UniCredit Start Lab turns 10
Tuesday 13 December 2022
The call for UniCredit Start Lab, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary, is about to start. A unique innovation platform, born as an experiment when the Italian start-up world was still sprouting and now “home” to more than 500 start-ups. Another testament of our commitment to empowering talent and encouraging business ideas.
The 2023 edition of UniCredit Start Lab, our business platform for innovative companies, is about to kick-off. In this edition, we celebrate a consolidated experiment after 10 years of support to the growth of Italian start-ups and innovative SMEs - 1,500 joined us in 2013 and 16,500 today. Investments in these promising companies shifted from 129 million in 2013 to 1.7 billion in the first 9 months of 2022.
To date, 7,000 start-ups have submitted their projects and applied to join Start Lab; 500 have been selected and welcomed to our platform, accompanying them in their growth. 57 open innovation initiatives and structured connections have been created in recent years, during which we have presented them to 750 leading companies and 950 investors.
"We are proud of our work over these years," commented Francesca Perrone, Start Lab & Development Programs Manager. “A work based on creating connections between the best Italian start-ups and UniCredit network companies, stimulating commercial, industrial and product synergies. Connections between start-ups and investors, Venture Capital and business angels, through which we gave the most promising companies the opportunity to raise important capital for their project."
Team innovation is an aspect which has been strengthened over the years with other key elements that make UniCredit Start Lab unique.
"In recent years we have tried to offer technical support in an extremely practical and concrete way, for example thanks to the Startup Academy managerial training programme and startup-initiated mentorship courses, developed with the support of 200 Start Lab partners including experts, opinion leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs from the world of innovation" continued Francesca Perrone.
Of course, there was no shortage of banking support, with the allocation of managers dedicated to financial advice for the start-ups that entered the Start Lab business platform.
"We believed in some stories so much that we directly experimented with some of their solutions at UniCredit: as many as 23 start-ups have become suppliers and business partners of the bank and its employees over the years, for example in the activation of welfare and digital services" concluded Francesca Perrone.
Constant attention to new global trends has over the years enriched Start Lab's range of action, historically focused on clean tech, life science, digital and innovative Made in Italy, by broadening it to include sustainability and social impact issues. The launch, starting with the last edition, of the Impact Innovation category testifies to our interest in companies that promise to be role models of ESG topics.
We therefore open the Start Lab Decade call with great satisfaction for what we have done and enthusiasm for what we are going to do. We look forward to meeting the 50 start-ups that will begin their journey in 2023.