Saturday, June 23, 2012

Emanuele Guglielmino wins the MTB Startup School!

Last Thursday the MTB Italy Tour stopped in Genoa.
Genova is a home of  the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), the new Technology Park "Erzelli" and a prestigious University:  an enormous but highly unexploited potential for innovation.
Our goal for this second stop of our Tour is Genova was simple:  spread the message, as loud as possible, that building a company, create your own job is cool, heroic even.
A mission fully shared by Francesco Oddone, Assessore Sviluppo Genova, Paola Girdinio, Dean of the Genoa Engineering School, Paolo Marenco (Silicon Valley Study tour), Renato Soru (Tiscali) and, last but not least, Maria Silva from Genova High Tech who successfully promoted and coordinated this event in Genova.
In the morning panel, coordinated by Marco Marinucci, Renato Soru from Tiscali and Marco Salvadori from Cisco Systems shared their invaluable experience with the audience.
In the afternoon, as usual, we run a Gym Session. Five selected startups were invited to present in front of investors and entrepreneurs with the goal of receiving constructive feedback. 
Genova High Tech sponsored a free entry to our Startup School in San Francisco to the most promising project.

And the winner is... Emanuele Guglielmino, a team leader at IIT, with a background of electrical and control engineering and 13-years of research experience in big companies such as Westinghouse (UK) and General Electric and R&D Institutions. 
His project (called microturbine) is a patented coin-size high speed microturbine able to harvest energy exploiting airflow to produce electric energy with applications ranging  from pipeline monitoring to web farm servers power supply back up
We think this idea has the potential to turn into a solid product that can successfully address global markets. MTB is going to give him the tools and skills  to make it happen! 

We are not done yet... Next week we will land in Sicily.
On June 29th MTB will be in Catania for the last date of our Italy Tour 2012. 
Principia SGR will be sponsoring a MTB School to the best presenting startup.

If you are interested to send your business plan or to participate to the event, you are still in time to submit your application or register! More information here
See you at the foot of Etna...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Time to think BIG

<Guest post from Leonardo Camiciotti, Top-IX>

Revolutions are exciting if you realize you are living them.
Recently, we have been spending a lot of time talking and thinking about socio-economic crisis, job losses, frozen GDP and so on.
In the meanwhile, a real gold mine is being built silently through the Internet.
Gazillions of digital data is being created daily: logs, business transaction records, sensor and mobile device data, etc., reproducing digitally the real world in the fields of healthcare, energy, education, public administration, logistics, finance, tourism, etc. not to mention the emotions and life snapshots flowing through the social networks.  
The Internet acts as a mirror, able as it is to interact bidirectionally. On the one hand, it describes reality; on the other, it stimulates and influences it – and much faster than any other social transition previously experienced. A sort of parallel world is growing and this gives an unprecedented opportunity to analyze data, decipher and cross-mine them, finding emerging and recurrent patterns, discovering hidden behaviors. 
This will ignite a new wave of innovation, increased productivity and global growth as long as new professionals are available to dive into this ocean of data in order to extract potential valuable information and turn it into actionable wisdom. 

 The McKinsey Global Institute (McKinsey Global Institute, Big data: The Next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity) estimates that the “The United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions based on their findings”
The rest of the world is likely to face similar shortages and, in addition, the next big company will probably emerge in this field. 
Can you hear me? No job losses, no crisis, no gloomy scenarios: a gigantic, concrete, challenging job and business opportunity who might position those who grab it in a leadership position in the years to come, fostering growth and creating socio-economic value.
Therefore, as a first step,  TOP-IX (MTB long time partner) invited top-notch worldwide experts to talk about Big Data during its last conference at the end of 2011. Now Top-Ix gonna move a step forward: in collaboration with Axant , ISI Foundation and ToDo TOP-IX organizes in October a four-week training program called BIG DIVE , in order to boost the technical skills needed to dive into the big data universe. 

The goal is to nurture the growth of a new generation of developers. 
A street-fighting gym where high value datasets are the raw material in the hands of a bunch of ambitious smart geeks, tutored and mentored by experts in three key areas: Development, Visualization Design and Data Science. 
They are looking for brave divers, it's time to think BIG. 
Don't miss this opportunity!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MTB launches SeedQuest, new accelerator program

Many great things have happened, since our inception 5 years ago. Today, it marks another critical step forward in our quest for the promotion and support of Italian Innovation in the world.
Speaking of quest... today we are unveiling our brand new accelerator program (drum roll)... Seed Quest.
Seed Quest is the natural evolution of our 5-year old business plan competition, now encompassing the sharp developments that have shaped the early startup world since we started: less focus on waterfall business planning more on early traction, more hands-on mentoring and, yes, a little seed funding to cover the expenses of a fully focused product development (that means no need to work on consulting services on the side to pay your bills, folks).

