ARIS is a programme set up by the Bank of Cyprus and Deloitte Cyprus aiming to assist aspiring entrepreneurs who are still at the early stage, to refine their idea and launch a minimum viable product. It has a physical location right in the heart of Limassol, at Nicolaou Pentadromos Centre.
What do we mean when we say startup?
A startup is an entrepreneurial venture that has the potential to scale up FAST! To grow rapidly, you need a huge market – ideally in the realm of millions. Tech startups are the most popular type of startup as they can scale up fast.
How does ARIS work?
ARIS takes in aspiring entrepreneurs with great ideas and assists them to turn those ideas into MVPs, thus laying the foundations of their future startups.
Interested teams go through a competitive application process. The call for applications is continuously open and their evaluation of the submitted applications occurs at the end of each month.
Over the period of their residency, the successful teams build and refine their idea and have the opportunity to validate it within the market by launching it on an initial group of customers.
In the last stages of its residency, each team/entrepreneur focuses on creating a polished pitch.
What does the ARIS programme offer you?
We will help you to perfect your idea and increase your chances of launching a successful startup. Specifically:
We provide you with the necessary tools and resources to develop your idea and outline it in a business plan that will assist you in launching a crowdfunding campaign to build your MVP or even gain funding from interested sponsors.
We help you identify potential pitfalls, understand our options and think through any difficult decisions you may face.
We help you create your startup, business model, positioning, branding and design all the way through launching your fists prototype.
We provide numerous networking opportunities, connecting you thus to potential investors, strategic partners, as well as advisors and press.
We introduce you to mentors that are highly experienced in launching startups, developing innovative products/services and creatively marketing those products/services to consumers.
How much equity do you take?
We discuss the possibility of taking equity and the percentage, with each startup separately, taking into consideration a number of factors.
Will I be able to work during my participation at the ARIS program?
Participating in ARIS is highly demanding, as residents are required to work under a very tight schedule. Working a part time job is optional, although we encourage the ARIS residents to not work during their participation to the programme. In addition, if you have a packed school schedule, family commitments or any other serious time considerations, the ARIS Program may not be right for you. If, on the other hand, you are able to commit yourself fully to the programme and eventually your future team, then the ARIS Program could be a great way for you to kick start your career.
How do I apply for the ARIS programme?
The application for the ARIS programme is available here
When is the application deadline?
The call for applications is continuously open and applications are evaluated at the end of each month. Selection is done internally and is based on specific evaluation criteria as well as capacity .
How do you choose which residents are accepted into the ARIS programme?
Applications need to be submitted by teams of at least two founders. They also need to fulfill two main criteria, that the proposed products or services are innovative and that they are technology based. We will choose startups which are dedicated on working on ideas that will solve real problems or create a meaningful change to our current technological state.
Do you need prior experience?
No experience is required. We just ask that you are passionate about your idea and willing to work hard at making it a reality.
Do I physically need to be at the ARIS premises?
Yes. At least one member of your team needs to be based on site throughout the team’s residency. It’s the best way for us to be able to help you.
What happens at the end of the residency, are you on your own?
No, we hope that our collaboration will not end after your residency. The method of collaboration will be discussed with each team , by assessing the various options based on its individual needs.
How much access will I have to the mentors?
Different mentors will be coming in and out of ARIS at different times. Although some will not be physically present, they will always be available via email/phone/chat. The objective is to provide you with as much as one-on-one time as possible, and have you participate in workshops that will be of value to you and your idea.
Do I have to be present at the events/workshops organized by ARIS?
Yes, once you commit to our intensive programme, we expect that you attend the sessions that were deemed important by ARIS as regards the progress of your project.
What’s expected of you during the ARIS programme?
We are not here to tell you what to do and how. This is your idea afterall. We are merely here to guide you through the process of transforming an idea to an MVP. To assist you in this process, we have set a list of tasks and milestones to be achieved throughout the duration of the programme in order to give you an idea of what you should be focusing on at each particular stage of the programme.
Additionally, ARIS participants will have an obligation to be physically present and participate at events/sessions organized/offered by ARIS.
In order to make something out of your idea, you are expected to work hard, inform us on a weekly basis about your progress. In regular intervals you’ll have the opportunity to improve your pitching skills (and idea) by presenting your work to other ARIS participants and mentors.
Do I need to have a team to participate?
Yes, applications need to be submitted by startups with at least two members dedicated on working on the proposed product / service
I am underage. Can I still participate to the programme?
Please contact us in order to discuss. One route is our Summer Bootcamp targeting high school students, but other options can be discussed on an ad hoc basis.