Italy might be the ideal spot for vacation, binge-eating and all around chilling, but it also happens to be a great place to kickstart your tech company. However, if you think that the only places in the peninsula open for business are to be found in Milan or Turin or the North in general, you might want to think again.
After years of struggle following the global financial crisis, the South of Italy seems, in fact, to have been blessed with a new entrepreneurial renaissance. Naples, in particular, the third-largest municipality in Italy, has recently taken center stage in the growing Italian startup ecosystem. The city has become a hub for tech ventures and, in the process, has gathered support from the corporate sector: significant in this sense has been the announcement from Apple that it will be locating its first European app development centre in the city.
The surge in venture capital in the country has coincided also with the outpouring of public finance by Invitalia, a group owned by the Italian Ministry of Economy. This combined effort has contributed to kicking off a number of promising startups and tech-based businesses. I have listed 10, all below 4 years of age and all already up and running:
Bluenet, an innovative startup founded in 2014 and working in the ICT sector, develops operating systems for microcontrollers and NFC (Near Field Communication). The company, which has also a consolidated experience in the field of smart cards and microchips, holds two patents and has developed mature technologies and products used in security operations (scanning e-passports, electronic driving licenses etc.), banking applications (EMV systems) and other fields such as local public transport and ticketing. The latest product of the company is the BLUeCODE ™, a patented technology that allows you to create a non-falsifiable “two-dimensional” code, which can be printed with extreme simplicity, and easily impressed on digital documents. It can contain a photograph, text, biometric data (fingerprint, facial recognition) or other types of data, ensuring the protection of information.
Epoché: A “hybrid” watch, analog and smart at the same time: this is the idea of Neapolitan startup, Epoché. The young company was founded by Alessandro Felaco and is taking the fashion world by the storm thanks to the invention of the proprietary technology ‘Invisible Smart Connect’ a tech which allows for a subtle combination of style and digitalization. Born in 2016, the fashion-tech startup won, just a few months after its birth, the “Startup Panorama of Italy” award for the Campania Region and is now looking at expanding its collection adding jewelry pieces and earphones.
Stilout, the name coming from the combination of the words “Stile” and “Outfit”, is a new Naples-based startup that aims at revolutionizing online sales of the total look. Founded in 2017, Stilout creates complete outfits for every occasion and prides itself on having “made in Italy” products, fast delivery, free returns and reimbursement services. Founder of the platform is Fabrizia Grassi who has already scored 14 partnership deals with as many customer brands from the fashion industry. Stilout launched a few months ago but is already on its way to accomplish an ambitious mission: conquering the international market. The goal seems close enough given that, to date, more than 50% of orders come from abroad.
Lawe is a digital platform dedicated to the creation of a community of forensic professionals (lawyers and practitioners) at national level. The network, ideated by lawyer Adriano Micciarelli, allows lawyers and registered practitioners to find job offers, substitutes for the hearing, internships and postgraduate opportunities. The website also provides an integrated chat that allows users to communicate with each other and exchange files and work documents directly on the platform. Lawe was founded in 2016 and plans to expand on the mobile apps market and will soon be available on Apple Store and Google Store.
Digital Business Innovation (DBI) was created to accompany small and medium-sized companies in the process of digital transformation and innovation of their business model thanks to the startup’s qualified professionals and consultancies. Founded in 2016, DBI’s services range from Business App Development for Process Digitalization, to Digital Marketing, to Agile Software Development, to IT Consultancy for Cloud and Cyber Security.
IVM designs and develops monitoring technology based on systems of integrated sensors. To this end, the startup has developed algorithms and cloud infrastructures to manage such complexity, by using modern Big Data technologies and machine learning techniques. However, the most significant part of the experiences of IVM, can be synthesized in the ability to realize monitoring and diagnostic systems for the railway industry. IVM embraces all the phases of product creation: design, production, deployment and data analysis and is contributing to revolutionize the rail industry as we know it. Founded in 2014, the company has raised €50,000 from a grant by EASME – EU Executive Agency for SMEs.
Listami is a mobile application that enables its users to manage their waiting lists and reservations at clubs and restaurants. The application provides also average waiting times and sends notifications to waiting customers. Listami was launched in 2016 by Antonio Menna and has secured €30,000 from a single investor, 42 Accelerator.
Quicon was founded in 2014 and has developed a proprietary technology, Beacon, that allows for communication between mobile devices at close range – even offline. For example, QuiCon is able to send, through Beacon, geolocated content directly on the user’s device increasing engagement with specifically landing pages: possible applications for the technology includes gamification and digital museum guides. Other solutions provided by the startup range in many fields among which we find: support in marketing campaigns and e-commerce.
iGoOn is a Naples-based startup which developed a mobile application that provides carpooling services. The application connects local drivers and passengers who are willing to share rides. Also, the iGoOn app provides real time geo-localization of the drivers and passengers. Founded in 2014, the startup has so far raised about €385K in seed funding.
Emoticron is a platform that enables its users to create and play highly engaging and personalized instant music videos. Emoticron has a mission: simplifying and reinventing photo-video sharing through its software and app. In order to do so, the platform allows to edit a gallery of photos and turn them into music videos. The innovative built-in editor and messaging tools can be used for personal purposes (namely gamification) or even commercial ones (interactive marketing campaigns). Founded in 2014, the startup has raised €820,000 in 5 rounds of seed funding.
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