Start Cup Piemonte Valle d’Aosta 2023: the 19th edition of the competition that turns ideas into start-ups is now open

I3P Network

It is now possible to apply for the Ideas Competition, to be followed by the Business Plan Competition from the end of June. Total prize money: over €65,000!

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Now in its 19th edition, Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta, the competition for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow promoted by the Italian incubators I3P, 2i3T and Enne3, is back with the aim of creating innovative start-ups.

Organised within the framework of the PNI - Italian National Award for Innovation promoted by PNICube, Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta is divided as always into two stages, the Ideas Competition (Stage I) and the Business Plan Competition (Stage II). Tto date, the initiative has involved over 7,400 aspiring entrepreneurs divided into teams that over the years have presented a total of more than 3,600 business ideas and 1,850 business plans. The total prize money of over €1.4 million has supported the creation of over 170 companies that now employ more than 1,350 people.

Stage I and Stage II: modalities and timing

The Start Cup competition is divided into two stages. Stage I, the "Competition of Ideas", rewards the best business ideas with services, free support activities and consultancy provided by Business Incubators, aimed at drawing up a Business Plan. To apply, there is time until June 20th, by filling in the application on the official competition website www.startcup-piemonte-vda.it.

Stage II, the Business Plan Competition, will start on June 21th, 2023 and end on July 28th, giving access to the final selection and prizes. It is open to all, even if they did not make the first selection and even if they did not submit an idea to Stage I. To participate in this stage, it is necessary to submit a business plan describing an entrepreneurial project via www.startcup-piemonte-vda.it.

You can participate in one or both phases, free of charge, by submitting a business idea or a business project that, regardless of its stage of development, is the work of an individual or a group of individuals and aimed at the creation of an innovative start-up.

All aspiring entrepreneurs over the age of 18 from universities and research centres (university students, graduates, PhD or PhD research students, research fellows or fellows, structured professors) and owners of companies that have just started up may participate, individually or in teams. During the online application process, in both stages, applicants will have to identify a reference incubator, choosing it from among the business incubators of the promoting entities (I3P, 2i3T, Enne3 or Pépinières d'Entreprises of Aosta or Pont-Saint-Martin in the case of applications for the Aosta Valley Award).

To be admitted to the competition are business ideas and projects that refer to the competition categories: 

  • Life Sciences, for innovative products and/or services to improve people's health; 
  • ICT, i.e. innovative products and/or services in the field of information technology and new media, such as e-commerce, social media, mobile, gaming, etc.; 
  • Cleantech & Energy, oriented towards improving environmental sustainability, environmental protection, energy management; 
  • Industrial, i.e. innovative projects or products from the point of view of technology or market designed for industrial production; 
  • Tourism and the Cultural and Creative Industry, for innovative products and/or services addressed to the tourism and cultural and creative industry sector.

The awards of the 19th edition

Stage I - Competition of Ideas

The best business ideas will receive a prize in services:

1) Free-of-charge consulting and support activities, aimed at the Business Plan’s completion, provided by the organizing incubators through experts.

2) 5G consulting services, aimed at feasibility studies designed to evaluate the 5G’s potential added value, provided within the City of Turin – CTE NEXT project scope.

In order to be eligible for the services described in the second bullet point it is mandatory to select the corresponding option during the Stage I registration.

By selecting the corresponding preference during the Stage I registration, the entrepreneurial team will have the possibility to make use of the free-of-charge guidance and support services provided by Invitalia’s experts, a new National Innovation Award’s Official Partner, aimed at the completion of the request for benefits offered by the Agency.

Stage I - Business Plan Competition

By mid-November 2023, the best start-up projects participating in the Business Plan Competition (Phase II) will be announced, which will then receive cash prizes and special mentions, awarded with the support of a Jury made up of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business angels. Thanks to the endowment made available by the promoters and supporters of the 2023 edition, this year's total prize money will rise to over €65,000 and will be awarded in cash and services.

The first prize winner will receive €7,500, the second prize €5,000 and the third prize €2,500. The first six projects will also be awarded a prize of €1,000 each for entering the PNI 2023, the Italian National Innovation Award, the 'champions' cup' among the winning business projects of the regional Start Cups that will be held in Milan this year, organised by Università Milano-Bicocca, Politecnico di Milano, Università Bocconi and Università Statale di Milano.

As always, there will be no shortage of special prizes, promoted by sponsors interested in contributing concretely to the development of innovation:

  • Fondazione CRC, attentive to interventions aimed at competitiveness and sustainable development, will give the Cuneo Prize of €10,000 euros to the best Business Plan that sets up the company in the Province of Cuneo; 
  • Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta, attentive to entrepreneurial development in the territory, will award the Valle d'Aosta Prize of €7,500 euros to the best Business Plan setting up the company in the Pépinière d'Entreprises of Aosta or Pont-Saint-Martin; 
  • Distretto Aerospaziale Piemonte, an association that aims to boost the aerospace sector - by collaborating with all players in the sector and also through the creation of projects for the dissemination of innovation - will award the Sustainability in Aerospace Prize of €7,500 to the best project that deals with sustainability in aeronautics or space;
  • Fondazione Laura & Franco Beltramo ETS, an organisation that supports innovative projects in the field of scientific research, which will offer the Social Innovation Prize of €7,500 for the best business project in the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agriculture and food needs that promotes social progress and the development of better living conditions;
  • LINKS Foundation, a research centre interested in fostering technological and economic growth, increasing the competitiveness of the ecosystem and enhancing intellectual property, will award the Future City and Sustainability Prize, worth a total of €7,500 (€4,000 in cash and €3,500 in services) to the best project with an impact on sustainability;
  • Jacobacci & Partners, a benchmark company on the Italian scene and one of Europe's leading companies in the field of intellectual property protection, will award two prizes worth a total of €7,000 to the two best Business Plans, in the form of services; 
  • Unicredit Start Lab Prize, offered by the Unicredit group - which is interested in supporting innovative start-ups in the company's life stages with specific actions - will finally consist of a mentorship session to assess the suitability of a project to be admitted to the Start Lab programme's targeted content;
  • Three 5G&Emerging Tech Prizes in services, within the scope of the City of Turin - CTE NEXT project, to be awarded to the best business projects regarding 5G technologies, services or products.

There will also be five special mentions:

  • "Equal Opportunities", for the best project aimed at promoting the principle of equal opportunities and female entrepreneurship;
  • "Social Innovation", for the best project involving the development and implementation of new ideas to meet social needs, create new relationships or partnerships; 
  • "Open innovation / Industrial Spin Off", dedicated to the best project concerning innovative products and/or services resulting from a research activity conducted in collaboration between a company and a university in Piedmont;
  • Green & Blue”, for the best project proposing innovative solutions related to climate change, protection and enhancement of natural resources, aimed at creating economic growth and environmental protection;
  • "Sustainable Technologies" for the project which stands out the most for its uniqueness within the sustainable technologies field, awarded by Jacobacci & Partners.

To stay updated on all the Competition news, you can subscribe to the newsletter via the form available at the bottom of each page of the Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta website, or follow the competition on the official social channels: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.