National Accelerator Network’s figures presented at “ONE, Inspiring Connections” event

National Accelerator Network’s figures presented at “ONE, Inspiring Connections” event

National and international guests, demo start-ups, matching business areas dedicated to investor meetings and discussions to support the growth of a network that has already raised over €135 million

The National Accelerator Network includes 18 operational programmes, which will increase to 20 by the end of 2023. This is the network created by initiative of CDP Venture Capital Sgr, together with over 180 entities including national and international co-investors, partners and operators, to promote and support the development of a new wave of startups specialised in high-growth potential markets.

The Accelerators aggregated an entire eco-system of partners, such as banking foundations, institutions, companies and venture capital operators and, in the first two and a half years and out of over 3,000 submitted applications, accelerated the activities of 200 Italian and international startups aiming to open a registered office in Italy.

National Accelerator Network’s figures

“The goal we set for ourselves,” stated Francesca Bria, CDP Venture Capital President, “is to secure 20 acceleration programmes by the end of the year and reach over 200 startups every year.”

Today, the initiative has raised a total amount of over €135 million, partly invested in direct tickets in new pre-seed and seed-stage startups selected by the programmes as well as possible follow-on investments in the most promising ones, and partly funding accelerator programmes aimed at validating business plans and structuring business models in order to stimulate growth and access to the market. CDP Venture Capital Sgr approved €85 million out of the €135 million total from its Accelerator fund – a significant boost to the sector, which allowed to raise, through market co-investments and partnerships, a further €50 million.

ONE, Inspiring Connections: the first event of the National Accelerator Network

These figures were presented at the ONE, Inspiring Connections event – the first event held by the National Accelerator Network – held on Monday 6 March at the Palazzo del Ghiaccio in Milan.

The event saw the participation of CDP and CDP Venture Capital Sgr management as well as – representing the Italian institutions – Minister of Economy and Finance Giancarlo Giorgetti, Minister for Enterprises and Made in Italy Adolfo Urso, and Milan’s City Councillor for Economic Development and Employment Policies Alessia Cappello.

Talks were delivered by both institutional and business representatives, with contributions by various spokespeople from the Italian startups benefitting from CDP Venture Capital Sgr’s programmes, who also shared their direct experience with the Accelerator Network.

Introductory remarks by CDP President Giovanni Gorno Tempini opened the talk session dedicated to innovative entrepreneurs. “Innovation,” he said, “is a key tool to increase Italy’s productivity and fulfil the goals related to the green and digital transition.”

The President further added that CDP believes in Venture Capital as a cornerstone of Italy’s economic development and competitiveness, and its significant impact on three issues: “The creation of value on the territory, capturing the country’s widespread value of industrial supply chains; the development of an entrepreneurial fabric, creating new businesses and enhancing the innovative nature of Italian industry; the dissemination of new expertise and skills.”

The event continued with themed panels featuring startup entrepreneurs: Laura Cesaro, founder and CEO of Sirius Games; Cosimo Masini, CEO and co-founder of DND Biotech; Chiara Gava, Chief Visionary Officer of Faba; Valentina Righetti, CEO and founder of YPTrainer; Andrea Tesei, CEO and co-founder of Aptus AI; and Francesco Toso, CEO and founder of NewTwen.

These were followed by talks by CDP Venture Capital Chief Executive Officer Enrico Resmini, Bank of Italy Deputy Director General for Currency Circulation and Retail Payments Massimo Doria, Berkeley Skydeck Executive Director Caroline Winnett, and Sequoia Managing Partner Doug Leone.

The closing remarks by CDP Chief Executive Officer Dario Scannapieco reiterated the importance of the existence of a network that allows innovators to connect and create economic value through spillover effects.

“The Italian innovation eco-system possesses a great potential that has not yet been entirely tapped,” he concluded, “although we are seeing some improvement. Moreover, many opportunities will arise from the NRRP, which entails interventions specifically focused on innovation, both at a corporate level and in support of public research.”