On January 2013 the first IEEE Entrepreneurs Network (EN) within R8 was established in Cyprus under the IEEE Cyprus Section. The idea of implementing such a Network in Cyprus initiated by the conclusion that current economic crisis is considered by many as a great barrier towards economic growth and employability, whereas entrepreneurship driven by innovation and networks of talented people can in fact mitigate the negative impacts of this crisis and lead to local prosperity. It was also based on the confidence that professionals who by education or experience give evidence of competence in an IEEE designated field (Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, Law and Policy) should take a leading role in this effort.
The IEEE Cyprus EN’s main objectives are the following:
- Networking between IEEE members and other professionals (non-members working in an IEEE designated field) in Cyprus who are interested in entrepreneurship, from which possible cooperation and start-ups may come up. Monthly meetings take place in the presence of the Entrepreneurs Network Executive Committee (Chair, Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Program Director) and any other IEEE members or non-members concerned in the Network’s goals and interests.
- Triggering of entrepreneurship in IEEE designated fields in Cyprus especially within the current financial crisis which increases unemployment. Professionals who by education or experience give evidence of competence in an IEEE designated field are encouraged to participate in the Entrepreneurs Network and join IEEE.
- Arrangement of talks by entrepreneurship related experts, such as accountants, lawyers, angels, local SBA representatives, bankers, experts in Business Finance, marketing professionals, insurance experts, and industry leaders.
- Organization of workshops or days of training in such topics as financing alternatives, protecting intellectual property, selling a business plan, project management and personal leadership style for success.
- Support of entrepreneurs / future entrepreneurs and helping them both to meliorate their business plans and get in touch with angels and investors.
- Holding face to face year round TechMatch event. TechMatch is a tool that helps member entrepreneurs conduct self-evaluations on their business plans, submit their business plans for review by other experienced entrepreneur members and to visibility by potential investors. The IEEE Cyprus EN supports entrepreneurs who have participated in the TechMatch event by assigning mentors, connecting the entrepreneur with local resources for further help, selecting the best plans in a competition and giving awards or advertising the plans in operating unit publications.
- The goal of TechMatch is to support entrepreneur members in moving toward success and that is what the Entrepreneurs Network Executive Committee (EN’s EXCOM) undertakes. After the actual TechMatch event is over EN’s EXCOM provides ongoing support to entrepreneurs who have expressed interest. This can be in the form of assigned mentors for those entrepreneurs that express interest. The lead of the Review team together with EN’s EXCOM takes the responsibility for any handoff or continuity of support as expressed by the entrepreneur and assures there is direct communication with each entrepreneur according to their needs and expectations for their further development.
Apart from its official website within IEEE Cyprus Section’s website, IEEE Cyprus EN can be found in LinkedIn and Facebook.