Sunday, May 27, 2012

Winds of (very positive) changes

We've been a bit silent on this blog in the last couple of months, but that's no indication of what's actually happening at Mind The Bridge. So far 2012 has been a fantastic year for the Italian startups ecosystem, and it will be remembered as a key turning point for the Mind The Bridge foundation.

So, here's a bit of what's going on

The winner keeps winning
Timbuktu, the innovative publisher of an iPad magazine for kids who won the 2011-2012 Mind The Bridge competition, is currently going through the famous 500 Startups accelerator program here in Silicon Valley, picking up a lot of press both in Italy and in the US, and attracting substantial investor interest.

Dave McClure - founding partner at 500 Startups - a couple of months ago made it clear in an interview that "families" will be a central area of focus for his program: startuppers typically don't have kids and don't tend to focus on that target market, hence the big opportunity. It makes sense, and Timbuktu's timing couldn't have been better.

By the way, here are Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo interviewed by Stefano Bernardi at a recent Mind The Bridge Event.

The finalists keep finalizing
Many of the other MtB competition finalists including D-Orbit, NextStyler, StereoMood, and Vivocha have already finalized or are finalizing their first or second found of investment. It was great to have them in the Mind The Bridge office in February (and some of them stayed for ad additional couple of months) and help them get to the next step.

We'll run startup-specific stories on each of them in upcoming blog posts.

The bridge is growing
In the meantime, at Mind The Bridge we are working on several exciting projects:

  • All Mind The Bridge Web sites are being completely redesigned and consolidated under one roof to better tell the Mind The Bridge story, more effectively showcase the startups that go through our programs, and more prominently highlight the increasing number of mentors that volunteer their efforts to make them grow and thrive. The redesigned Mind The Bridge Web site will be launched in the summer. More on that soon!
  • The mentoring program is expanding: it turns out that mentoring and wine tasting go really well together. The program is growing not just in the number of mentors involved, and also in the type of involvement, and we'll have some big announcements in that area soon too.
  • More and more companies pass through our offices in downtown San Francisco: it's become a hangout place for entrepreneurs with an Italian connection, and we love it.
The wind is blowing strong on the 7th story outdoor terrace at One Market (one of the awesome perks of the MtB office building), and we're feeling it inside the office too. It's a time of big momentum for Italian startups in the Valley (big, official celebration for the Glancee sale to Facebook coming soon on June 6, to be confirmed: stay tuned), and at MtB we'll to our best to make sure the momentum keeps growing.

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