EIT Digital and Italia Startup Join Forces to Boost Italian Startup Ecosystem Internationally

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EIT Digital and Italia Startup sign a Memorandum of Collaboration to help the Italian innovation ecosystem play an increasingly important role in the international digital landscape.

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Through its broad network of international relations and specific services including access to finance, hubs in key markets and biz support EIT Digital can help innovative companies to scale up to a European and world-wide dimension.

Italia Startup, the professional association of Italian startups and EIT Digital - the leading pan-European organization promoting entrepreneurship and digitisation – join forces, by signing a Memorandum of Collaboration representing an important step forward for the Italian innovation ecosystem.

The former will bring into the agreement the skills and the expertise developed in several years of activity and a subscriber base of over 2,000 associates; the latter, a network of more than 130 international partners, including corporations, SMEs, startups, Universities and research centres.

The goal: helping the Italian innovation ecosystem to play an increasingly important role in the international landscape, both by fostering the Italian innovative firms’ access to European markets and by making the “Bel Paese” a more attractive destination for tech companies, investors and talents coming from abroad.

“We are happy to announce the partnership with EIT Digital, certain as we are that this collaboration will be able to strengthen the Italian startup ecosystem, encouraging greater openness towards the European landscape,” Italia Startup’s president, Marco Bicocchi Pichi says.

“This collaboration project is part of several activities that, as Italia Startup, we are bringing forward as a path to internationalisation, a key component of the association’s mission. Our goal is to network with the best European actors in this sector, and facilitate the access to markets and capitals by young innovative Italian companies by collaborating with corporations, Universities and the whole national startup ecosystem.”

Among the joint activities to be carried forward included in the Memorandum, it is worth mentioning:

  • Identifying best in class Italian scaleups in order to offer them a tailored support plan for internationalization based on the services outlined in EIT Digital Accelerator.
  • Stimulating scaleup entrepreneurs to internationalize in Europe and beyond.
  • Collaborate on the trends and opportunities linked to bridge the European and Italian startup/scaleup ecosystems.

“Through its broad network of international relations and specific services including access to finance, hubs in key markets and biz support EIT Digital can help innovative companies to scale up to a European and world-wide dimension,” EIT Digital’s director Roberto Saracco says.

“In our experience, most companies are looking at Germany, France and UK to expand their reach. As Italian Node we are working, through our biz support team and our national partners and stakeholders to promote the attractiveness of Italy,” he adds.

Positive examples of Italian startups that were able to succeed in foreign markets and of foreign companies that were able to access the Italian one, born out of individual collaborations among Italia Startup and EIT Digital, already exist.

For instance, ClouDesire, a marketplace of software and B2B services whose CEO and co-founder Eddy Fioretti is also a member of the board of Italia Startup, belongs to the first bunch.

“As for ClouDesire, the project with EIT Digital has allowed us to establish, thanks also to the support of our business developer Andrea Conti, new contacts in foreign markets, by financing some missions and facilitating meetings with important international companies, to which we proposed our services, but also with vendors that propose interesting products for our marketplace. We have also started to explore how to access public international funds through ad hoc consortiums and we had some exploratory meetings with international VCs,” Fioretti says.

Konux, a German startup which uses sensors and artificial intelligence to optimize industrial processes, thanks to the EIT’s support has found fertile ground to expand its business in Italy.

“EIT Digital has been our partner ever since we won the EIT Digital Challenge in 2014. Over the years, we've had the chance to profit from EIT Digital's wide network and have generated valuable contacts to industry experts and potential customers as well as growing our brand awareness,” Konux’s CEO Andreas Kunze says.

The intent of Italia Startup and EIT Digital and the goal of the memorandum, is to systematize and multiply positive examples of collaboration like those mentioned above, creating favourable entrepreneurial opportunities in Italy and abroad, both for Italian companies and for international ones. The operational details of the collaboration will be identified in specific agreements between the parties.

Italia Startup
Italia Startup is the no profit Association that represents the Italian startup ecosystem, extended to all entities, both private and public – incubators and accelerators, investors, companies and enablers – which help the valorization, visibility and growth of the innovative startups and believe in the creation of a new Italian entrepreneurial environment. It aims to valorize and raise awareness about recently established entrepreneurial initiatives by bringing them in touch with the consolidated world of Italian industry, as well as with national and international investors, in order to strengthen and increase the competitiveness of the entire Italian ecosystem.

EIT Digital
EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation driving Europe’s digital transformation. EIT Digital delivers breakthrough digital innovations to the market and breeds entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and improved quality of life in Europe. It does this by mobilising a pan-European ecosystem of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutes. As a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT Digital is focused on entrepreneurship and is at the forefront of integrating education, research and business by bringing together students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs. This is done in its pan-European network of Co-Location Centres in Berlin, Budapest, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Trento as well as a hub in Silicon Valley.

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Edna Ayme
@EIT_Digital
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