Thursday, July 28, 2011

MtB Boot Camp 2011.. One more reason to be in!

The deadline (July, 31st) to participate in the Business Plan Competition is approaching and it’s time to give you one more reason to be in.
For the 25 best startups selected in the competition MtB reserves a special path that includes education, training, networking, visibility, connections with the Silicon Valley.. In one word “Opportunities”.

First stage: 3 days, 9 instructors and 2 cities, Milan and Turin!

We are talking about the MtB Boot Camp 2011, a 3 days of exclusive intense, hands-on workshop led by exceptional instructors and devoted to the 20/25 startups that will pass the first selection. This first phase represents a unique and outstanding occasion for the selected startups to receive valuable advices useful for structuring their business plan. Charles Versaggi, Ivan Farneti, Marco Magnocavallo, James C. Roberts III are some our excellent Boot Camp Instructors having the hard task to inspire, follow, comment and evaluate your project.

Let’s find out something more about them..

Charles Versaggi (president of Versaggi Biocommunications): Mr. Versaggi is our MtB Boot Camp Director. With nearly 30 years of strategic marketing and communications experience, he helped launch a number of industry firsts in life science field. His charisma had already won the attention of the last year’s startups and we are confident he will gain yours too.

Marco Asquini (Co-Founder, Italian Angels for Growth): Mr. Asquini is an industrial designer, serial entrepreneur, restructuring specialist, and the co-founder of Super//Fluo, a Pordenone-based company focused on the design and creation of Friulian TVs, plasmas and LCDs. He is also co-founder of the Italian Angels for Growth (IAG), the largest angel investment group in Italy aimed at promoting Italian entrepreneurship.

Ivan Farneti (Partner at Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures): Mr. Farneti has been an active venture capital investor in start-up businesses both in Europe and in the US since 1997. He is a Partner at Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures where he focuses on enterprise, internet and mobile software and services. 

Marco Magnocavallo (Co-Founder at Blogo and Wikli): Mr. Magnocavallo is a serial entrepreneur, product manager and technology executive. Known as an angel investor and a successful serial entrepreneur, Marco has recently invested in companies in the US, UK and in Italy including: WebMynd, NextDigest, NoiseToys, Iubenda and Fubles. The latter was one of the finalists of the MtB past edition.

Massimo Ciociola (Founder & CEO of MusiXMatch): Mr. Ciociola is founder and CEO of MusiXMatch , a new startup focused on Music + Online Ads Platform. He has more than 11 years worldwide experience in Mobile Entertainment and Music Market. In 1999 he founded one of the first Mobile Entertainment player: Wireless Solutions spa, then part of DADA Group in 2001 (DA.MI).

James C. Robert III (Lawyer & Managing Partner, Global Capital Law Group):
Mr. Roberts is the managing partner of the law firm, Global Capital Law Group, and CEO of its affiliated strategic consulting firm, Global Capital Strategic Group. His work (in both law and consulting) span several fields: startups, venture capital, licensing, international expansion and mergers & acquisitions in digital media and technology (e.g., cross-platform or mobile projects), cleantech and other advanced technology initiatives, especially those that cross borders.

Pietro Bezza (Managing Partner at Connect digital media ventures): Pietro is a passionate entrepreneur turned active early stage investor, with 12+ years experience in Internet, Mobile and Media sectors. He is member of IAG; he is Mentor at Seedcamp and Oxygen Accelerator.
Pietro acts as angel investor, co-founder and/or advisor in internet-based and consumer brand project and in promising startups, such as RisparmioSuper, winner of Mind the Bridge Business Plan Competition 2010.

Alberto Onetti, Chairman of Mind the Foundation and Leonardo Camiciotti, Development Program Director at Top-IX Consortium complete this magnificent frame.

The MtB Boot Camp represents also a compulsory step for deciding the 15 semifinalists that will pitch at the MtB Venture Camp. However, regardless of the selection results, thanks to the MtB Boot Camp you will have terrific advantages. Besides benefit from the experience of our prominent Mentors in helping you dealing with your business plan structure, you will soon have the opportunity to get in contact with strategic people, investor and entrepreneurs. Entering in the “Mind the Bridge world”, indeed, will give you access to the Silicon Valley network, an incredible opportunity to see your business taking off.

