Startups,Peace and Slush. Seriously?


Startups4Peace brings the communities of Cyprus together and provides the motivation, the knowledge and the means to build and grow new business ventures.


Bring communities together
and encourage them to create joint startups.

Facilitate collaboration
between startups from all sides.

Provide a link
between startups and businesses, using expertise from Finland, Northern Ireland and Cyprus..


The annual program has a series of Bootcamps, mentoring, and an opportunity to attend SLUSH - WORLD'S LEADING STARTUP EVENT


Startups4Peace is a competition and mini acceleration program co-funded by the Embassy of Finland and the Innovative Entrepreneurship project, implemented by NI-CO and funded by the European Union. The program is in partnership with the the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and is implemented by Startup Cyprus.

We aim to encourage innovative startup entrepreneurship with intercommunal vision in Cyprus, to bring together and increase contacts between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot startup communities and support young entrepreneurs in developing their businesses.



Two selected startups will get the opportunity to attend the legendary startup event SLUSH in Helsinki , Finland on

November 21 - 22 2019


Startups4Peace kicks-off on May 10th. Join us to find out more about

Startups4Peace and Slush, to network with like-minded people, and potentially even find your amazing team-mates.


Find out more here

Finalist startups will be chosen on a competitive base. Application into the S4P Acceleration program is available here.

The successful finalist startups will participate in the Startup Bootcamps of the Startups4Peace 2019 edition, with amazing speakers and mentors from Finland, Northern Ireland and Cyprus, for a hands-on learning experience and to literally help them startup. Participation in the bootcamps by at least one team member (max of two) is a prerequisite for graduation.


The grand final of the program is the Starups4Peace Pitch Battle. Selected startups will pitch their ideas to our expert jury dragon's den style.

The winning startups will participate in our Pitch Bootcamp to get ready for Slush!


Selection Criteria

Business Criteria (60%)


i. Are you actually solving a problem? Does the solution solve a core need / problem?

ii. Do you have a clear value proposition / Clear benefit to the customer?

iii. Have you identified a specific target market?

iv. Is it unique? – how good / innovative / viable is the idea?

v. Market potential – how scalable is the product or service? Can you conquer the world?

vi. How will you differentiate from the competition?

vii. How will you make money?

viii. What is your go-to-market / launch strategy?

ix. Team? – ability to execute


Cooperation Criteria (40%)


1. Team composition
Cyprus majority in teams (team members from other countries are allowed)

2. Cooperation
i. Preference will be given to intercommunal teams.


ii. The business follows the objectives of increasing co-operation between the

Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities, joint business ideas and

taking into consideration opportunities of operating in a united country.



Teams must address both Criteria, Business and Cooperation

The panel may also select startups from the Turkish Cypriot community and from Greek Cypriot Community.

Startups4Peace Acceleration Program & Milestones

May 10: Launch Event @Goethe Institut

Announcement of the 2019 Edition, opening of the applications call for the acceleration program.

Location: Goethe-Institut, 21 Markou Drakou, 1102 Nicosia.
Time: @18:00

June 10: Applications Deadline @23:59

Applications Deadline: @ 23:59
Apply here

June 12: Announcement of finalists
A max of top 10 applications that meet criteria will enter the S4P Acceleration program on a competitive base.
Startup4Peace Acceleration Program

In 2019 the S4P Acceleration Program is upgraded to entail 2 Bootcamps. A max of 10 startup teams achieving finalist status are entitled to participate in the acceleration program with a max of two members each that have the right to participate in the bootcamps. Participation is mandatory for the finalists that get accepted in the Acceleration Program. The S4P program covers one room per startup team (2 people), accommodation, full board and transportation.

June: Startup Bootcamp 1

Two day Bootcamp in Troodos. Intro. Ice Breaker. Business Model Canvas. Opportunity recognition, Customer discovery, Business Model Canvas (BMC). Trainer/ speaker Teemo Polo from Finland

Sept 2019: Startup Bootcamp 2
Two day Bootcamp in Troodos. Topic: Pitching & Mentoring. Two Trainers/ speakers, one from Finland and one from N. Ireland.
Oct 2019: Startups4Peace Pitch Battle

The S4P Grand Final Pitch Competition. The final competition and celebration event to choose the two teams who get to attend Slush.
Winners are chosen by a jury of experts dragon’s den style on the day of the event.
Keynote speaker from N. Ireland.

Nov 2019: Startups4Peace Winners Slush Prep Bootcamp
Slush Prep Bootcamp / Workshop to prepare winners for SLUSH.
Nov 21-22: SLUSH
The S4P – Winners: 2 teams x 2 pax per team, attend Slush event in Helsinki. Participation in SLUSH, flights and accommodation covered, is the big prize for the annual effort, giving our S4P winners the opportunity to get access to international contacts and financing.


Who can apply?

Applicants must be residents of Cyprus. Preference is given to teams with members from both communities. We are looking for startups with innovative business ideas with growth potential, incorporating vision and strategy for a united Cyprus.


How will the winners be selected?

The winners will be selected on the basis of their business idea and market potential, as well as how well the idea incorporates the vision for the whole Cyprus based on the STARTUPS 4 PEACE Selection Criteria . Looking into the future is an element of a successful application. Practically, teams must get points in both Criteria, Business and Cooperation.


How can I apply?

Application form is here. Applications are accepted until 2/06/2019 at 23:59.


How big should my team be?


To be a team you must be at least two. Preference is given to teams with members from both communities.


Get In Touch


Startups4Peace is co-funded by the Embassy of Finland and the Innovative Entrepreneurship project, implemented by NI-CO and funded by the European Union.

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