Friday, May 27, 2011

The Business Plan Competition 2011 is open!

Are you a wanna-be entrepreneur? Are you a talent with an innovative idea? We are waiting for you!

After a few weeks from the Italian Innovation Day (IID) in New York and Stanford, which declared Barbara Labate (Super Compare) and Marco Brini (Minteos) as the winners of the BPC 2010, the applications for fifth edition of the Business Plan Competition are open now!

To participate you have just to fill the Executive Summary you can download from our web site and send it together with your Business Plan to not later than midnight of July 31st, 2011.
Here it is possible to download the documents required (Executive Summary and Business Plan) and find all the rules and instructions.
And.. that’s all!

Why should you submit your Business Plan?
Participating in the Business Plan Competition give you the chance to live a unique experience. The best 15 innovative ideas will be admitted free of charge to Training modules and have an opportunity to pitch @ the MtB Venture Camp that will be held in Milan at Corriere della Sera on November 4th and 5th.

Selected finalists will be admitted - for one month (in March 2011) to the MtB Gym, our mentoring program we run in Silicon Valley, and the investor roadshow we organize both on East and West Coast. Then a unique opportunity to get trained and spend a month in Silicon Valley, a strategic place where to focus on your business plan, meet investors, potential customers and partners.

Want to hear from our last year finalists? Here is the video of some of our alumni talking about their experience with MtB!

Finally, thanks to the partnership with RCS Media Group and with Progetto Gaetano Marzotto, starting this year we introduced two new Prizes. The RCS Digital Publishing Prize will offer the opportunity to a startup operating in the digital media/publishing space to attend our Gym Program in San Francisco for 3 months instead of one. The Premio Gaetano Marzotto, which extends the Gym period to 4 months, will be devoted to a young entrepreneurial idea (max 35 years old) developed in a high tech area with possibilities to grow internationally.

So, what are you waiting for? We are looking forward to receive your application!

For further information visit our page regarding the BPC 2011 or write to

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Presenting the RCS Digital Publishing Prize

Great news for the startups attending the Mind the Bridge Business Plan Competition!
Starting this year, we have a new important award that further enhances our partnership with RCS Mediagroup.

The RCS Digital Publishing Prize has been officially presented last week in New York City @ the Italian Innovation Day. The Prize aims at supporting innovation in the publishing, advertising and media industries. More specifically, the goal is to improve either the user experience of digital readers (content, value, etc.) or the appeal of digital publishing platforms for advertisers.

That's how Alceo Rapagna, CIO of RCS Mediagroup, introduces the goals of the RCS Digital Publishing Prize.
The startup awarded with the RCS Digital Publishing Prize will be incubated – free of charge - for a period of three months at the Gym Program in San Francisco. A terrific chance to turn your business idea into a solid and sound business plan and create business and funding connections in the ecosystem of the Silicon Valley!

What do you have to do to apply for the RCS Digital Publishing Prize?
Just have a disruptive idea in the digital media/publishing space and make the application to the Business Plan Competition 2011 (deadline is Jul 31st).
Digital Innovators, we want you!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mind the Bridge @StartuParty at The Hub Milan

StartuParty is an initiative launched by a bunch of start-uppers who would like to involve new people in the Italian Startup & Innovation world; following the example of Assisti (Associazione Italiana Startup Innovative) and in partnership with The Hub Milan and Startup-Business, its purpose is to bring new energy into the Italian entrepreneurial ecosystem, in particular students and young entrepreneurs in a very informal way and pulling them with the “party” call up!

StartuParty will be a very easy-going event where the aim is to involve students who will be the future entrepreneurs, into the entrepreneurial community and try to cross the chasm of the diffusion of Innovation culture in Italy.

In fact, StartuParty format consists of a series of "theme party” where many wannabe-start-uppers who had not made yet the first pitch are invited, besides the case-hardened start-uppers. A number of parties will be launched to put in touch start-uppers, geeks, coders, wannabe entrepreneurs, business angels, venture capitalists and everyone interested in the early stage ecosystem.

The first event will be held in Milan, on Thursday, May 19th starting from 9 p.m. @The Hub Milan (Via Paolo Sarpi 8), music by Stefano Bernardi (dPixel).
Mind the Bridge will be there, what about you?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Startups admitted @ Gym Session in Firenze

As you know, on Friday the 13th, we are in Florence for the first date of our Italy Tour 2011. In the afternoon we are going to replicate a Gym session, i.e. part of the mentorship activity we regularly run in Silicon Valley with the incubated startpus: companies pitching in front of a panel of venture capitalists and seasoned entreprenuers.
We got a lot of applications from Tuscany. Our Selection Committee worked pretty hard for preparing the short-list of startups admitted to the Gymnasium in Florence. Not an easy task since we received a lot of plans, all of them quite interesting and promising.
Anyway, here are (in alphabetical order) the startups we selected for the Gym next Friday:

As we always point out, not being in the list above does not mean that there is no potential in your plan. Thus we are looking forward to meeting all the startups (not only the selected ones) in Firenze, where to share insights and provide some feedback.
We strongly suggest to take part to the whole event with your entire management team (please register with all the members if you haven't yet done).
Startups admitted to the Gym session have 10 minutes for presenting their idea (we will send you a template for helping you in structuring the presentation). Presentation will be followed by 20/25 minute time of Q&A.
The key word of the Gym is open discussion and honest feedback. Then partecipating to the Gym session is a MUST for all the startups, not only for the ones we selected to present. Everybody can largely benefit from the discussion of all the business ideas as well as the education program in the morning.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Firenze: here we come

Next week, on Friday (May 13th) we are in Florence, with the first date of our Mind the Bridge Italy Tour 2011 (next dates are Pavia and Genova, both in June). The venue is the Sala Assemblee Confindustria Firenze, Via Valfonda, 9.
It is a full day program (here you can find the updated program): Startup School in the morning (with Alberto Onetti on the stage) and a session of our MtB Gym in the afternoon.

As you know, in the afternoon we are going to replicate here in Italy our Gym, i.e. the mentorship activity we regularly do in Silicon Valley with our startpus admitted to the program: companies presenting their business plans in front of a panel of venture capitalists and seasoned entreprenuers. Open discussion, comments, honest feedbacks. Ultimate goal is fine tuning the business idea (what and where it works, where and what doesn't) and making the value proposition more effective.
We are collecting applications. If you are interested to present at the MtB GYM session, please send your executive summary to We will select the most promising projects that will be presented to the panel of experts. Deadline is May 6th, then hurry up, don't miss the opportunity!
If you are just interested to attend to the event, please remember to reserve your ticket: it is free, but admissions are limited. Here is the link for RSVP.
During the morning session we will present the Business Plan Competition 2011 (providing insights and tips) and the terrific Prizes we introduced this year:
the Premio Gaetano Marzotto (check the website for details) plus others (one will be announced tomorrow in New York @ the Italian Innovation Day, stay tuned...).