On Friday, 3 December 2021, the final of the National Award for Innovation, the most important business plan competition promoted by the PNICube association, took place. Three startups belonging to the I3P network were awarded.
Algor won first place in the ICT category, receiving a cash prize of €25,000, and the "Best Social Innovative Startup" award from Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center. Reefilla, which received the UniCredit Start Lab award, and Pixies, which was awarded the "Best young innovative startup" prize by Confindustria, were also among the winners.
The projects were chosen from the 63 winners of the 15 regional Start Cups, with Algor and Reefilla in particular coming from Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta 2021. Now in its 17th edition, the competition was promoted by the I3P, 2i3T and Enne3 incubators with the aim of spreading the culture of innovation and supporting the birth of innovative and knowledge-intensive startups, to promote the economic development of the Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta regions.
Algor, a young innovative startup in the Edtech field, was awarded in the ICT category of the PNI: it created Algor Maps, the first web app that supports students with DSA, teachers and tutors in the creation of concept maps automatically from a text, thanks to a proprietary AI algorithm. In addition, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center awarded it the "Best innovative social startup" prize for its ability to propose innovative solutions with a social vocation in the educational field.
Reefilla won the UniCredit Start Lab special prize, proposing the first predictive charging service for electric vehicles through a fast charge device, based on interchangeable batteries, connected and transportable. Everything is managed by a cloud-based digital platform, which will allow the devices to be controlled and operational activities to be coordinated. The prize gives access to UniCredit's business platform and includes the assignment of a mentor chosen from among UniCredit's professionals, consultants, entrepreneurs and partners; participation in a coaching programme; the assignment of a Relationship Manager to follow up on banking needs and the organisation of Business Meetings with corporate clients and potential investors.
Finally, the startup Pixies, made up of a team of under-35s who created a solar-powered robot capable of collecting urban waste thanks to artificial intelligence, received the "Best young innovative startup" award, offered by Confindustria. Last October, Pixies won first place for Young Teams at the Start Cup Lazio 2021.
"Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta confirms its ability to bring to national attention valuable projects and startups capable of having a strong impact on socio-economic development in different sectors," commented Giuseppe Scellato, president of the I3P incubator. "We are proud to show the vitality of the Piedmontese ecosystem, which continues to grow year after year, thanks in part to the support of institutional, industrial, financial, and research partners. This year's successes motivate us even more to put in place activities and initiatives for the coming months.
"The innovative entrepreneurial fabric created in university incubators is more than ever the result of young talents who deserve to be supported and encouraged: this recognition is the right epilogue to what we have been advocating for some time," commented Elena Chiorino, Piedmont Region Councillor for Education, Employment, Vocational Training and Right to University Study. "We would like to thank all those who believe in this project, who work on it with passion, and who have achieved important goals that have become, for all of us and for future generations, an excellent example to follow.
"A month ago we rewarded the commitment of many young people and researchers who submitted projects and proposals as part of the Start Cup programme. These activities are now receiving the right consecration also at national level, all this can only confirm the validity and quality of a path that enhances the Piedmontese research," said Andrea Tronzano, Councillor of the Piedmont Region to the development of productive activities. "We must have faith in people, in young people, in their spirit of always putting themselves on the line, of overcoming their limits and working and inventing through the tools that we can provide them with, and the teamwork that underpins the Start Cup can only be strengthened.