More than €37 million in funding raised, 900 ideas accepted, more than 110 projects launched, 22 start-ups admitted to the incubation process, and 52 companies established or attracted. With these record-breaking numbers, I3P, the Innovative Companies Incubator of Politecnico di Torino, celebrated the end of 2021, which, despite the difficulties related to the current health emergency, proved to be a year full of achievements and new long-term collaborations.
The results reached in the last months were presented at the Startup Fest 2021, held on December 20 at the I3P headquarters and streamed online. During the event, the incubator also crowned Evo as "Startup of the Year 2021", that is the company that has most distinguished itself for the results obtained after the three-year incubation process.
Record funding for young companies
As of mid-December 2021, funding for companies incubated at I3P thus stands at more than €37 million, a figure that is set to increase further by the end of the month, as a number of important transactions are still in progress. In particular, among the financing rounds that have already been completed are those of Enerbrain, a company specialised in the smart building sector, EasyRain, a start-up that has developed an innovative technological solution to avoid aquaplaning, and Epicura, Italy's first digital health clinic with a network of 900 certified professionals that provides health and social care services at home. In addition to these, there are the €3.5 million transactions of Young Platform, a Turin-based cryptocurrency exchange start-up, and Anubi Digital, an Italian platform that enables the active and passive management of digital assets.
"Rounds and funding are fundamental for start-ups that, by winning over investors, can develop their products and realise their projects. This year's record-breaking numbers are also a fundamental reflection of the work we do at I3P: the interest of investors certifies the validity of entrepreneurial projects and, at the same time, the work of the incubator, both in the selection phase and in supporting and mentoring the development of start-ups," emphasises Giuseppe Scellato, President of I3P. "Our mission is to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem and generate economic development and employment in areas and industrial sectors with a high intensity of innovation. We are able to do this also thanks to a network that expands year after year and that sees the active participation of private individuals, companies, and institutions."
There have been four start-up exits in the last year, including those of Mimoto, a young electric two-wheeler sharing mobility company acquired by Helbiz, and Reopla, which specialises in the collection, management and processing of Big Data in the real estate sector and whose majority was acquired by the German company Sprengnetter.
Evo, the I3P Startup of the Year 2021
The Startup of the Year award went to Evo, a technology company based in Turin and London that uses Artificial Intelligence to optimise supply chain and pricing decisions. In particular, Evo supports customers in using Big Data to increase the efficiency of supply chain decisions, thereby reducing waste, optimising market efficiency, improving product availability and raising service levels.
Born from the PhD thesis of Evo's CEO, Fabrizio Fantini, the young company's algorithm has now become an effective tool to address the limitations of traditional pricing software: Evo's applications have grown in sophistication and precision, as well as in scope, with autonomous solutions covering price management, promotions, forecasting, scoring and supply decisions. In 2021, Evo was also chosen to become part of Facebook AI's Open Loop project: in fact, it is one of ten companies selected by Mark Zuckerberg's company to lead the European task force tasked with defining governance to reduce AI risks.
"Artificial Intelligence is the present and realities like Evo prove it: we chose to award it as Startup of the Year for its truly innovative solutions, in a sector with enormous potential, which have already been validated by the market and recognized at high levels," explains Scellato.
A year full of new projects and opportunities
Certifying the work and success of the Italian incubator are also the numerous new initiatives that I3P has launched in collaboration with strategic partners and innovation networks, not only on a regional and national level, but also internationally.
Together with Politecnico di Torino and Links Foundation, I3P has won the selection made by ESA, on behalf of ASI, for the creation and management of the ESA Business Incubation Centre Turin (ESA BIC Turin), the center to support the birth and growth of new Italian startups in the aerospace sector. The project has a horizon of 7 years and has already launched its open call aimed at start-ups (the first selection will close on February 25, 2022), which the center will conduct in collaboration with the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.
Moreover, I3P has landed in Cuneo with GrandUP! Tech Academy, the new training course dedicated to aspiring entrepreneurs in the province of Cuneo. The initiative, in collaboration with Fondazione CRC, represents the first step in the GrandUP! Tech project, a set of actions aimed at supporting high-tech start-ups and the launch of open innovation processes.
With the aim of engaging innovative start-ups and SMEs on the technologies of the future, I3P is also a strategic partner of the four-year project CTE NEXT, the House of Emerging Technologies launched by the City of Turin, a hi-tech innovation space that combines technological potential - smart mobility, Industry 4.0 and innovative urban services - with the challenges and practices of public administration.
Finally, I3P took part in the "Inclusive Energy" call for proposals promoted by Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation in collaboration with the Snam Foundation, dedicated to social innovators and aimed at finding scalable and sustainable solutions with which to address energy poverty. I3P was responsible for the creation of customised and specialised accompaniment paths for the thirteen finalist projects selected.