The Silicon Valley is a very competitive environment, where innovation, research and creativity could determine the success or failure of a business. Chiara Giovenzana, a member of Aspen Institute Italia's "Italian Talents Abroad" group, has accepted the challenge of investing her experience there and created a new company, which may soon thrive.
The Valley is submerged with wannabe businessmen, who often don't have a place to stay and work: Ms. Giovenzana aims to endow such an army of young and sometimes fledgling entrepreneurs with an useful and much needed service. She launched "Startup Homes", a network of houses providing a shared working and networking space: the first house of the network-to-be is already hosting a few people in Paolo Alto and more will come soon. The young and talented Italian manager plans to open other houses in San Diego, San Francisco and New York, and, if everything goes well, to extend the network to Europe. Her first targets would be Berlin, Barcelona and, why not, Italian cities.
"Startup Homes" may represent another tile in the fast-growing mosaic of the sharing economy. As the economist recently pointed out, internet makes it cheaper and easier than ever to aggregate supply and demand and to experience forms of collaborative consumption. In such a world, the right idea to exploit the new possibilities offered by the new technologies is a rare and precious item.
That's probably what Ms. Giovenzana has found in the middle of a variegate career path. A PhD in molecular biology and biotechnology from Ferrara University, she moved to Silicon Valley to attend courses in technology entrepreneurship for six months, thanks to a Fulbright scholarship. When she moved to Basel to continue her post-doctorate studies, she felt at a crossroad: continuing in laboratory research, or creating her own business, even in a completely different field than biology. She chose the second option, making the best of her multi-faceted experiences and skills.