Monday, March 1, 2010

The GYM is open!

The Mind the Bridge Gymnasium is already at work. A few days ago we welcomed the first finalist startup of the 2010 edition, Prossima Isola. The two-year old IT company is run by the two founders Marcello Orizi and Daniele Idini. These two creative and talented Sardinian guys are supported by young and energetic people, most of which are still students.

Despite an almost epic travel, due to snowstorms all over Europe and flight delays everywhere, our two friends brought an unbelievable level of enthusiasm and positive energy. No doubts, this is the right approach guys! From Italy to California, from Sardinia to the Silicon Valley...Although it's too early to have a clear view of this new reality, we'd like to know what are your impressions so far?

Since the first moment in the USA we perceived a strong focus on customers.
We have had the opportunity to visit companies like Google, Facebook, VmWare, LinkedIN and this strong attention to customers is even more evident. We perceived the same attention by entering in shops like Starbucks, Trader's Joe, ect… The shop assistants use to welcome you so kindly, they call you by name and give you their business cards.

What struck you the most, both from a professional and a personal point of views?

Last week we went to the Android Developers Meetup and we were impressed by the incredible number of questions asked to the speaker after the short presentation. It was amazing!
We also realized the importance of networking in Silicon Valley; we already heard something about this and now we are experiencing it personally. It is extremely useful and interesting.
From a personal point view, we have to say that we are meeting a lot of kind people, always available to share their knowledge with us and to help us when we need some information. It seems to be a safe place to live too.

You are incubated at the Plug&PlayTechCenter, one of the most important startup incubator of the Silicon Valley. Plug&Play gathers hundreds of international entrepreneurs from all over the world and hundreds of investors and business professionals. What's the atmosphere like? What does being incubated in Silicon Valley mean for you? How would you like to exploit this opportunity?

Yes, here at PnP there are a lot of cubicles, almost like a labyrinth, and if you lose your way, you may enter the next Google startUp's office. By the way, the atmosphere is great, the competition is really high and we are meeting a lot of interesting people. It’s not difficult to meet new people during lunch-time or during some events organized here, even if we thought it was even more frequent along the working day. We made a presentation to the EiR event too. It was a short and informal presentation to the executives hosted in the PnP. Among attendances there were many people with great professional experiences and they can help you to take some strategic decision. We hope to meet a lot of interesting people, and receive their important feedbacks. Hopefully we’d like to find advisors for our company and, why not, an investor.

Can you give us a brief description of a typical day at the P&P? Did you already get in touch with other international entrepreneurs? Have you met any investor yet?

We usually start the day with many activities related to the Italian day by day operations, that means both conference calls and a bunch of emails. We spend the rest of the day working on the business plan and on other open issues. We didn’t meet any investor yet, because we are working on the Business Plan and on the presentation, in order to be ready to meet an American investor.

How useful do you think it will be, during this experience, to be supported by the mtb team and the personal mentor that mtb found for you? Why?

Our aim is to come back to Italy with many feedbacks about what Prossima Isola is doing. According to this, the MtB help is extremely useful, because they provide us a lot of strategic ideas, suggestion and interesting contacts. Supported by our mentor Matteo Fabiano, we are working hard to transform our technology into a successful service. We want to become the "de facto" standard for updating any kind of digital data. It’s a big challenge.

Once again, Marcello and Daniele welcome to the Silicon Valley! The MTB foundation and its friends wish you good luck and all the best in this new endeavor!
By the way, if you'd like to know more about Marcello and Daniele's adventure in California, please visit and enjoy their blog: !

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