Italy represents a great opportunity for those who want to build a start-up or invest in one of them. In one of our first posts on NewsFromThePlatform, we analysed why the Italian venture capital scene is for now little known but prospectively profitable. We then pointed out, here, that the Italian start-up ecosystem is constantly growing and has become interesting for foreign investors. We also explained why we have bet on our country – as Andrea di Camillo, founder of P101, commented in April during a TV show about innovation, “Italy is a country of entrepreneurs. We have all that is needed. We have over 4 million companies, of which more than a million are joint-stock, and as such have been, for more than 1 million times, start-ups. Clearly, we have it in our DNA!”
Today, ours is no longer a lone voice: the Financial Times has recently spoken about the Italian innovation scene, stating that “Italy has a history of entrepreneurialism: think of Giorgio Armani, Michele Ferrero, who created Nutella, or more recently Federico Marchetti of Yoox Net-a-Porter, or Nerio Alessandri of Technogym.” A history that even our compatriots often forget, a history that has allowed the birth and development of an innovation network that involves the entire territory of Italy. “Turin, Bologna, Naples and Rome all have start-up hubs.”
More specifically, the British financial newspaper shines a spotlight on Milan, which is “the largest hub” and has become the new start-up mecca especially after “the impetus and increase in vitality that followed the city’s hosting last year of the World’s Fair, Expo 2015.” Indeed, in Milan live about 1.2 million people and to date there have been about 6,000 applications to create innovative start-ups. Moreover, according to data from the latest report by the Ministry of Economic Development regarding the Italian start-up access to government funding for small and medium-sized enterprises, 320 loans have been handed out in Lombardy, for a total amount of 126.6 million Euros.
However, the Financial Times is not the first to notice the liveliness of Milan: in the European ranking of the 15 most welcoming cities for their innovative start-up ecosystem that has been published in June by Eu Startups, Milan appears at position 10, with 802 start-ups – that is, 14.8% of all the innovative companies in Italy.
In short, many Italian start-ups have already proved that they can do a lot, and well. The excitement is evident in particular in those areas for which Italy is best known: art, tourism, food and wine. These are fields where our companies today, albeit with few resources, are leading the way.