But when and where the MtB Boot Camp is going to take place?
The workshop will open in Milan with a Public Forum held in September 22nd in occasion of the Social Media Week. Then the MtB bandwagon moves to Turin for a 2 days of lessons, pitches and suggestions (Sept 23rd, 24th), reserved to the 25 selected startups, to help them in clarifying, creating and communicating their business vision, proprietary science and technology into a viable business plan, worthy of financial support. This year, thanks to the partnership with TOP-IX Consortium these two intense days will be held at OGR – Officine Grandi Riparazioni, a masterpiece of industrial architecture set up to celebrate the 150 years of Italy in the heart of Turin


What are you waiting for? Send us your Biz Plan and save the dates!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nicola Allieta, the jackpot winner

Back in Febrary we announced the amazing opportunity for the best recent graduate to join us in Silicon Valley, supported by a significant package.

Now, a few months later, the dream came true for one lucky candidate.
We are excited to introduce Nicola as a new team member, based out of our HQs in San Francisco.

Here's his story:

A true man of the valley. To the Silicon Valley, home to many of the world's largest hi-tech corporations, from the Aosta Valley known for...well...cheese. No matter how much he has traveled since leaving his native Aosta after high school, it seems that Nicola was destined to settle down in a valley.

Nicola started his education in management at at the Università degli Studi di Pavia where he graduate in Marketing and E-Business. During this period he spent 1 year in Strasbourg through the EU Erasmus programme. He then completed a three-year graduate Master programme in Management at the French ESCP Europe spending 2 years across London and Paris. He recently graduated in Business Administration at the University of Turin.

His professional background is mainly in the entertainment industry having worked for a film financing boutique in London and a major distribution and production company in Paris. Nicola’s interest in entrepreneurship sparked through an international research project on business incubators.

The survival challenges faced by startups and the risks undertaken by venture capitalists remind him of the often hazardous business of entertainment. In both ventures the challenge is to pre-determine the outcome, be it a Fortune 500 company or an Oscar winning blockbuster (although Nicola does spot the differences between a sci- fi script and a business plan).

You'll hear more from him here and here.
Questions? Feel free to contact him at

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Startup's.. cool!

People living in San Francisco during this weeks will certainly agree that there's not a full summer in the city, the fog and the cold wind are good and habitual friends here. Although the cold summer, 5 guys decided to leave the 95 °F (35 °C) in Italy to attend the first edition of Mind the Bridge Startup Summer School. They brought a few sweaters in their luggage, a business idea in their mind and a lot of excitement for this life-changing experience.

Simone Lini, 21 years and at his second year at Bocconi university, is developing a business on a carpool system. Massimo Garzulino and Danilo Spanò, 25 years both and at their last year respectively of Law and Business School at University of Pavia, have a patent on a wall mobile charger. Andrea Amedeo, 32 years and expert in communication, is developing a systems of feedbacks on top of a social network and finally Andrea Morra, 34 years, physicist and MBA, is developing a tracking system to avoid falsification of goods.

Whatever their idea, they decided to spend their holidays to get their first experience of the startups world in the most entrepreneurial area in the world, the Silicon Valley, because yes, also in Italy for increasingly more people "startup is cool"!
And in the big debate between "born-to-be entrepreneur" or "trained-to-be entrepreneur" they just jumped in the action without waiting for other people's answer to this big question, deciding to try, to share their project with the speakers of our seminars and with other startups in the area, ready to see their business model destroyed and to rebuild a new one with the feedbacks received.

Are those guys born to be entrepreneur? I guess they just took the risk to become one.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

2011 Business Plan Competition: what a Selection Committee!

While we are approaching to the deadline for the 2011 Business Plan Comepetition, our Selection Commitee has been integrated with phenomenal adds-on.
Now we have 40 people -investors, angels and entreprenuers- representing the best of breed of the seed and venture capital eco-system, both in Italy and abroad.
you can find the updated list of members. Welcome to the new entrants and thank again to the core group of members who support us since day one.
The Commitee is coordinated - as usual - by Fabrizio Capobianco, Founder and President of Funambol Inc. (on the right in the pic, shot last Friday in Pavia at the Summer Meeting of the Giovani Industriali di Pavia, where we had a lot of fun discussing how to exploit connections between Italy and US).
Don't miss the deadline for submitting your business idea, that is July 31st. 20 days are remaining, then hurry up!