The Rome event entitled “Si Può Fare – Il coraggio di crescere” (Yes We Can - The Courage to Grow) today concluded Working Capital 2012, the Telecom Italia scheme designed to reward the most promising business initiatives in the Web 2.0 arena and the new frontiers of the Internet. In the presence of Marco Patuano, CEO of Telecom Italia, representatives of the Italian institutions and national and foreign investors, 20 proposals were awarded enterprise grants worth €25,000 each for their high innovation and business development potential.
Talent from Italy and abroad, in particular from universities, this year put forward around 1,100 ideas that are ready for the development stage to go on to become fully fledged businesses in a wide range of areas - from green technologies and social networks to sensors, smart cities and Big Data.
Opening the proceedings was a debate chaired by Gianluca Dettori and Riccardo Luna between CEO Marco Patuano and Michel Martone, Deputy Minister of Social Policy, Abdulaziz Alhargan of the BADIR Program and MPs Paolo Gentiloni and Antonio Palmieri.
The winners were also given a chance to pitch their ideas to leading players in Italian ICT innovation, representatives of the main incubators and major international investors.
“Today's awards crown the efforts of the last four years”, stated Marco Patuano, CEO of Telecom Italia. “Years in which Telecom Italia has taken concrete steps to build a digital ecosystem capable of attracting the best business ideas around.”
“I firmly believe that the crisis affecting the country must be tackled by encouraging new entrepreneurship and giving fresh impetus to the existing industrial fabric through the opportunities offered by services, applications and digital technologies."
“This is why from 2012 Working Capital will be further reinforced,” declared Patuano. “We will be giving national and foreign investors access to the scheme which has attracted more than 4,000 business proposals since 2009, fostering links between ideas and capital. 2013 will also see the Working Capital scheme put down local roots with the opening of three incubators in Milan, Rome and Catania, three physical spaces in which to spawn new firms and stimulate the creation of start-ups around the country. We will also be increasing the number of €25,000 grants from 20 in 2012 to 30, for a total outlay of €750,000."
Rome, 13 November 2012