Read how the MISTRAL partner Chrysalis LEAP organized the national competition of Cyprus.
Chrysalis LEAP, a member of MISTRAL family, is the first accelerator in Cyprus, founded in 2012, focused in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development. It provides start-up companies in these sectors, with the necessary training and resources in order to help them transform into viable and profitable businesses.
Building on this experience and expertise, in the framework of MISTRAL, Chrysalis LEAP has designed the training and organised and implemented the Blue Business Plan Competition in Cyprus.
Promotion and Recruitment
The first phase of the competition was the recruitment of the participants.
For the purposes of the competition, a dedicated digital application form was designed and it was disseminated throughout the Chrysalis LEAP network and social media platforms. The recruitment campaign ran for a period of approximately one month (2nd of December 2019 – 10th January 2020).
A recruitment animated video was also designed and disseminated, to explain the competition in detail and to provide interested applicants with the necessary information. Furthermore, communication materials were created and disseminated regularly though all of the Chrysalis LEAP social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and recruitment posts were also published in related groups on LinkedIn to further expand the reach of the campaign.
By the end of the application period seven applications were submitted. In addition to Cyprus, the competition drew the attention of international applicants coming from Portugal and Greece.
The applications were screened internally, and six teams were selected to go through an intensive 2-day training.
The 2-day training sessions took place in Nicosia, Cyprus on the 25th & 26th of February 2020.
The first training session was titled “Business Model Generation and Customer Validation” and was led by our coach Thodoris Kouros. Thodoris has a background in the Social and Cultural Sciences and he is a certified HRDA trainer. He has facilitated workshops throughout Europe on skills development and business modelling while he has worked at the universities of Cyprus and Nicosia as a researcher and an instructor of Sociology and Social Anthropology. Throughout the training the teams got to:
- learn the fundamentals of the Business Model Generation method
- design their as-is business model,
- ideate on their value proposition, (iv) design new idea offerings,
- understand key prototyping techniques and
- learn how to run tests to validate their assumptions.
The second training session was titled “Financial Planning and Investor Readiness” led by Stelios Procopiou, Managing Director at Chrysalis LEAP. Stelios is a holder of the Chartered Wealth Manager Qualification and Chartered Fellow Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) and a CFA Charter holder and Member of the CFA Institute, with more than 15 years of experience in the financial sector. The aim of the Bootcamp was to get the teams ‘investor ready’ and provide them with the knowledge as regards the key principles when it comes to discussing and negotiating with investors. The topics that were covered during the boot camp included the following:
- basic accounting & financial concepts
- financial projections,
- time value of money,
- return requirements of investors,
- valuation, (vi) capital budgeting – project appraisal,
- Business Plan preparation,
- typical timing of engaging with investors,
- characteristics of VC investment,
- stages in a company’s life,
- types of financing,
- types of exit,
- providers of financing,
- terms of the financing, and
- stages of the investment.
During the boot camp, and with the help of the trainer, the teams worked on various exercises to better understand the key concepts delivered. The teams were requested to prepare and submit their business plans to their coach taking into account the learnings of workshop. The teams had on-line follow-up sessions with their coaches to review their business plans and work more on their business canvases.
By the end of the two training sessions two teams were deemed as eligible to participate at the Grand Final that is scheduled to compete with the national winners of the rest MISTRAL countries.