Cyprus Start-Up Visa Requirements, the Incubators, and Accelerators in Cyprus

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to kickstarting your entrepreneurial journey in Cyprus! In the initial part of this blog, we will provide a detailed overview of the Cyprus Start-Up Visa, which serves as a doorway for non-EU entrepreneurs looking to establish their businesses in Cyprus/Europe. Here, you’ll gain valuable insights into eligibility criteria, application procedures, and the advantages this program extends to aspiring entrepreneurs.

In the second part of our blog post, we will shift our focus to the thriving start-up ecosystem in Cyprus. Discover the best startup accelerators and incubators that can catapult your business idea to success. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, a green innovator, or a creative entrepreneur, Cyprus has a nurturing environment for you to grow and flourish.

Join us on this enlightening journey as we uncover the myriad opportunities and resources that Cyprus presents. Let’s begin by delving into the Cyprus Start-Up Visa and conclude with a curated list of exceptional accelerators and incubators poised to elevate your startup to new heights.

The Cyprus Start-up Programme

The Cyprus Startup Visa program aims to attract talented entrepreneurs, either as individuals or within a team of up to five individuals, from Third Countries. Here are the criteria and details for entrepreneurs granted the Cyprus Startup Visa:

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicants can be individuals or teams of up to five individuals.
  • The scheme is open to entrepreneurs from Third Countries only.
  • The primary objectives of the scheme include creating new jobs, promoting innovation and research, and developing the business ecosystem in Cyprus to drive economic growth.
  • The program is valid until May 2024 and allows for the issuance of 150 visas.

Requirements for Entrepreneurs:

  • Successful applicants can reside and work in Cyprus for an initial one-year period to establish, operate, and develop a startup with high growth potential. This can be renewed for another year or longer if the venture proves successful.
  • Applicants must have access to a minimum of €20,000 in funding, which can include venture capital funding, crowdfunding, or other funding sources.
  • The startup should be innovative in nature.
  • Research and development expenses should not exceed 10% of the operating costs.
  • A detailed business plan is required, including information about the company’s headquarters and tax domicile within Cyprus.
  • At least 50% of the company’s shares must be owned by one or more members of the team of applicants.
  • Applicants should demonstrate a yearly income of €10,000.
  • They should have the right to self-employment or paid employment within the registered company.
  • Proficiency in Greek and/or English is necessary.

Benefits of the Scheme:

  • Successful applicants may achieve long-term residency if their startup is successful.
  • They have the opportunity for paid employment within their company.
  • Family reunification is possible if the venture is successful.
  • Eligibility to obtain a “Certificate of Innovative Company.”

Application Process:

  • Applicants can submit their applications while abroad or within Cyprus, following specific documentation requirements in English. Valid passports or travel documents with a minimum validity of two years are required.
  • The application should include individual and team members’ names and company status.
  • Third-Country National: The Cyprus Startup Visa scheme is open to talented entrepreneurs from third countries, meaning individuals who are not citizens of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • A comprehensive business plan, including the office location, planned employee numbers, CVs of team members, and language proficiency proof, is necessary
  • Innovative Business Plan: Entrepreneurs should present an innovative and viable business plan. The plan should outline their startup’s unique value proposition, market potential, and growth strategy.
  • Contribution to the Economy: Entrepreneurs must demonstrate their potential to contribute to the local economy through their startup. This can include job creation, attracting investments, and fostering innovation.
  • Startup Development: Applicants should be committed to developing their startup in Cyprus. This includes establishing and growing their business within the country’s borders.
  • Bank account statements demonstrating access to €20,000 are necessary.
  • Existing businesses should provide recent audited accounts.

The Consular Authority will evaluate applications, typically completing the process in about five weeks. Approval does not guarantee automatic entry into Cyprus. Successful applicants must then individually apply for a visa through the Consular Authorities or the Department of Civil Registry and Migration within six months, with associated fees.

Support by the Cyprus Ecosystem:

Cyprus offers a supportive ecosystem for startups, including resources and assistance to entrepreneurs granted the Cyprus Startup Visa:

  1. Incubators and Accelerators: Cyprus has several incubators and accelerators like MVST: MG, Nucleus Ventures, and IDEA Accelerator, which provide mentorship, funding, workspace, and networking opportunities. These organizations assist startups in refining their business plans and navigating the local ecosystem.
  2. Residence Permit: Entrepreneurs granted the Cyprus Startup Visa receive a residence permit, allowing them and their families to live in Cyprus. This provides stability and a conducive environment for business development.
  3. Access to the European Market: Cyprus, as an EU member state, provides startups with access to the European market, enhancing their growth potential.
  4. Government Support: The government of Cyprus may offer support programs and incentives to further encourage the success of startups and entrepreneurs.
  5. Networking Opportunities: The local ecosystem facilitates networking with other entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts, fostering collaboration and growth.

