Intesa Sanpaolo presents Up2Stars, an enhancement programme for innovative start-ups


The initiative aims to involve 40 young companies in a tailored acceleration process, with opportunities for visibility towards entrepreneurs, investors and venture capital.

Responsive image

Intesa Sanpaolo, in collaboration with Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, has launched "Up2Stars", a new enhancement programme dedicated to start-ups that captures the importance of this segment of companies as an essential driver of the country's entire economy.

The aim of the initiative is to boost the innovation capacity that young companies have to support the transformation of national supply chains as part of the digital and ecological transition. Set up with the support of the Gellify innovation platform, the programme aims to provide selected start-ups with a free tailored acceleration programme and opportunities for networking and visibility towards entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists, who are increasingly interested in technological and digital development. 

Calls and activities

The Up2Stars programme involves the launch of four consecutive selection calls, on a two-monthly basis - February, April, June and September 2022 - aimed at self applications from startups active in sectors identified as strategic:

  • Digital - Industry 4.0 (Advanced and Additive Manufacturing, augmented reality, SAAS, cybersecurity);
  • Bioeconomy with focus on Agritech and Foodtech (circular and sustainable bioeconomy, evolution of production chains, waste reduction and efficiency);
  • Medtech - Healthcare (Red Biotech, medical devices, digital health, medical technology);
  • Aerospace (robotics, automation, propulsion, space and TLC, satellites, precision mechanics, special materials, aerostructures).

A maximum of 10 young companies will be selected for each call, for a total of 40 start-ups that will have access to the 2022 programme. At the end of each acceleration programme, every two months, there will be a Demo Day to present the accelerated start-ups to an audience of investors and businesses. Up2Stars will conclude the cycle with an event to enhance the value and final celebration of the 40 start-ups selected and accompanied on a path of growth that will allow them to meet coaches, mentors and investors, create networking and encourage meetings with mature companies.

The initiative is open to Italian or foreign innovative start-ups with at least one operational headquarter in Italy, registered in the appropriate register or established less than five years ago. Registration for the Digital - Industry 4.0 category is already open to start-ups in one of the following areas of application:

  • Analytics and AI: solutions for the exploitation of big data and open data, nowcasting, decision support systems, deep learning, hyper automation;
  • Human-machine interaction: development technologies, digital interfaces, wearable smart equipment, Augmented Reality software;
  • Digital manufacturing: 3D printing, robotics, 5G technologies, IoT sensors and infrastructure, machine-to-machine interaction, computer vision, digital twin technologies, energy storage and optimisation technologies;
  • Cybersecurity: cyber assessment and simulation, cryptography info protection, Operational Technology security, Software-Defined Security.

On the official web page of the initiative, on which more information and the complete Up2Stars regulations are available, it is possible to propose one's own start-up in this category by filling in the specific form by March 27, 2022; in the following months, applications will be open for the other three calls envisaged by the programme.