Friday, November 21, 2008

...the 2008/9 Finalists are...

 Here are the MtB 2008/2009 Finalists: 
  • im3D(Medical images, CAD)        
  • Free pack net  (development and rental of reusable transport package)        
  • Nanoxer  (new materials, nanotechnology, insulation)        
  • Zooppa  (crowd sourcing video advertising) 
  • Passpack  (SaaS secure password storage)        
  • Eris 4  (BSS/ OSS, billing, ecommerce marketplace)        
  • Galgo/GliAffidabili  (Peer-to-peer services marketplace, social rating)
Congratulation to all the selected projects and thanks to the Selection Committee for their hard work.

The long preparation to the 2009 Silicon Valley tour will start officially next week.
For now, let's just enjoy the week end after a very long (as you can tell from my face) entrepreneurship week....

Here's the video that aired yesterday during the event in Florence.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Inviting Finalists: Nov 20 !!

On Nov 20th, during the workshop: "Nuova Imprenditorialita': operazione valore" we will officially communicate the projects that will be invited to the Silicon Valley road show in 2009.

The event is organized by "Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna" and will take place in Florence as part of the week long
Global Entrepreneurship Week, promoted globally by the Kauffman foundation.

The event will be streamed live on the website of Scuola Superore Sant'Anna, and through this direct link.
The declaration of the finalists will happen at around 12-12.30....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Videos + Feedback = Even Better

We have started adding the videos of the 2-day Venture Camp event.

You can find them here.

This is also the right time to collect your feedback.

Do you think this activity is valuable for you?
What do you value most? Would you like to see more of this in the future?

Friday, October 24, 2008

VC investments and the financial crazyness

During the Venture Camp we have touched several times on whether or not you gonna be nuts to start a new venture in such an incredibly unstable financial situation.
I've heard during some of the presentations and during the various networking sessions (never too many...) people confronting opposite points of view.

The same day we started our forum, Sequoia flooded all startups and relevant investors with their famous Presentation , portraying an apocalyptic view of the world of startups in the next years to come.

I have the impression that, yes, we are facing tougher times in front of us (what the heck, if even Google is being cutting on extra-free-food...).
However Scarcity is the best status to spur Innovation. From scarcity it comes clarity.
How about seeing these funky times as a real opportunity for the best ideas that solve real, tangible problems, to emerge?

On the other side, I was reading the recent statistics of the performance of PEPI (table).
Indeed, the numbers look scary, considering they do not include the last few week earthquakes.
Still, the best long term (10Y) returns from all different investment scenarios, are coming from Early stage investments in startups.
Ergo, it's time to dump your stock and make your mattress thinner... and invest in your friend startup (the smart one, though).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's all LIVE

Less than 10 hours to the opening of the MtB Venture Camp...
I landed in Venice not too long ago, and I bet a lot of other people have already started their travel plans.
For a good number of them (and us included) it feels like the "night before the exams" kind of feeling.
Let's be clear. It ain't easy to pull together such a 2-days event. We definitely raised the bar with 14 Start-up presentations, 2 live interviews, 4 panels, a gala dinner in the lagoon and a startup-investor match-making service...
a lot of energy and a lot of collaboration among different parties.

Now, that all is done, let's just enjoy the party!
Last good news.

We are planning to provide a video live streaming of the event. Stay tuned to get the connection .. (on

See you there (live or virtual).


Friday, September 19, 2008

Selected Projects for Venture Camp

After a 2 weeks selection process, with the support of our Selection Committee coordinated by Anna Gatti, we are glad to communicate the 14 projects that will be invited to present during the MtB Venture Camp.

The projects are... (roll of drums...):

  • Wiva Group
  • T4A
  • im3D
  • Free pack net
  • Nanoxer
  • Zooppa
  • Athonet
  • Passpack
  • Base 16
  • Aermatica
  • Amped
  • Eris 4
  • Galgo/Gli Affidabili
We'll be providing more information about them soon. The selection was based on a number of hard factors (financials, product quality, stage of development, etc.) but also some softer ones (i.e. represent a wide spectrum of innovative solutions, limited presentation spots).

For now, congratulations to the selected startups and thanks to our selection committee.
For all the remaining projects, do NOT fear.
During the event, we are planning to carve some dedicated time to allow 1:1 meetings between all the startups and the potential investors. 
Stay tuned for more information on the match-making process.

In the meantime, start making your plans for a memorable long week-end in Venice (the availability is limited).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

MtB on

There's an interesting article today on talking about us.
Here's the link, and here's an excerpt.

