The eleventh edition of Premio 2031, the most important competition in Italy for the support of young companies, which took over from the formerly known Premio Gaetano Marzotto, ended with two days of awards ceremonies. This year's numbers were decidedly high: 584 start-ups submitted their projects, evaluated by more than 100 evaluators including entrepreneurs, investors, journalists and innovation experts, to win a total prize pool of over one million euros, including cash prizes and mentorship programmes.
Once again, several entrepreneurial projects from the I3P network won prizes and awards of national importance thanks to their innovative projects. The average age of the overall participants was about 37 years old, with 25% of the applications coming from female teams; the most popular sectors were Social Innovation and Bio / Med / Life Science / Health Care, followed by ICT / IOT Tech and Art / Cultural / Impact.
Incubator and accelerator awards
The award event of the network of incubators, accelerators, science and technology parks who were partners of this year's edition was held on Monday, November 15, 2021 in Milan, in the setting of the Social Innovation Academy within the space of MIND - Milano Innovation District, in the former Expo area. "A day of discoveries and surprises, of real relationships and opportunities," opened Cristiano Seganfreddo, President of 2031, "for new companies as well as for the geography of Italian innovation, represented by incubators and accelerators in every region, under the banner of an increasingly innovative and technological Italy. The Italy of change, of the future, made of creativity, technology, sustainability".
Enrico Ghia, Operations Manager of I3P, awarded Enrico Marchini, CEO and Business Development of Horus, the start-up that invented ARHEX, the first electromechanical scalpel that, during cataract operations, is able to perform capsulorhexis in just a few seconds and in a perfectly circular manner.
For PoliHub, the incubator for technological and creative enterprises resulting from the collaboration between the Milan Municipality and Fondazione Politecnico di Milano, the Head of Communication & Digital Marketing Alessandro Asaro awarded Reefilla, the first mobile and predictive charging service for electric vehicles, whose Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer Gabriele Bergoglio was present. Thanks to its technological solution, Reefilla has also recently won the second prize overall at the business plan competition Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta 2021, the special UniCredit Start Lab prize at PNI 2021 and the Sustainability Prize at the Accenture Startup Challenge 2021.
Livio Quintavalle, Investment Manager of The Net Value, an incubator based in Cagliari with a focus on the digital sector, awarded Alex Roggero, CEO and Co-Founder of Klondike, a young start-up creating a marketplace of AI algorithms, which allows companies to easily implement Artificial Intelligence within their business processes. Klondike, which entered the incubation process at I3P at the beginning of December, has also recently won the BNP Paribas Cardif call for ideas Open-F@b 2021 and this year's edition of My Start BCN, an international program organized by the Italian-Barcelona Chamber of Commerce in partnership with I3P.
Eric Larsen, Dealflow & Scouting Manager at Luiss Enlabs, one of the main start-up accelerators in Europe, has awarded his path to Federico Izzo, CEO of H-Cube, a highly innovative reality aiming at making smart clothes able to improve sports performance through stress analysis. A few weeks earlier, H-Cube was a finalist in the ICT category of Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta 2021.
The award ceremony of Thursday, December 9, 2021 was held at the Triennale di Milano and hosted by Cristiano Seganfreddo, President of 2031, Riccardo Luna, Director of Italian Tech of La Repubblica, and Eleonora Chioda, Director of Millionaire. "Italy is Europe's startup nation," said Seganfreddo: "In an extraordinary year, a resounding response from the Italian innovation world. 2031 has awarded and promoted dozens of start-ups that are accompanied by the network of large companies that support us, and that can really change the imagination of Italy for a real social, economic and cultural impact. An anagraphic revolution".
Fabio Bocchiola, Country Manager of Repower Italia, one of the main partners of the initiative, has awarded the Repower Special Prize to Jojob, an Italian start-up and leader in the corporate carpooling sector and benefit company since 2020, whose goal is to make home-work carpooling a real transportation alternative. "We are happy to award a project that has already had the opportunity to show its usefulness and has been able to withstand even the pandemic period," said Bocchiola: "Repower believes and invests in new forms of smart mobility and Jojob fits perfectly into this vision. We are ready to start a journey together that, I am sure, will enrich everyone".
Gea Politi, Publisher and Director of Flash Art, awarded the Flash Art Special Prize to Archygram, a start-up that aims to make the process of architectural survey automatic and fast through artificial intelligence. The project was born from the research activity of Francesca Condorelli, researcher at the Department of Architecture and Design at Politecnico di Torino, who thanks to it has already won the Industry 4.0 Award at the tenth edition of the national award GiovedìScienza, of which I3P was a partner. "The extraordinary cultural and artistic heritage is made up of small towns and villages, often unknown or little valued," Politi commented. "Archygram is able to provide evolved and conscious tools to create an epochal change in the promotion of the territory thanks to an advanced technology but easy to apply, which will change the geography of Italian values and not only. Technology, culture, contemporaneity integrate perfectly with the values of Flash Art."
UniCredit Start Lab, one of the initiative's main partners, has awarded the Unicredit Start Lab Special Prize to the start-up Stip in the "Premio dall'idea all'impresa" category. Winner of the first edition of the Digital Factory call by FCA Bank and I3P, Stip offers a plug and play artificial intelligence solution that improves customer service performance by 300% and reduces costs by 75%. For this reason, Massimiliano Mastalia, Head of Corporate Italy at UniCredit, said: "we selected Stip as the winner of the UniCredit Start Lab special prize for its contribution in accompanying large companies in their digital transformation, aware of the centrality of this issue for the development of our country. Moreover, we appreciate the international profile of the startup, which is also based in Berkley and has attracted investments from foreign funds, contributing to the strengthening of an increasingly global ecosystem to support our tech entrepreneurs".