A silicon valley outside Limassol

The original Silicon valley at the San Fransisco Bay area originates from Stanford university and graduates who stayed and started their businesses at the location. The university later developed a technology park to support the start-ups, but many well known companies actually started in a garage, and not in a fancy office.

The combination of university area, well educated people, nice climate and a free spirited environment was probably a good starting point.

The phenomena spread to other countries like south of France and the Sophia Antipolis area, and in Israel outside Tel Aviv, and other places.

The Cypriot government are planning a science park near Limassol. We don´t have a big university as Stanford, and maybe we also lack some of the entrepreneurial traditions in this certain area. But there are other things that may get high-tech companies to invest here.

The spin off effects may be very beneficial to the country. And if we think about it, in the long run this is more important than tourism and even gas and oil.

The geographical location of Cyprus is an important thing, it´s a bridge to Europe for Asian and Middle Eastern companies. Low regulation and low taxes may also offer advantages. And off course the climate, the beautiful location of Limassol and the cosmopolitan environment may also be very beneficial.

I don´t think we can create such an environment artificially, but the politicians might give a helping hand by low regulations, free market focus, offering affordable land, and building bridges to other countries in the region.

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Very good seminar!
Michael Koutsoudis

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