We launched Lead Cyprus with great expectations on a cold but sunny Saturday morning in the Buffer Zone. We stood in front of 20-25 people who actually managed to make the journey that day, barely a week after the holidays and we pitched the most massive project we ever thought of. We called it Lead Cyprus.
Our notion that entrepreneurship can be the source and the solution for pretty much anything problematic did not come lightly. And using those same principles we use as entrepreneurs or as people who teach entrepreneurs, we believe that even the most notorious problem we face can indeed be solved as well. Our very own Cyprus Problem.
But even that, of course, we couldn’t take lightly. We needed to take it to the streets and find out:
- What kind of entrepreneurial issues do we face island-wide?
- What kind of social troubles?
- How are they different from city to city, from North to South?
- Is there a common ground?
- Is there a single universal solution that can actually improve something we face every day in a significant way?
- Is it in our heads or is what we feel again universal and spread/felt across the whole island?
So we jumped on a bus...TWICE! The first time we kicked off from Nicosia on a Saturday morning and headed to Larnaca, then Limassol, and finally ended up in Paphos. Before falling into the hospitable arms of Neapolis University, we experienced different weather, we saw trucks accidentally spilling oranges resulting inhighway closings, bypassed damages from the previous week’s storm, all while connecting and chatting about our thoughts regarding a million topics, getting informed along the way about opportunities regarding finding social enterprises and startups.
Entering Neapolis University and meeting with the professors of the Computer Science Department, we knew we had found our first academic partners for the Summer Camp. Each city brought to the table different challenges and a whole new set of discussions and ideas. A chit chat continued over lunch, by the pool, where part of the Hack Cyprus team got inspired to set up shop there in the summer.
The second weekend we stepped it up. We manage to carpool from 3 different cities, beginning at the Home 4 Cooperation in the Buffer Zone and Jumping on the Bus(es) from there. After picking up more people in Kyrenia and walking around to stretch, we arrived in Famagusta where we were welcomed very warmly at our fantastic hosts GIMER, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center of the Eastern Mediterranean University. Our discussion kicked off from there and still continues to this moment.
It’s funny how a confined space like a bus can change your habits in networking. It reminded us why it was so super fun when we were kids in school. It reminded us how easy you can discover common goals and aspirations and work your way up from there. It reminded us why we were doing this in the first place.
Photos and videos will demonstrate the fun we had together during this experience, but in the next few days the discussion results will help shape the Summer Camp. Are you ready? For us, the answer is: ALWAYS!