Pledge to make a difference, together.
CyprusInno (operated by BD-SS Way Forward for Cyprus Innovation) is a nonprofit organisation founded by a mixed Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot team who have overcome decades of social and geographical division to create the first and largest cross-border platform connecting entrepreneurs on the divided island of Cyprus. Founded in late-2016, our organization operates a platform of digital tools and live events that utilizes a novel method of entrepreneurship as a mechanism for peacebuilding. As a mixed Cypriot team and citizens of a divided nation, we constantly wondered how we can actually build sustainable peace through innovative means. Our social venture, CyprusInno, challenges the division in Cyprus by creating a platform whereby all Cypriots can work together towards a peaceful and prosperous future while building a collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystem. CyprusInno uses entrepreneurship as a peace-building mechanism and entrepreneurs and peacemakers, and we ultimately built what we call and island-wide ecosystem with over 3,000 members and over 40 partners on both sides of the island. We host live inter-communal trainings, mentorship programmes, networking events, hackathons, panel events, etc.
Our mission is to bring young social entrepreneurs together in post-conflict regions such as Cyprus to build sustainable social businesses together and, as a result, sustainable peace to enable social and economic development.
We realize our mission through our hybrid digital, live events, and physical space platform model. Through this model, we've seen success both through our digital engagement, our live engagement (such as the largest inter-communal networking events in our island's history), social metrics through cross-border engagements and business collaborations, and our favorite, over 260,000 euros in value created through cross-border collaborations.
This year, we moved into historic 4-piece container located within the UN-controlled Buffer Zone on the border between both sides of the island, which we transformed from a military base into what we call a Social Impact Generator. The Base by CyprusInno is the first innovative space of its kind in the world located in a demilitarized zone on the border of both sides of the island and it combines the elements of a coworking center, meeting/office space, accelerator/incubator, innovation center, and multimedia studio. It is located on the grounds of the historic Ledra Palace in Cyprus' UN Buffer Zone, now headquarters of the UN Peace Keeping Forces in Cyprus Sector Two, in the divided capital city of Nicosia. The Base by CyprusInno is a Social Impact Generator, where multiple players in our innovation ecosystem come together to co-create solutions to real world problems, thus leading to social impact and economic development and sustainable peace.
The Base aims to establish a peaceful and interactive space in the Buffer Zone that maximizes cooperation via entrepreneurship all while facilitating the formation of intercommunal startup that create social impact. We host a variety of programming including a social startup accelerator, co-working, resident startup teams, mentorship, events, and more, all with people from both sides of the island.
The Base is a 4-part military container that we transformed into an innovation space, by hand using upcycling methods, and with support of the local community. It can be accessed by entering Cyprus's neutral zone from either side, and it features a coworking center and events space with a stage, custom coworking tables, catering, brainstorming lounge with writeable walls, a soundproof multimedia studio, a boardroom, and an office space.
Our mission here is to transform Cyprus' dead zone into a creative space that empowers youth from rival communities to take control of their future as we battle a deepening division. The Base features a co-working room (events stage, locally built coworking table and high-top tables, brainstorming area with writeable walls, catering corner), a studio with recording capabilities, an office space for resident teams, and a board room.
Here's our deck with a virtual tour: https://cyprusinno.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/The-Base-by-CyprusInno-Overview_2021_vF-2.pdf
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