The Greece-North Macedonia cross-border area has a significant knowledge capital but limited capability to attract investments partly due to the following reasons: (a) difficulty of business idea owners in providing investors the required information about their potential product. (b) limited capacity of local support institutions into providing state-of-the-art information about start-up creation (c) both countries provide very limited access to finance for start-ups, and have relatively weak linkages between academia/research and enterprises, in the triple-helix model.
The iCBA project intends to provide some contribution to improvements on that field by setting up an intelligent Cross-Border Accelerator for ICT-enabled start-ups. Potential scientists and entrepreneurs involved in the accelerator process will go through a stage-gate process of training and mentoring, starting with general ICT-enabled business development trainings, continuing with dedicated webinars conducted by some of the area’s top experts, The process will result in 15-20 investment-ready ideas with high potential, which will be presented to a number of investors, and can lead to new start-ups and new jobs.
The iCBA project’s main objective is to provide entrepreneurial training and mentoring so as to help people from the Cross Border area into creating their own start-up companies through expert laboratories and webinars, which can allow them to start their own businesses or find employment in existing businesses more easily.
The main target groups are aspiring entrepreneurs with priority to the sectors of tourism, agrofood and ICT, which are very promising in both countries and highly suitable for cross-border cooperation activities between enterprises.
Furthermore authorities, stakeholders and investors from the whole CB area will be involved. Entrepreneurs, stakeholders, investors and the general public in the whole CB area is similarly expected to benefit, as the new innovative start-ups can help just-start the area’s problematic economy.
- Promotion material including a web guide: “How to create a venture”
- Α web communication platform for working teams collaboration within an accelerator
- A sectoral study report of the ICT-enabled sectors in the Cross Border area in order to identify the most beneficial moves for new start-ups, a useful reference for CB policy development
- A training needs analysis identifying the training needs and goals of the target population of young entrepreneurs in the area
- A set of 11 trilingual specialised training courses covering issues from business concept development to attraction of investors including webinars recorded for future reference
- Training to 180 people in the 7 largest cross border cities about start-up creation from idea development as well as financial and market aspects for business development
- 50 developed and processed business concepts for ICT-based start-ups in the Cross Border Area.
- 30 analytical investment plans created in collaboration between new business idea owners and mature start-ups or high-level experts.
- 15-20 pitches to attract funding presented in a brokerage event with the participation of VCs and international inverstors.