Overall, the Cyprus Startup Visa program, coupled with the supportive ecosystem, aims to attract and nurture entrepreneurial talent, fostering innovation and economic development in the country.

Startup accelerators and incubators in Cyprus:

Startup Accelerators and Incubators Explained:

First, let’s clarify the terminology. Startup accelerators, often known as seed accelerators, are structured programs that provide mentorship, education, and resources to help your business thrive within a set timeframe.

On the other hand, business incubators are organizations dedicated to aiding new entrepreneurs in developing and expanding their businesses. They offer valuable services like office space and access to venture capital financing.

Best startup accelerators and incubators in Cyprus.  

MVST: MG

  • Main Focus: MVST: MG primarily focuses on investing in early-stage blockchain startups that provide innovative solutions in the blockchain landscape. They support companies in areas like NFTs, DeFi, Tokenomics, community management, and branding.
  • Accelerator Program: MVST: MG offers an intensive 4-month accelerator program called “Silver Beam.” This program provides funding, access to a global network of digital assets experts and advisors, technical support, team workspace, and access to marketing platforms.

Nucleus Ventures

  • Main Focus: Nucleus Ventures aims to build ecosystems of entrepreneurs, ventures, and talents. They work with governments, global businesses, funding organizations, and donors to create new venture opportunities.
  • Support: The accelerator provides innovation advisory, venture building, expansion, and capacity building support. They have supported over 150 startups, raising more than $250 million, with a combined market value exceeding $1 billion.

Aivitam Ventures (CY)

  • Main Focus: Aivitam Ventures is dedicated to building businesses and offers services such as venture building (especially for idea and prototype stage startups), PR and Marketing agency (for startups and IT & Technology companies), and Fintech recruitment agency.
  • Support for Entrepreneurs: They provide comprehensive support for entrepreneurs, including assistance in building and growing their startups.

IDEA Accelerator

  • Main Focus: IDEA Accelerator, backed by the Bank of Cyprus, focuses on building innovative products and solutions to modern world problems. They emphasize developing strong teams and a global outlook for businesses.
  • Program Structure: The accelerator program is divided into two stages: Accelerator (3 months) and Incubator (6 months). Stage A involves specific deliverables and training, while Stage B focuses on developing the first product with strong support in various areas.

Equitin Partners

  • Main Focus: Equitin Partners is a startup incubator that has helped develop successful businesses. They have a portfolio of successful companies and experienced founders with investments in various businesses.
  • Support: The incubator provides comprehensive support for developing businesses, leveraging the experience of their founders and their investment portfolio.

Jetpack Ventures

  • Main Focus: Jetpack Ventures specializes in building high-growth startups and working with publicly traded companies. They have a strong network across Europe and the north, focusing on the next generation of technology products.
  • Remote-Friendly: Jetpack Ventures operates as a remote-friendly startup studio, prioritizing talent over location.
  • Investment: They make pre-seed and seed investments in thematic interest areas and have a portfolio of successful companies.

These accelerators and incubators in Cyprus offer a range of services and support to startups, catering to various stages of development and industry focuses. Entrepreneurs can choose the one that aligns best with their business goals and needs.

Discover How CX Financia Can Transform Your Business

Are you an entrepreneur or an investor with dreams of success in Europe? Look no further than CX Financia to turn your vision into reality.

Based in Cyprus, CX Financia specializes in helping new businesses and investment ventures find their perfect startup hubs in Europe. With a team of seasoned professionals who possess extensive experience across Europe and various global jurisdictions, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

Our Services:

  • Business Establishment: We assist you in setting up your business with ease, ensuring a smooth transition into the European market.
  • Wealth Growth Strategies: CX Financia offers tailored strategies to help your wealth grow steadily, ensuring a secure financial future.
  • International Expansion Solutions: Take your business global with our expert guidance on international expansion, making your mark beyond borders.

Based in Cyprus, our team comprises professionals with extensive expertise spanning Europe and prominent global jurisdictions. We possess the necessary resources and capabilities to safeguard your business concepts through the Cyprus IP Box Regime. Reach out to us for a consultation, and let’s commence the journey of transforming your new venture into a legacy that endures

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