I had the chance to spend several days with Marco Pratellesi (director of a few weeks ago, during his "Silicon Valley-strategy-trip" as he calls it. I have to chance to interact with several journalists for my job. Marco strikes me for his forward thinking that is making him a bit of an ousider in his industry.

[ MIND THE BRIDGE – Mind the Bridge è una associazione nata nel 2007 con l’obiettivo di creare per la prima volta un collegamento diretto tra business plan italiani e le start up della Silicon Valley. “La missione che ci siamo dati – spiega Marco Marinucci, responsabile Content partnership di Google e anima dell’associazione – è individuare progetti italiani nel campo delle tecnologie e aiutarli a sbarcare nella Silicon Valley dove possono trovare imprenditori pronti a scommettere e investire sulla bontà dell’idea”. Tutto ruota intorno a un evento organizzato annualmente. L’associazione attraverso il sito raccoglie progetti e idee da presentare alle start up americane. Per il 2008 la deadline per l’iscrizione, che si può fare dal sito, è il 4 settembre. I progetti inviati vengono sottoposti al comitato di selezione, formato da 12 imprenditori e venture capitalist. I venti progetti scelti verranno poi presentati al “Venture Camp”, un evento che si terrà il 10 e 11 ottobre al Parco Scientifico Tecnologico di Venezia. Da qui usciranno i 5-6 progetti da portare in aprile nella Silicon Valley per presentarli ai venture capitalist americani. “L’associazione – spiega Marinucci – vuole essere prima di tutto un canale pratico che individui nuove idee interessanti in Italia e le aiuti a sbarcare nel mercato internazionale degli investitori per accedere a partnership o investimenti. Noi li affidiamo a mentori che in 4-5 mesi li aiutino a focalizzare l’idea imprenditoriale e a scrivere un business plan che possa avere maggiori possibilità di successo. Poi, ad aprile, li portiamo qui e li facciamo incontrare con investitori e società che studiano il piano e valutano su quali investire o stringere partnership”. L’anno scorso il successo è stato incoraggiante: dei 55 progetti presentati ne sono stati selezionati 5 e tutti sono andati avanti con sviluppi che vengono regolarmente seguiti sul sito. “Ci arriva di tutto – spiega Marinucci _ dal ragazzo fresco di università con un’ottima idea ai centri di ricerca e all’aziende che hanno anche 10 anni di attività, ma che in Italia non sono riuscite a decollare”. ]


Sunday, May 18, 2008

MtB Workshop in ROMA

On April 15th we held the 1st Mind the Bridge workshop in Rome.

The event took place in one of the endless wonderful palaces in Rome, now base of the Center for Italian-American Studies.

Getting back to Rome after a few years, mostly spent in the "new world", kind of made an impression on me. We need a constant memory refresh to remind the beauties that surround us in Italy.
The same applies for the event we had. I was extremely pleased that in such a short time we were able to put together likely the best of the current Italian entrepreneurship ecosystem.
On one side, in the morning we had presentations from the best of breed of Italian seed and VC investors (here's the 
list of participants).
Their presentations were very practical, informational and down-to-earth.
In the afternoon, the ball moved into the start-up field. We participated to parallel presentations of 28 start-ups, most of them participants of the first edition of the MtB business plan competition.
Here's a list of the 
presenting start-ups, and a short description.

Now, it goes without saying that we have some margins for improvement, in selecting, presenting and receiving the new great business ideas our country is producing.
But it was refreshing to see gathered a smart group of prospective entrepreneurs on one side and a growing group of local investors on the other, talking the same language, try to build critical mass, sharing information candidly.
I had the impression that a new wave is just starting, and it's just 
thrilling that Mind the Bridge is among the drivers of such a change.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Before going back...

Here are some comments and opinions about our personal experience we shot at Google just before leaving.

For Econoetica it has been an amzing adventure and an incredible networking experience.
We hope that this initiative will take off and many other italian start up will have the opportunity of "thinking bigger" and, once back, "giving back" satrting to create a bridge between "here" and "there", between good ideas and the best envoironment where they can possibly grow.
We will do our best

Monday, April 7, 2008

Feedbacks from SFO

Hi guys.
First of all, I would like to thanks the organisation. Meetings and events were put together perfectly, allowing for detailed talking in each meeting (including welcome dinner). No need to rush from place to place.
The best benefit of "Mindthebridge" is undoubtely the network. It is an opportunity to find out a way for your business goals. It is an opportunity to know and connect people, who knows and can connect other people, et cetera, et cetera ... . It is an opportunity for Italians to be in touch with US business environment, as well as for Americans to know what is boiling in the Italian owen and how to create value together.
Please, let me say that I am happy and sad at the same time after the event. Happy, cause the entrepreneurial spirit of Italians showed once more that "we can if we want". Sad, cause the event shows one more that the state/public Italian organisations, which claim to do it and are well supported by the Italian taxpayers, are very poorly effective.
Now, ... "homo faber fortuneae suae" ...
Keep in touch, guys.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Il road show volge al termine: il lavoro inizia

