Ciao Italia! Founders Factory and Fastweb launch venture studio & accelerator

For all the news brings you, a surprisingly small percentage (1.25 percent) of it mentions startups and/or tech news originating in Italy.

As our semi-regular contributor Julia Gifford noted in her report “What 21 investors have to say about investing in Italian startups”: The Italian startup scene is an enigma. The abundance of innovation and accessible, highly educated talent in Europe’s 4th – and the world’s 8th – largest economy is enough to nurture a blossoming startup ecosystem.

Having said that, Italy is not without activity, at the moment, in fact, with names like Scalapay (Italy’s very first unicorn – in February 2022), Casavo, and Bending Spoons immediately spring to mind, and also, the The country does not have its own homegrown accelerators and propellants.

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However, there is always something missing. One thing incapable. Maybe, and it’s just a maybe, Italy’s startup scene could use a little external push? Or maybe northern European VCs are looking for a budding garden to nurture? But why either, or? Why not both?

“2022 is the year Italy steps up its challenge to take the European startup crown. More investment in the region and easier access to infrastructure are needed to help a new generation of entrepreneurial talent succeed.” – Henry Lane Fox, CEO, Founders Factory

Perhaps this is where the thinking lies behind London-based Founders Factory and Swisscom-owned Milan-based Fastweb coming together to develop, fund, launch and scale more than 30 Italian and international innovations digital business in the next five years.

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With a history dating back 8 years (on paper at least, much, much longer in practical experience) Founders Factory is set to provide access to capital, a global network, and proven operational support. At Fastweb’s side of the table, entrepreneurs will open the doors to potential technological and commercial scaling and facilitate entrepreneurs’ connections in both local and international markets.

The joint venture is set to focus on startups operating in the fields of smart home, cybersecurity, healthcare, edutech, and industry 4.0. The accelerator will focus on helping pre-seed and seed-stage startups scale and expand, while the venture studio will design and launch new startups.

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Fabio Troiani, the former co-founder and CEO at the consultancy group BIP, will lead the Founders Factory Italy initiative, and will conclude with, “Throughout my 30 years of consulting, I have often faced the issue of how large companies can learn to change companies from small, nimble innovative startups.So far, I have witnessed more failures than successes.

Founders Factory’s unique formula combines the speed and creativity of the startup movement with the stability of large company management and business cases. For those developed and launched by Founders Factory Italy, it provides innovation and credibility while corporates benefit from innovation and capital returns. A unique blend to guarantee innovation success.”

Lead picture: Andrew Hoang


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