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Teamvision Group: Adding value beyond capital investment

Constantinos Neophytou, CEO, Teamvision Group explains why it’s important for investors to be relentlessly hands-on.

Tell us about your investment philosophy and the types of startups and industries you typically invest in.

We are a team of professionals who value commitment, consistency and continuous improvement. Our ecosystem of services includes venture capital advisory, investment consulting, technology services, and academy projects. The essence of our business is co-building companies and helping talented entrepreneurs grow and succeed. Built on proven expertise and a 23-year track record of excellence, we are dedicated to delivering sustainable value to our clients, by supporting their business with intelligence, innovation and integrity. We primarily serve the venture capital, private equity and pension investment sectors, addressing the needs of corporate, institutional and High Net Worth clients with more than €150 million in assets under advisement. We provide strategic, financial and operational research, business analysis and support, from identifying and developing appropriate strategies in a rapidly changing competitive environment to implementing technology and engaging key team members. We currently work with 15 businesses in various sectors, including renewable technology, green aluminium, e-commerce, proptech, healthcare and agrifood.

What do you believe are the most important qualities for startups seeking funding?

Startups are almost always as good as their founders. It is a cliché, but invariably true, that venture capital entails investing in people rather than in an idea or a product. We also believe that an important factor in the success of any business is execution. Startups with detailed planning and execution plans, which provide clear and measurable objectives, identified by milestones on an agreed delivery schedule, are more likely to win over investors.

What value do you believe you bring to your portfolio companies beyond just capital?

We add value, mainly through working closely with founders and management to help

maximize the value of the business. We build on our experience as former founders/executives of successful companies and take an active role in steering the growth of the businesses we advise, often by taking a seat on the Board of Directors. We pride ourselves on being relentlessly hands-on, bringing diligence and attention to detail to all our projects.

How can your firm contribute to the overall health and growth of the Cyprus startup ecosystem?

First, by investing most of our resources in Cyprus-based startups in various sectors. We contribute to emerging businesses by sharing our experiences and networks of startups and VC investors in Europe, Israel and the US. We also leverage our deep knowledge of Cyprus’ business reality and our hands-on expertise to form long-term partnerships of trust with the entrepreneurs and our clients, thereby delivering tangible value to their business objectives. By aligning our interests with VC investors and investing alongside them, we help introduce investors to the startup ecosystem. Since 2002, we have been actively involved in helping shape the many structural, legal and regulatory issues related to the private equity sector in Cyprus.

In terms of taking the Cyprus startup ecosystem to the next level, what changes would you like to see taking place?

A change that we believe is needed is to introduce English as the official language for all business and financial dealings with the authorities. As a bi-communal state, and as an international business centre in the EU, adopting English as the official language would make doing business easier and more cost-efficient for all involved.

On the startup side, a lot has been achieved through the development and growth of Cypriot universities, Centres of Excellence and incubators/accelerators. Also, there is a general increase in awareness of entrepreneurship, new technologies and risk-taking. The increased attention and startup funding by the Research & Innovation Foundation is worth mentioning, as well as the handful of success stories, which have put Cyprus on the map and excited aspiring founders. On the VC side, industry associations like TechIsland have made a big difference, leveraging the many international technology businesses and the experience and network of the many accomplished professionals based in Cyprus. Finally, the Government’s relevant tax incentives have been helpful. In sum, we must further build and support all of these initiatives to ensure the steady growth of the ecosystem.

Some of Teamvision Group’s major startup investments:

⋅ FlipRobo ⋅ Svelta⋅ Electron247 ⋅ CardiacSense

This interview first appeared in the April edition of GOLD magazine. Click here to view it.

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