The ICE-Italian Trade Promotion Agency is a government organization that promotes the internationalization of Italian companies. At Latitude59 2023, they are excited to showcase some of the most innovative Italian startups that are seeking to expand into the Nordic market and to serve as a bridge for Nordic companies looking to connect with Italy.
Italy’s startup ecosystem has been growing rapidly in recent years, with a focus on design and technology that can help startups to differentiate themselves in the global market. However, the ecosystem still faces challenges, such as a lack of funding, limited access to mentorship and networking opportunities, and a relatively slow bureaucracy.
As for startups looking to expand to Italy, it’s essential to understand the Italian business culture and practices, as well as building relationships with local partners and stakeholders. Therefore we interviewed the ICE-Italian Trade Promotion Agency to provide some tips for startups looking to expand to the Italian market and highlight the industries where Italy has a competitive advantage.
- What brought you here and what are your expectations towards Latitude59 this year?
We’re thrilled to be here at Latitude59 to showcase some of the most innovative Italian startups that are seeking to expand into the Nordic market. We hope to be a point of reference for companies interested in expanding to Italy and provide them with guidance on all the necessary procedures for entering the market and obtaining financial support.
As for our expectations towards Latitude59, we’re hoping to foster new relationships and collaborations between Italian and Nordic startups and explore the exciting opportunities for international business that Estonia has to offer.
- How is the startup ecosystem doing in Italy? What makes it stand out from other countries?
The Italian startup ecosystem has been growing rapidly in recent years, with the number of startups and venture capital investments increasing significantly. Italy has a well-established industrial base and a rich cultural and historical heritage that can inspire innovative and creative ideas. Additionally, the country has a strong focus on design and technology, which can help startups to differentiate themselves and stand out in the global market. Italy also has a high concentration of talented and skilled professionals, particularly in the fields of engineering, design, and computer science.
In Italy there are nearly 15.000 active startups; 75% of them provide services to companies (as software, R&D), 16% are active in manufacturing (production of machinery and electronic devices mainly), 3% in trade, 6% in other sectors of activity like fintech, medtech, life science and cybersecurity.
- What are the challenges of the Italian startup ecosystem? What could be the potential solutions?
Despite it´s many strengths, the Italian startup ecosystem still faces some challenges, including a lack of funding, limited access to mentorship and networking opportunities, and a relatively slow bureaucracy. To address these challenges, the government, the ICE – Italian Trade Agency and other stakeholders are working to create a more supportive environment for startups, trying to increase access to funding, offering mentorship and networking opportunities, and streamlining bureaucratic processes. ITA supports Italian startups in their internationalization process by organizing collective participation in the main international exhibitions dedicated to innovation, by organising incoming investors, incubators and accelerators to Italian exhibitions dedicated to innovation and by organizing business meetings and forums abroad.
- Do you have any tips for startups looking to expand to the Italian market? What kind of startups would do well there at the moment?
Startups looking to expand to the Italian market should consider the country’s strengths and focus on industries where Italy has a competitive advantage, such as fashion, design, food, and tourism. However, in recent years also other sectors like software development, gaming and artificial intelligence have been appearing and although it is not as big as in some other countries, the start-up ecosystem is growing fast.
At the moment, startups in the fields of sustainability, digital health, and e-commerce are particularly well-positioned to succeed in Italy.
- You have brought along an exciting showcase of Italian startups – could you introduce them?
At Latitude59 we will present a delegation of 4 Italian startups:
BOATSANDGO S. R. L. S. is a search engine for charter and rental boat deals, offering users the ability to compare hundreds of sites and thousands of boats with one click. Users can contact companies directly to finalize bookings, and there are no charges or registration requirements.
PickEat offers an all-in-one solution to conveniently reserve a table, pre-order and pay meals at your favourite restaurant, in advance, through a smartphone. We aim to overcome waiting times, by ensuring no time is lost waiting in lines for meals nor for payments, thus optimising customers’ time – whether they are a restaurateur or one of its clients.
UOSE is a social network community where users can interact and communicate with each other publicly or privately. They can benefit from exclusive content, make purchases in dedicated stores and have access to an advanced and intelligent messaging system.
Valeo legal solutions Srl is a digital platform that uses AI to provide legal answers and research. Users can ask legal questions in natural language and receive responses within seconds. The platform extracts legal principles from full judgments, showing only the relevant text. Lisia utilizes a proprietary database of over 2.5 million judgments from various courts and reduces the time to solve complex legal cases by 75% for faster research.
Interested in the Interested in the Italian market and the ecosystem? Want to meet the showcase of startups they’ve brought over? Step into the Italian booth at Latitude59 Demo Area on May 25-26!