Italy has all the credentials to become a new European hub for innovation. It’s not only CB Insights who says so, citing Italy among the countries with the highest growth rate in Europe and LVenture Group among the 20 most active on the continent VC (only VC Italian), but we say it too.
In order to make this possible, it is necessary to engage in the creation of an ecosystem like the one that grew around LVenture Group: venture capital, accelerator and university united and at the core of a network of relationships with companies and investors aimed at helping the best startups to become big companies.
A great strength is the acceleration program organized by LUISS ENLABS. In fact, most of the new businesses in which we have invested come from this Acceleration Program, now known internationally and holding a top reputation in Europe. So much so that a quarter of the applications received for the last call for applications, which has just closed, come from abroad. Among 33 startups of LVenture Group’s portfolio, 23 come precisely from the Acceleration Program! But that is not all, shortly, they will become about forty: we will evaluate new investments in startups selected for the next acceleration program LUISS ENLABS. And we will not stop here: the Industrial Plan of LVG plans to invest in about 65 startups by 2018.
Our effort is both in giving birth to our startups and in supporting their development. To support them along this road, a few days ago Lorenzo Franchini joined LVenture Group’s team with the role of senior advisor. Lorenzo has a wide experience and expertise as an angel investor and entrepreneur. With him on board we have an extra asset to help startups to grow and internationalize, and to support the most mature in the final sprint towards the exit.
Recently on D di La Repubblica (insert of La Repubblica distributed on May 3) we had an article focused on us. When journalists came here to visit us, their impression was so positive that we have been defined an “Innovation park”. I don’t know if we do deserve such a grandiose “epithet”, but I can firmly say that we are a structure generating employment. Our startups have in fact already created over 300 job opportunities since 2011, and particularly the last two years.
To accommodate so many people, though, we need an enormous space and we nearly don’t fit anymore in the 2,000 square meters where we currently work (although we have acquired innovative Silicon Valley-style standing desks, that beside benefiting our health save us seats :) ). We must stretch out in a wider space. Our project is to create a maxi-accelerator, involving corporate who care about innovation.
We want and we must create a hub with visibility all over Europe where at least 100 startup interact with corporate and investors on a daily basis. Investors to finance development, and corporate to absorb both new business models and expertise. In short, we believe that this may be a push for a big industrial relaunch of Italy that will turn it in one of the leaders in the twenty-first century!