Discover and foster young talents in digital innovation and the most promising startups on the local scene. With this objective, in Bologna, Telecom Italia today inaugurated the new Working Capital business accelerator, the programme that since 2009 has supported the creation and development of new businesses based on digital innovation in Italy.
The Working Capital Accelerator in Bologna, situated in Via Oberdan 22 and managed in collaboration with the dPixel Venture Capital fund, is a place of work and sharing where young startuppers can grow their business ideas assisted by a team of investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.
The new space in Bologna, 650 square metres in the city centre, represents a place for meeting and innovation made available to the local community and a concrete opportunity for development rooted in North Italy. Together with the accelerators already opened in Milan, Rome and Catania, the new Bolognese facility will also host, in addition to the acceleration paths offered by WCAP each year to the most promising startups selected by the programme, educational events and meetings organized in collaboration with local Universities and partners, thereby continuing to contribute to the creation of a system of strong innovation widespread throughout the country.
The event, moderated by Salvo Mizzi, head of Telecom Italia's Working Capital project, with Gianluca Dettori, founder and chairman of dPixel, and Antonio Puglisi, founder of Digital Paths, also saw the participation of, among others, Morena Diazzi, Director General of Production Activities, Trade and Tourism of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Matteo Lepore, Councillor for the Economy, International Relations and the Digital Agenda of the Municipality of Bologna, Carlotta Ventura, head of Brand Strategy & Media of Telecom Italia, as well as some startuppers and entrepreneurs who, starting from Bologna, have brought their idea and businesses to levels of excellence. Among them, Max Ciociola, founder of MusiXmatch, and Massimo Ciuffreda, founder of WiMan.
“The opening of the Bolognese accelerator,” stated Salvo Mizzi, “aims to turn the Emilian city into one of the innovation hubs on a European scale. Emilia Romagna is the second region in Italy for the number of innovative startups and Bologna is the heart of this growing movement. We are delighted to participate and contribute to the growth of the ecosystem of this region and we are open to collaborate in a profitable manner with the different players.”
“Supporting young people's desire for entrepreneurship by rewarding, in particular, those businesses with a high knowledge content, capable of generating development and new stable and quality employment, is a priority for the Emilia-Romagna Region,” highlights the Regional Director for production activities Morena Diazzi. “It is innovation that generates development. Science and technology are an incredibly important starting point; the new enterprises arise from continuous research and innovation. We must therefore support the young in managing to turn their ideas into something concrete and productive through incubators, accelerators such as this one and by funding startups. In this way we create an environment conducive to the desire for entrepreneurship”.
The 2014 edition of Working Capital, which kicks off in the next few weeks, will provide 40 aspiring new startups in the Internet, Digital Life, Mobile Evolution and Green sectors, with a 3-month acceleration path at one of the WCAP facilities in the region and a business grant worth 25,000 euros each.
For further information and details on how to participate in the programme: workingcapital.telecomitalia.it.
Bologna, 30 January 2014