From the Medici granary to a business incubator. The seventeenth-century structure of the former Caserma Cavalli barracks is set to get a new lease of life, thanks to the intervention of Cassa Depositi e Presiti and the CR Foundation of Florence.
The building was purchased by the state and improved by the CDP real estate fund, which is dedicated to the disposal of public assets. It has now been taken on by Fondazione CR of Florence to create a meeting place for professionals and innovators and to promote the development of new entrepreneurship.
The technology partner in the transaction is Florentine company Nana Bianca, which in its four years of running has incubated 27 companies with more than 200 employees and which already begun to select the most deserving ideas and organise acceleration and mentoring programmes. The company makes no secret of its ambition to transform this innovation hub into the centre for the launch of a new Florentine renaissance.
Indeed, the building’s eight thousand square meters will house a school to educate graduates in the digital professions (from programming development to interface design up to business modelling), an innovative startup incubator (aiming to attract 40-50 businesses) and spaces open to the public, such as a social media café and a restaurant.
The hub has been named the Granaio dell'abbondanza (granary of plenty), harking back to its old role as a seed store for Florence, and has now become a large space where young talent, startups, developers, designers, project managers and founders will be able to interact together in an innovative way.
By improving this property, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti has confirmed its commitment to the region and to stimulating innovation and youth entrepreneurship.
Find out about the Business Accelerators, the new CDP products aiming to accelerate the growth of startups and companies.