Does that mean that we want to be a different animal then, from the "give back to the community" foundation that you've known?
Not a single bit. Our hearth and soul remain the same. More than ever, we remain fully committed to our mission: providing support, inspiration and guidance for the new generations of Italian entrepreneurs. We are convinced, though, that we can do better to help develop more success stories.
And only success is the real sugar that fuels the entire ecosystem.
We can leverage Silicon Valley to help re-create the success of  Glancee, Cacetech or Timbuktu.
There is no other effective way to support longer term a startup than putting your money into it.
And that's what we are going to do.
We are committed to providing friendly terms to portfolio startups and we are working to line up more follow on investments from later stage investors.

For the record, a good chunk of the potential returns from the investments (plenty!), will go back to support the foundation activities, and help spread more entrepreneur-virus!

It took us sometime to get here, but we are convinced that, with you, we can go a long way.

For details

Friday, June 8, 2012

June 21st: the MTB Italy Tour arrives in Genova!

As tradition, the MTB Italy Tour stops in Genova this summer, one of our favorite city (guess why :). 

When? On June 21st, save the date! 

Held at Camera di Commercio of Genova, this one-day event brings in Liguria a new culture of entrepreneurship, and gives to one startup the possibility to experience the Silicon Valley. 
Indeed, thanks to the partnership with Genova High Tech - one of the more active actors of the local innovation ecosystem -, one of the startups selected to pitch at the afternoon Gym session will win a free seat and attend our Startup School in San Francisco! 

How to participate in the event and fly to Silicon Valley? Send your Business Plan to and fill the Executive Summary on line here by June 17th. You will be considered for our Gym Session and, if selected, you will present in front of a panel of investors and entrepreneurs. The best startup will win the MTB Startup School in San Francisco. 

The event starts at 10am. After the welcome speech, Marco Marinucci (MTB Executive Director) and Alberto Onetti (MTB Chairman) will present the "nuts and bolts" of building a startup and getting funded.
In the afternoon experienced investors and entrepreneurs will give constructive feedback and advices to the startups admitted to present at the Gym Session.

See the full program here and don't miss this opportunity! Participation is free but registration is mandatory (here the link).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jun 29th, we are in Catania

As you know in Q2 every year Mind the Bridge is on Tour all over Italy. We started from the North (Trento) in April, we decided to end in the far South. On Jun 29th we will be in Catania. As usual it will be a full day program (here you can find the updated program): Startup School in the morning (with Alberto Onetti and Marco Marinucci on the stage) and a session of our MtB Gym in the afternoon where 5 local startups will be selected to pitch in front of a panel of investors such as Marco Magnocavallo (Principia), Davide Turco and Gianni De Caro (Atlante Ventures), Alfonso Riccardi (Vertis)... And an awesome prize is ready for the the best startup presenting in Catania: Principia and Mind the Birdge grants a free spot to the Mind the Bridge Startup School in San Francisco! That's your opportunity to fly to California and be a Silicon Valley startup for 3 weeks. Can't miss it! Learning, open discussion, comments, honest feedbacks. Ultimate goal of the Mind the Bridge Italy Tour is learn about the startups' world, fine tuning your business idea (what and where it works, where and what doesn't) and making your value proposition more effective. If you want to be considered for the MtB GYM Session, please send your Startup Pitch (10-15 slides) to and fill the online document ( June 24. We will select 5 promising startups. The best startup will “Win the Summer in Silicon Valley” and be admitted free of charge at the MtB Startup School in California! 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. The event is hosted by Ehica and the venue is Le Ciminiere di Catania (Viale Africa). Catania, here we come. See you there.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Startups and The Law

When? Jun 27th, 6:30pm Where? Milan What? A special event focused to address the main legal and tax issues startups and founders face in the early stage of their business venture. That's the goal of the event named "Startups and the Law" we organize in Milan in partnership with Cleary Gottlieb and Tavecchio & Associati. In this event, that is part of our Mind the Bridge Italy Tour 2012, we are going to have a sort of "Legal Gym", i.e. a Q&A session where startuppers and entrepreneurs can discuss with legal and tax experts about hot topics such as: - where to incorporate my startup(Italy vs US vs UK vs Luxembourg), pros and cons, - how to deal with investors, - how to manage my IP, - how to deal with convertible notes and stock option plans. The Q&A session will be moderated by Alberto Onetti (Mind the Bridge), Carmelo Fontana (Google Italia) and Roberto Bonsignore (Cleary Gottlieb). We provide high level information about the topics above and answer to some basic questions. Please anticpate on Facebook some topics/questions you would like to be addressed on Jun 27th or in one of the following Legal Gym sessions we plan to organize in the incoming months. The participation is free of charge (yep, free beer, since participants will get pizza&birra), but limited to 50 startups. Registration is mandatory, here is the link. First-come, first-served. The event will be hosted by Cleary Gottlieb (Milan, via San Paolo 7), one of our long-term partners. See you there!