The commission called "University Associated Business Incubators" is based in Stockholm and every year it ranks the most prestigious incubators cooperating with academic institutions. The participants are ranked based on their value creation for the ecosystem, for the customers and their level of activity. In 2014 there were eight hundred candidates, from all continents.
The Italian H-Farm came in second place, after the famous Youngstown Business, based in Ohio. Riccardo Donadon founded H-Farm in Roncade, a small town near Treviso. This business incubator worked with University of Cà Foscari in Venice. In the past nine years they have invested over ?19 million, aiding more than sixty innovative enterprises. They currently employ four hundred young people for total sales of ?20 million. As highlighted by Mr Donadon, "besides numbers, every day we generate an important know-how that we foster to the visiting companies and enterprises."
Nuvolab actively cooperates with Cattolica University Sacro Cuore in Milan and University of Sant'Anna in Pisa. Its founder is the thirty-two year old Francesco Inguscio, who graduated in Economics at the University of Padova: "in Italy, we often tend to be very concrete when it comes to jobs. Instead, the strength of incubators lays in the very people". Amongst the successful start-ups born thanks to Nuvolab this year, are "Crowdchicken" and "This is not a sushi bar".
Thanks to these vibrant realities, Italy is proving that especially in academic contexts such as universities, there is a great potential made of people and their ideas. Although those scouting for these talents are still few, they are already generating significant numbers for Italy in terms of sales and employment.
These initiatives are also possible thanks to generous supporters such as the entrepreneur Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel Group, Veneto Sviluppo, a regional fund that supports the creation of small-medium enterprises and the insurance company Cattolica Assicurazioni.