Oggi è il nostro ultimo giorno di incontri con gli investitori. Sono stati tanti, intensi e tremendamente formativi. Ora, come dicono qui, è ora di fare l'Homework: ripendere tutti i contatti creati, tutte le idee fornite e lavorare per trasformarli in opportunità concrete.

Il 15 a Roma, nell'evento organizzato come cappello finale di Mind The Bridge 2008, ci sarà l'opportunità di raccontare la nostra esperienza e per quella data avremo digerito quello che in questi giorni è stato un viaggio sulle montagne russe, senza tempo di fiatare.

Marco, Matteo&Matteo, Alberto, Richard e moltissime altre persone che hanno lavorato per noi e investito il loro tempo in questa scommessa sono stati grandi mentori e fantastici organizzatori.

Una cosa che si impara subito è che aiutare qualcuno non vuol dire lavorare al suo posto, ma semplicemente creare opportunità che solo i più determinati sapranno cogliere.

Se c'e' qualcosa che l'Italia, come paese, dovrebbe imparare è questo: tenere le porte aperte al talento, ma solo chi lavora per sfruttare le possibilità può e deve andare avanti

Ci vediamo a Roma

Thursday, April 3, 2008

First rest...first post!

So guys,
facts speak more than words and, here I am, posting something about this amazing initiative just after 7 days spent here and just one day before coming back to Italy. That's simply means that Mind The Bridge got everythings from you...not only a presence or an idea...but everything: passion, iron will, time...really all the time you have! ;-) And that’s to help you as most as they can. Our mission is their mission and it’s the only mission that has sense here: “reach the goal!”.
So guys…don’t think MTB is just a business plan competition please! It’s really more than that! We are talking about a network of business developers and technology experts who love to breath innovation, moved on by passion and will to make Italy get back the role of the first order it deserves. That’s true! You know…history rules. And here we are again…americans and italians…two special countries with open minds and…how to say…fast beating hearts which have contributed a lot to what we now call modern society. So let’s hope to be able to get these big results together again and again and again! That’s the goal ;-) Btw every great goal always stay at the end of a long and difficult path that you can do only if supported by very special persons. So very thanks to all the members of the selection and organizing committee. A special thanks also go to Marco Marinucci (the creator of this amazing initiative) and Fabrizio Capobianco (a big CEO and a wonderful advisor) and all the people I have met here that helped me to tune-up my business with their feedbacks or simply give me some very important informations (Matteo Daste, Vittorio Viarengo, Giacomo Marini, Fausto Boni, Richard Boly, Matteo Fabiano, Alessandro Viral, Michele Libraro, and so many others). Obviously I cannot summing up all these days in a unique post…that’s why (sorry Marco) I can only publish some cute images that let guys imagine what kind of experience MTB offered to its finalists. And the best is yet to come! That’s only the start…so stay tuned!

New Ark airport. After 10 hours of fly it's not so great discovering your next fly will take off after 4 hours delay. That's why you nust really like smiling and thinking always positive even it sometime shit happen :-)

first visit at Google - SF

That's my cute chevrolet parked at Google - Montain View

Me and Marco - Clift Hotel, SF

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Monday March 31st

A few pics from the rich agenda of presentations we had on Monday.

Giacomo Marini: "what a VC expects"

Matteo Fabiano: "tips for effective pitching"

Jim Mayock: "Immigration issues"

Matteo Daste: "Setting up US operations in US"

Monday, March 31, 2008

first night @ clift hotel

Ok, everything is ready!! well... almost! these are us, me and Luca from Econoetica working at our elevator pitch...

from somewhere at floor "M" (what does it mean??) @ Clift Hotel, downtown S. Francisco!

00.55 US pacific time... good night

Friday, March 28, 2008

Let's get it started

It was about time to go live.
This space is dedicated to the participants of Mindthebridge business plan competition.
Here's the space where to share the expectations, the successes and also the failures (if any!).

We'll be start sharing the live experience of the "fantastic 5", the 5 finalists who will be able to showcase their start-up in the Silicon Valley.

What a better time to start than the day they're taking off to come the States??

We are all convinced that "take off" might mean for some of them more than just flying.

Stay tuned and... a good journey!