Programme background

The Innovate Develop Excel Accomplish IDEA Programme (IDEA Programme) is an integrated acceleration incubation programme, founded by the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) and The Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM), aiming to develop and support innovative entrepreneurship and to create employment opportunities for people wanting to set base in Cyprus, ultimately boosting the competitiveness of the Cyprus economy at an international level. IDEA programme currently has 3 strategic partners, Deloitte Limited, Innovation / Leo Burnett and Lellos P. Demetriades Law Office LLC. IDEA programme is supported by mentors and other supporters. BoC was founded 116 years ago and is headquartered in Nicosia. It is the leading banking and financial services group in Cyprus, with significant market shares across all businesses.  BoC has a long track record of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) actions and this particular Programme falls within the strategic CSR for the benefit of the society through the creation of a new generation of entrepreneurs and enterprises with the knowledge and skills to become competitive in the global market. Further to the CSR aspect of having assisted in the creation of new innovative ventures and hence assisting in combating unemployment, especially youth unemployment, and upgrading the competitiveness of Cyprus in the international market, the proposed Programme will bring BoC closer to the start-up businesses. CIIM is Cyprus oldest and most prestigious Business School which was created out of the need to provide the business community in Cyprus with quality Management education with the initiative of esteemed members of Cyprus’ business community and the only one with a double international MBA accreditation. CIIM has led the movement towards the recognition of entrepreneurship and innovation as the means for regaining competitiveness of the Cypriot economy and combating the financial crisis and has called for related actions. Entrepreneurship and innovation have long been embedded into CIIM’s programmes, both academic and executive, employing leading academics and practitioners from Cyprus, Israel, and Greece in order to teach them, through its Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre of CIIM (ENTICE), which provides a range of entrepreneurship training and support services.





Bank of Cyprus (BoC) was founded 116 years ago and is headquartered in Nicosia. It is the leading banking and financial services group in Cyprus, with significant market share across all businesses. Bank of Cyprus provides a wide range of financial products and services which include retail and commercial banking, trade finance, EU financial facilities, factoring, investment banking, brokerage, fund management, private banking, life and general insurance.   BoC is the founder of the IDEA Programme, together with the Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM), whose main objective is to support innovative entrepreneurship in Cyprus and to create employment opportunities , ultimately boosting the competitiveness of the Cyprus economy at international level.   Responding to the needs of the Cyprus economy and with a profound sense of duty towards the business community, as part of its corporate social responsibility, BoC supports significantly the IDEA Programme by offering pro bono the infrastructure in Nicosia and in Limassol (building and utilities) as well as the daily management. Even more, the Bank of Cyprus provides to each team €10,000 seed funding as part of the programme.



Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM), is Cyprus’ first Business school established in 1990 by the business and academic community to offer internationally accredited graduate academic programmes in management education. Closely linked to the business and enterprise community from birth, it utilises their input to design and develop its programmes with emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. CIIM faculty is in contact with the business community, through student projects and internships, business-led seminars, corporate events and conferences and regular appearance in business-specializing media. CIIM also has an Executive Education Unit offering a variety of professional development and individual programmes to company executives including entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship, the creation of new businesses, digital marketing etc. CIIMs Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre (ENTICE) facilitates, through the provision of specialised consulting services, education and mentoring, the creation and acceleration of innovative new ventures and the improvement of the competitiveness of existing enterprises. ENTICE is actively involved in the start-up scene in Cyprus, organising entrepreneurship networking events, entrepreneurship competitions and entrepreneurship study field trips. CIIM also has an active careers centre actively promoting entrepreneurship as a form of employability for young people and provides assistance in the improvement of their employability skills.




IDEA is an Incubator-Accelerator for Startups and an entrepreneurship hub. IDEA aspires to boost the entrepreneurial spirit and put Cyprus higher on the innovation map, by changing mindsets… It promotes entrepreneurial activities and supports the creation of viable businesses from idea-stage, contributing in this way to youth employment at a national level.
It hosts startup companies offering them the highest quality of business services, so as to turn their innovative ideas into viable businesses with a global outlook.
Within all the support we offer, we emphasize that the major success factor for entrepreneurs is themselves: their passion, their determination, their sense of urgency, their hard work, their commitment, their willingness to give and take, their aspirations and perseverance.
In addition, we give great emphasis on the important role of each startup, which is to become an example for others and gradually give back to the ecosystem, give back to the new startups…
Give, take and share are integral parts of the IDEA culture.
IDEA is financially backed by the Bank of Cyprus. It was founded by the Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM). Very importantly, it enjoys the valuable support of its strong partners: Cyprus Telecommunications Authority – CYTA, Innovation-Leo Burnett, Lellos P. Demetriades and Deloitte Cyprus.



Deloitte, with more than 550 professionals operating out of offices in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaca, is one of the largest professional services organisations in Cyprus, providing a full range of services to a diverse client portfolio. Its services include audit, tax, consulting, financial advisory, wealth advisory and an integrated services offering addressed primarily to the international business community, focusing on accounting and payroll, tax compliance and the formation and administration of companies, partnerships and trusts. As part of the Deloitte global network, with more than 210,000 people in over 150 countries, it has the advantage of a global sharing of knowledge with a local adaptation and personal approach, built on the solid foundations of more than 55 years of successful operation on the island. The firm’s multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to client service, combined with an ability to look at business and financial issues from every angle is what sets it apart. Deloitte is known for its values of ethos, integrity, specialised knowledge and professionalism. Its ongoing commitment to continuous investment in its people and the quality of its deliverables is the key to its success. www.deloitte.com/cy



Innovation / Leo Burnett is a multi-dimensional advertising agency that strives to offer the most effective communication strategies by unlocking the brand’s true purpose.   We develop human-centered brand gestures, ideas and experiences that have the ability to transform the way people think, feel and ultimately behave.   We began our journey as Innovation 1988. Ten years later we affiliated with the international network of Publicis via Leo Burnett and Starcom media, adding a further dynamic competitive edge with internationally recognized services, even higher standards and new training and research opportunities. Since then, we are one of the leading advertising agencies in Cyprus.



Our story started in 1955, when a passionate lawyer, Lellos Demetriades, established his practice in Nicosia. Founded on strong roots and values, with excellent client care, integrity and commitment at their very core, this small practice followed a course of steady growth and success.   Forged with a strong enterprising and pioneering spirit, we have successfully established ourselves amongst the leading law firms on the island, in the areas of corporate, commercial, insurance, intellectual property and human rights law, both domestically and at a European level.  Driven exactly by this enterprising spirit, we now offer the expertise and experience we have acquired over the years  to an exciting new area: the creation of new businesses (start-ups).