Bocconi and Politecnico Support 20 Startups in Making the Big Leap

, by Fabio Todesco
In recent months, the two universities have identified in their communities new innovative companies, ready to undertake a path of growth. Today at BeReady2Fly they meet with investors and potential business partners

If overcoming the start-up phase is not easy for an innovative company, the so-called scaleup, i.e. the achievement of sustained growth and significant company size, often through collaboration with established businesses or funders, is even more difficult and records very high rates of failure.

This is why Bocconi University and Politecnico di Milano, within the framework of an agreement presented on 28 September at Palazzo Marino, have selected in their communities 20 of the most promising startups and, today, these are meeting with investors and potential business partners during the BeReady2Fly event, at the headquarters of Borsa Italiana in Palazzo Mezzanotte.

The day, organized in collaboration with Borsa Italiana, Citi Ventures, Deloitte Italia, Tinaba | Sator and Ferrovie dello Stato, is divided into two key moments: the morning, dedicated to the public presentation of the 20 selected startups (defined as high-flyers based on turnover, funding already collected and official valuations), and the afternoon, reserved exclusively for investors and companies that have the opportunity to meet the startups in dedicated business matching meetings. More than 60 investors and 80 companies have declared their interest in the innovative solutions proposed by the startups.

During the morning, the topics related to the development of innovative entrepreneurship were discussed at a round table attended by the rectors of the two universities, Gianmario Verona (Bocconi) and Ferruccio Resta (Politecnico), as well as Matteo Arpe (Tinaba | Sator), Raffaele Jerusalmi (CEO, Borsa Italiana), Francesco Iervolino (Partner Deloitte Officine Innovazione), Valla Vakili (Citi Ventures) and Franco Stivali (Ferrovie).

«The initiative is interesting for three reasons,» said Fabio Sattin, President of Private Equity Partners, one of the investors participating in the event. «First of all because it sheds light on a delicate, but too often underestimated, phase of the development of a new company, such as that of industrialization and growth. It is a phase in which companies have already demonstrated that they can have a market, but they still need help and financing. Moreover, the focus placed on this phase is a stimulus to a greater segmentation of the Italian venture capital industry, not yet articulated on the different risk/return ratios that characterize the different phases of development of a company. Finally, it's important because it demonstrates Bocconi and Politecnico's willingness to work together as a system».

«BeReady2Fly is one of Bocconi's initiatives to support entrepreneurship,» said Bocconi Rector Gianmario Verona. «Skills and entrepreneurship are the factors contributing to development that, today, are most in need of support and BeReady2Fly, with its emphasis on the scaleup phase, helps decline the concept of entrepreneurship in a more complete way, not limited to the moment of starting a new business».

«Milan, with its universities and the wealth of its human capital, is a unique area in Italy,» said Ferruccio Resta, rector of the Politecnico di Milano. «In Lombardy, in the last eight years, more than 15,000 knowledge-intensive startups have been born, with a survival rate of about 80%. I believe that the time is ripe to transform this ecosystem into a great competitive advantage, to ensure that not only do the startups stay alive on the market, but above all that they grow and step up. This is possible only through broad and shared objectives, with the contribution of all the actors present at BeReady2Fly: universities, businesses, alumni, and the financial community. They can channel energy and create that critical mass that can really make us competitive.

The startups selected by Bocconi and Politecnico have been divided into four clusters, depending on the nature of their activities:

AppQuality: apps' quality and usability testing.
Leaf Space: communication services for microsatellite operators.
Orwell: virtual studio that produces immersive videogames in virtual reality.
Userbot: artificial intelligence systems for customer service.
Math&Sport: machine learning and artificial intelligence for data analysis in sports.

D1 Milano: Italian design watches built with innovative materials.
Nireos: photonics applications for the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of materials.
Phononic Vibes: sound insulation and vibration control through innovative materials.
Xnext: development of X-ray equipment for production inspection.
Springa: production of a portable numerical control machine for the production of large objects.

CLUSTER SMART LIVING portal for the identification of the best quotes for car repair.
Mind the Gum: chewing gum as nutritional supplements for the improvement of cognitive functions.
MyCookingBox: production and distribution of kits for the preparation of typical Italian dishes.
WashoutApp: app-based service for washing cars parked on the road.
Zakeke: software that allows customers of e-stores to customize products.

Cleafy: fraud prevention solutions in online services.
Ekuota: predictive analysis tools for corporate financial risk management.
FinDynamic: dynamic discounting platform for the early collection of invoices.
Idroplan: smart components of irrigation systems, to ensure the ideal amount of water for each crop.
Wise: electrodes to be inserted in the brain or spine for the treatment of chronic pain and diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.