The United States Ambassador to Italy, John Phillips, made an official visit to Telecom Italia, more specifically, to the Working Capital accelerator in Rome, one of the four centres focusing on digital innovation in Telecom Italia, which since 2009 has been investing in the most promising Internet, digital life, mobile evolution and green projects to support their entrepreneurial development.
In addition to Rome, Working Capital accelerators are also present in Milan, Bologna and Catania, and represent a unique nationwide reality, with over 2,500 square meters allocated to digital innovation. The program offers the startups selected in this edition 40 Grants worth 25 thousand euros and as many acceleration and mentorship paths, along with the technical or infrastructure resources necessary for their growth and market launch.
The Ambassador, in the presence of Giuseppe Recchi and Marco Patuano, Chairman and CEO of Telecom Italia, met with the startuppers attending the accelerator and had discussions with the main representatives of the Italian innovation ecosystem on major issues related to the future of the digital economy.
In particular, it was agreed to share best practices, in terms of public investments in innovation or corporate venture programs and corporate entrepreneurship programs, as well as to provide visibility to emerging startups.
The meeting was attended by the top management of Telecom Italia and the main national key players of the digital innovation ecosystem: from institutional representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development, Lazio Region, Confindustria, to the founders of successful startups including Pedius, Oilproject, Starteed, Eco4Cloud, and Pan Pan. But also representatives of the major international foundations engaged in Venture Capital (Kauffman Society, Mind The Bridge, Startup Europe), and those of the main industry investment funds (Principia SGR, Nana Bianca, B. Ventures, Net Value - United Ventures, Italian Angels for Growth).
Today's event follows the Working Capital 2014 "call for ideas", which allowed all the startuppers and interested innovators to submit their business idea through the site www.workingcapital.telecomitalia.it .
After collecting more than 1,300 projects by more than 1,600 participants, the best startups will now be selected and in the coming months they will be awarded the Grants and the acceleration paths offered.
Working Capital is the open innovation structure of Telecom Italia that offers support and practical resources for ideas that can help shape the future of entrepreneurship. Since its launch in 2009, Working Capital has collected more than 6,000 projects, supported 179 startups, awarded 109 business Grants, incubated and funded 19 startups, pre-incubating 36, demonstrating the strong contribution to the entire value chain of the digital economy.
The 2014 edition of Working Capital also targeted international teams for the first time and, compared to previous editions, it has been enriched by two important innovations.
The first is the Seed Investment Program of Telecom Italia, which will allow 4.5 million euros to be invested over the next three years in options or the equity of the selected innovative startups. The second is the new crowdfunding platform (reward and equity based), which will be launched in the coming months, where ideas, projects and companies will be able to receive funding from the web community. The platform will support the existing Repository, created in collaboration with the Kauffman Society and designed to ensure the Working Capital startups are visible to interested Italian and international investors.
Rome, 3 June 2014