The final of the fourth edition of UK-Italy Springboard, the entrepreneurial challenge dedicated to Italian start-ups in search of opportunities for internationalisation, took place on 19 November in Milan in Piazza Belgioioso 1, in the seat of the Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo.
The event was organised by the British Consulate-General in Milan, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Intesa Sanpaolo Start-Up Initiative. UKTI is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy and helps overseas businesses bring their high-quality investment to the UK. Intesa Sanpaolo Start-Up Initiative is the international acceleration platform developed by Italy’s leading bank Intesa Sanpaolo, which selects promising high-tech start-ups, coaches them and connects them with financial and corporate investors.
The last stage of the Springboard event featured presentations by eleven start-ups, pitching their innovative entrepreneurial ideas to a specialist jury. The winners were selected and announced on the day.
The first prize went to Qurami, the second prize to TitaC. Both firms will be hosted by one of the SETSquared Partnership’s UK incubators for periods of six months and one month respectively. During this time they will have access to mentoring services as well as two training sessions with London law firm Gregory Rowcliffe Milners. They may also take part in at least one of the Intesa Sanpaolo Start-up Initiative International Roadshows for the relevant technology.
S4A-Scandium for Aerospace was awarded the GR8 Technologies Prize which was sponsored by the UK Government Science and Innovation Network. This prize is themed after the Eight Great Technologies that have been identified by the British government as crucial to UK growth. The company will now have a unique opportunity to be introduced to UK technology networks, funding schemes and potential partners through a personalised programme of visits and meetings.
The Special Tech City Prize was won by 2 start-ups: Alleantia and Resolvo. It includes one week stay at a co-working space in Tech City, London, Europe’s digital capital.
Sia Aerospace was awarded the Special Aerospace Prize which was sponsored by the Science & Technology Facility Council (STFC). This prize includes four weeks of free access to the STFC Innovations Technology Access Centre in the heart of the Harwell Oxford Campus.
The Sirius Programme
The UK offers regulations that encourage innovation and enterprise, and also an open market and access to skilled people.
The Springboard competition is just one of the many initiatives organised by UKTI for young entrepreneurs. One of the most recent and far-reaching programmes is Sirius, which is aimed at final year’s students or recent graduates with entrepreneurial ambitions. Winners selected by an expert panel will receive a financial contribution and will be invited to spend 12 months in the UK to set up their own business.
The UK continues to attract foreign direct investment
The UK’s 2012/13 Inward Investment Annual Report, published in July 2013 by UKTI shows that the UK continues to attract foreign direct investment. UK is still the leading destination for foreign direct investment in Europe, with a rise in the number of projects and jobs secured compared to 2011/12.
UKTI provides end-to-end bespoke services for all potential and existing investors in the UK, in areas such as market information, location advice, and setting up of a business. It can also provide information on government incentives, labour issues, real estate, transport and legal requirements.
UK attractions for Italian companies
The Investment Group of UKTI Italy is very active in introducing Italian start-ups and established enterprises to the UK. Italy ranked 3rd largest global investor for number of projects in the UK during last financial year.
The UK’s R&D capabilities and the government’s policies in support of innovation, such as the R&D tax credits and the newly introduced patent box, are also catalysts for Italian high growth start-ups and R&D intensive companies.
An analysis of sector trends of Italian investment shows an increase in investment related to advanced sectors, such as advanced engineering, energy, health-tech and ICT with a cross-over of innovative technologies through different sectors.
Raffaella Previtera, Head of Communications Team, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tiziana Marcuccio, Head of Inward Investment, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org