John Georgoulas: Cyprus’ technology sector has huge potential but needs more help from state & universities

There is huge potential to further develop Cyprus’ technology sector, according to John Georgoulas, President of the Association of Cyprus Electronic Money & Payment and Non-Executive Director at ECOMMBX, who stressed that the correct foundations have been laid and the future is looking bright.

Addressing the Economist Impact's 28th Annual Economist Government Roundtable that took place in Athens on 2-4 July, Georgoulas raised the example of Cyprus, whose technology sector makes up 13% of its GDP, is the island’s second largest sector after tourism, and attracts scores of new companies and human resources.

There are currently more than 300 fintech companies operating in Cyprus, while there is a growing number of young people creating their own startups, some of which have fully developed.

Speaking to InBusinessNews, Georgoulas said that Cyprus is doing well in the technology realm, adding however that it requires more assistance from the state so that it can develop further.

“New ways of financing start-ups should be found, such as venture capital funds that can strengthen and practically support the efforts of new entrepreneurs in the sector,” he noted.

Asked whether technology is a popular field of activity for young manpower, he welcomed the fact that there is an increased interest among young people in engaging with technology and creating their own businesses.

To this end, he called on universities to also contribute to this effort, by creating specific study programmes aimed at educating and training young people in technology.

The challenges for Europe

While technology is the future, particularly for the next generation, promoting transparency and changing our daily lives, the challenges in promoting innovation in Europe remain.

According to Georgoulas, one of the key problems is the fact that the capital markets have not yet been consolidated, with startups looking for opportunities in the American market, while another is over-regulation of the sector.

“On the one hand, we do need the strict regulations that have been put in place, but on the other, overregulating the sector increases the costs to unsustainable levels for businesses,” Georgoulas reasoned, adding that these matters need to be addressed the soonest.

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