This year's spring's symposium - featuring presentations from 10 prominent EU originated startups with founders from Italy, Israel, Greece, US was one of those great occasions where all falls where it should. On May 2 we have had our fifth gathering, the Italian Business & Investment Initiative Spring Symposium, where the best start ups from Southern Europe presented to a crowd of approximately 100 players in the field of Venture capital in New York.
After two years, the eco system originated from Italy and now expanding to Spain, Greece and Israel has emerged. The players that underpin such a system are Mind the Bridge of San Francisco, Intesa San Paolo Bank with its Start Up Initiative, Fulbright BEST scholarship, Vertis VC from Naples, Innogest VC from Milan and NIAF, the National Italian American Foundation.
Last but not least we have started to provide a robust Italian mark by hosting the venue and the reception at the New York Wall Street headquarter of Intesa San Paolo. These players are inspired by the vision of positively contributing to Italy's turnaround by providing opportunities to the best and brightest young entrepreneurs willing to penetrate the US market.
The major step change has been the launch last September of the first US VC fund dedicated to Southern Europe, Mind The Seed. Here we have applied the lessons learned and specifically that to provide a concrete exit strategy opportunity to investors, each start up has to be dual from its inception. The "intelligence' in Italy and the commercial and financial arms in the United States.
The start ups that presented were:
Atooma - a mobile toolkit to create your own mini-apps without code skills.
Bad Seed Entertainment - mobile games and Apps development
Hyperfair - a start-up with a platform for running online trade shows.
Italianbox - a platform operator offering the best of Italy in a box.
Map2App - a web based platform for creating mobile travel guides.
Myze - an App that allows users to get deals from purchases.
All of them were very qualified, fit to address the challenging uestions of the audience. The follow up will as critical to ensure investments and , in fact, potential exit strategies.