Italian startup: an overview

Questa volta si ritorna al passato….un post sulla situazione finanziaria delle start-up italiane ma in inglese, la lingua con cui ho iniziato a scrivere su questo piccolo blog. Buona lettura 

If there is something Italian economy should invest on is the ideas of the youngest people. I’m talking about the innovations that could be brought by the generation aged from 18 to the late thirties. New ideas that are giving reality through the a specific business, called “Start-up”. Startup Weekend Women's Edition

Start-up business model is really appealing in Italy. Everyday hundreds of start-ups born in our country, the simplicity for the creation of a start-up allows teams of young engineers, market specialists, mobile programmers to join in group and develop their idea.

Usually, despite of the big appeal these ideas have on the economy market, more than the half of this young innovative company are self-financed by team members. Their number is really high, as well as their percentage of failure. In fact only in Italy there are 1227 start-up companies, of which just 113 are financed by venture capitalist, 97 are “incubated” (companies that have won a contest, and their development is followed by start-up experts from banks, websites, etc.), 32 are financed by institutional investors. The others are self-financed. And what is the percentage of failure of a start-up society before its 5th year? The 80-85% according to Italian Startup (the national association for the newborn italian companies).

Although the economical datas are not exciting, the national venture capitalists continue to focus their attentions to the startuppers. That’s why every years they give their sponsorship to events that encourage the creation of new start-up. One of the most renowned of these is Startup weekend: from the first edition, held in San Francisco, more than 1000 editions have been made worldwide, also in the principal italian cities. The formula is really appealing: 54 hours in which people can join a group and use their skills to develop an idea. The participants are followed by experts in several fields (financing, Seo, programming) and some succesful startuppers give them lectures about how creativity can become a profitable startup company. In the last Italian Startup weekend, held in Bari, there were lectures from the founder of Zalando (famous e-shopping website) and wechat (an mobile messaging application like whatsapp).logo-full

Some of the most renowned international succesfull companies were once startup, the examples that all know are Facebook and twitter, that at the start were just self-funded small project. Everyone can become another Mark Zuckenberg, there is only the necessity of an innovative idea and the luck for drawing the attention of the venture capitalists. In fact, despite the international economical crysis, in Italy this years 110 millions euro for hi-tech companies (the last year they were 112) and hundreds of millions euro are still invested into private investors funds, like Innogest (80 millions), Principia (90 millions) and 360 Capital Partners (100 millions) And still there are other way of fundings, like the events we mentioned before. The importance of start-ups into the economical context is also symbolised by the success of websites that allow the crowdfunding, like Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Millions of users subscribes these websites in order to fund projects created by young entrepreneurs and be part of their future success.

In the end, it’s impossible not to see how the startuppers are becoming one of the most important trend into the international economic context, but it’s not easy to make a start-up become a good investment. A good start-up must not only have a perfect developed business plan but also a specific analysis of the model customers the company is targetting. And still, as for all the investment in the world, there is one another specific element: the luck.

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