Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vinswer wins Premio Marzotto - MTB

Vinswer rules.
Last night in Vicenza, the Associazione Progetto Marzotto in collaboration with MTB, proclaimed Vinswer as the winner of the Gaetano Marzotto prize (hi-tech / international).
Vinswer provides a marketplace where professionals can sell their by-the-minute service to a relevant community.
Where's the beauty of it? Publishers can embed the service for free in minutes.
Think at an Adsense where, instead of text ads, publishers can earn significant revenue from B2C transactions... and with a better rev share plan.
The market can be enormous, the size of the infinite professional services that human beings can sell online.

Could be professional services by the minute (lawyers , designers, architects) but also, more importantly, regular folks with an interest and a talent, that can earn a few bucks in their spare time. How many Americans would love to learn Italian from a mother tongue on line or would appreciate some suggestions on how to furnish their home with taste from an Italian "interior designer"? How about cooking class?

Vinswer provides a community and a tachymeter (video, mobile or whatever).
Examples? Here's an initial implementation within the Bakeca website.

Congrats to the co-founders of Vinswer.

We'll be providing 4 months of full incubation, here at the Gym.
Get your ticket ready, we can't wait to see you in the Bay area ;-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The finalists for the 2011 BPC are...

  • Arkimedia (I Like TV)
  • D-Orbit
  • NextStyler
  • Stereomood
  • Timbuktu
  • Vinswer
  • Vivocha
Not much more to add, folks, it's all in the usual under-the-bridge video.
Representing ahigh diversity of Italian Innovation, played an important role in the decision.

What's next? The month of February will be incubation time, at our GYM in San Francisco.
We'll top it off with a Demo Day for investors.

Given the substantial improvement of the quality of the presenting startups, chances are that, down the line, there will be opportunities for some of the other semi-finalists.

Just a few days, and you'll hear about the winners of the 2011 Prizes.
Stay tuned. Same channels.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Venture Camp 2011: here's what happened

33 speakers, 15 startups, 375 participants, #MTBVentureCamp the top discussion topic in Italy on Twitter, just to name a few numbers.
Part of the discussions we had, ended up on the Italian Government official website. Santoro has been chasing us and our speakers every since. The real "Iene" wanted to exchange T-shirts, like you do at the end of the worldcup (expect that we run out of ours).
Established entrepreneurs who attended the events are saying our startups are officially ready to play the major league, meaning Silicon Valley (Massimo Sgrelli: "Startup italiane pronte per la Serie A")
Even more established industrialists, at the very end, communicating they want to invest heavily and directly in the Mind the Bridge Foundation (Gaetano Marzotto: min. -38)

But what happened really?? It's all kind of blurred now. I remember showing up with Iene-like sunglasses, talking with Rampagna (RCS) about the role of larger companies in Italy (to acquire startups!), with Villanueva (McKinsey) of the role of governments in promoting Startup Chile-like programs, with Earner (VC) about the chances of Italy to survive at the current pace of innovation production, while discussing the always spicy assessments of my good friend Vivek Wadhwa (Washington post, Techcrunch, etc)

I then remember Loris Degioanni and Bonzio talk about the role of role-models and father figures in one's success ("Chi vola vale, chi vale vola, chi non vola non vale (ed e' un vile)")
Bassetti, Marzotto and Beretta (that is, the best of Italian brands in the world!) kind of looking back and see how to leave a significant imprint for younger generation of entrepreneurs.

And then Vito Lomele (Jobrapido, $20M+ revenues in less than 5 years), Mario Mariani (ex Tiscali), Leandro Agro' and Gabriele Gresta (Bibop) proud representatives of a new Italy that is making waves, against all odds!
And then Nick Heller (Google) describing Google's new efforts in the "startup-incubation'
space (new incubator in London, support for similar programs in Israel and South Africa), Gesess and Baldini about their recently launched new funds.
And then Byers (Stanford) and de L'Etraz (IE) addressing the key questions entrepreneurs should answer.

And how to forget a highly inspired and always funny, Lady Innova, bringing the wisdom of the crowds (=Twitter and Facebook) in the room with the speakers.
And the evening event? Playing Light Painting with Claudio Bonoldi (boy, is that difficult!), listing to the live music of the Trio Fabio Mariani and... being totally disrupted by the Il Moralizzatore from the IENE... all flown in from Rome to attend our evening event.

Was it all real??

Did you miss it? Really??? Listen up. This is your last chance: in a few days you'll be able to see all the videos from our YT Channel.

PS the awesome pics are by Paolo Bonnacorsi, photographer (Paolo, you rock!)