Of all the news that Tech.eu brings you, a shockingly small percentage (1.25 percent) of it mentions startups and/or tech news originating in Italy.
As our semi-permanent contributor Julia Gifford noted in her report “What 21 Investors Have to Say About Investing in Italian Startups”: The Italian startup scene is a conundrum. The abundance of innovation and affordable, highly educated talent in Europe’s 4th – and the world’s 8th – largest economy should have been enough to nurture a thriving startup ecosystem.
That said, Italy is not devoid of activity, in fact, with names such as Scalapai (Italy’s first unicorn – from February 2022), Casavo and Bending Spoons immediately spring to mind, and likewise, the country isn’t without its own domestic accelerators and propellants.
However, something is constantly missing. Something non lo so. Maybe, and this is just a maybe, the Italian startup scene could use a little outside pressure? Or perhaps Northern European VCs were looking for a nascent garden to nurture? But why either, or? Why not both?
“In 2022 was a year in which Italy stepped up its challenge to take the European startup crown. Further investment in the region and easier access to infrastructure is needed to help a new generation of entrepreneurial talent succeed.” – Henry Lane Fox, CEO, Founder’s Factory
Perhaps that’s the thinking behind London’s Founders Factory and Milan’s Swisscom-owned Fastweb joining forces to build, finance, launch and scale more than 30 Italian and international innovative digital businesses over the next five years.
With a history going back 8 years (at least on paper, much, much longer in hands-on experience), Founders Factory is ready to provide access to capital, a global network and proven operational support. From Fastweb’s side of the table, entrepreneurs will open the door to the technological and commercial potential of scaling and facilitate the connection of entrepreneurs to local and international markets.
The joint venture is expected to focus on startups working in the areas of smart home, cyber security, healthcare, edutech and Industry 4.0. The accelerator will focus on helping startups that are in the development and expansion phase, while the venture studio will design and launch new startups.
Fabio Troiani, former co-founder and CEO of the consulting group BIP, will lead the Founders Factori Italia initiative, and concludes: “During my 30 years of consulting, I have often dealt with the question of how large companies can learn to innovate from small, agile innovative startups.” So far I have witnessed more failures than successes.
Founders Factory’s unique formula combines the speed and creativity of startups with the solidity of managing large corporations and business cases. For those built and launched by Founders Factori Itali, it provides innovation and credibility, while companies benefit from innovation and capital returns. A unique blend that guarantees success in innovation.”
Main image: Andreev Hoang