannot travel to Cyprus for the Forum. Do we have to be all present at the Forum and the trainings?
A: No. At least one member of your team needs to be there, however, to present your pitch.

Q: Where can I find the application forms for the Competition?
A: The application form is an MSWord document; you will find it at the end of the web page at http://www.c4e.org.cy/ief2017/competition_track.html

Q: I am a student. How can I participate to the Forum?
A: Apply to the Student Track; you will find guidelines and the application form at http://www.c4e.org.cy/ief2017/student_track.html

Q: There are some things I would like to clarify regarding the application process. Who should I contact?
A: Please email the Centre for Entrepreneurship at c4e@ucy.ac.cy or call +357-22895111

Q: Is the Research Track only for members of the University of Cyprus?
A: Definitely not. We welcome participation from all Cypriot academic and research organisations, as well as from Cypriots living abroad. What is more important is to have ideas/results with a potential for exploitation, and you have thought what this might be.

Q: My team is working on a social entrepreneurship product. Is this of interest to the Forum?
A: Definitely yes, if it has innovative aspects.

Q: What is the purpose of the Networking Track?
A: It is some time that we reserve during the Forum, so that participants of the other tracks have the opportunity to meet in person and discuss with invited guests and competition judges.

Q: I am afraid that if I present to the Forum, my idea may be exposed to competitors. How can I protect my intellectual property?
A: Prior to submitting your Application, your are encouraged to take necessary steps to ensure adequate protection of any intellectual property contained in the Application (including intellectual property filings, patent and copyright notices). If no such steps are undertaken or you are in the process of obtaining protection then we encouraged to include only non-confidential information in your Application. If you need some help on how to do this, let us know!

Q: Will the participants be offered any training prior to the day of the FORUM?
A: Yes. Both the participants of the Competition Track as well as the participants of the Research Track will receive free training on Design Thinking, Business Canvas Model, Pitching, Business Financial Principles and Intellectual Property issues by experienced trainers from Olin College of Engineering (Boston), ALBA (Athens) and PWC Cyprus. Details on the training to be offered may be found on the C4E Website.

Q: Is it an Open Event?
A: People will be able to attend the Competition, Research and Networking tracks only by invitation. However, the Panel discussion in the afternoon will be open.

Q: When will you announce the Agenda of the 28 th November?
A: First week of November

Q: Is it mandatory to have revenues in order to be eligible to the Competition Track?
A: No, it is not necessary to have revenues.

Q: What is the minimum team size required in order to be eligible to the Competition Track?
A: A team of at least 2 co-founders is required, over 18 years old.

Q: In addition to members from The Hellenic Initiative, who will be the other guests at the FORUM?
A: Investors and Business angels from abroad and Cyprus, and innovation leaders from the USA, China and Europe.

Q: If a start-up does not have a prototype, can it participate in the Competition Track?
A: No. Having a first prototype is a necessary eligibility criterion.

Q: What do I need to take into consideration for presenting my start-up at the Forum?
A: There is a dedicated page with instruction for the participants of the Competition Track, available here.

Q: What do I need to take into consideration for presenting my research project at the Forum?
A: There is a dedicated page with instruction for the participants of the Research Capacity Exhibition, available here.