We take a look at the fourth round of winning Italian start-ups that joined the 2021 edition of our competition. Let’s discover the projects with the highest potential and most innovative ideas in some of the traditional “made in Italy” sectors according to our jury of experts.

2:00 min

The work of UniCredit Start Lab’s Sector-specific Commissions of our selected jury has continued over the last month with the evaluation of projects belonging to the Innovative Made in Italy category.


This commission involved entrepreneurs and managers from some of the main Italian players in the food and agritech (Giangiacomo Ibba, Chairman, Fratelli Ibba e Leader Price Italia; Michela Petronio, Vice President, Blue 1877 (Gruppo Barilla); Rossana Regalia, Customer Development Manager, Nestlé | Purina PetCare EMENA; Imma Simioli, CEO, Fresystem), fashion & lifestyle (Antonella Bompensa, Managing Director, Moorer; Alessandro Corsi, CFO, Ferragamo; Danilo Mazzara, Strategy Adivosor I Open Innovation Lead, Accenture Strategy; Leonardo Raineri, Innovation Manager, Miroglio), and in the entertainment (Giorgio Aravecchia, Group Human Resources Director & New Media Director, Panini; Carmine Perna, CEO Mondadori Retail, Arnolodo Mondadori Editore; Andrea Radrizzani, Chairman, Aser Ventures; Stefano Reale, CFO, RDS).


The first prize in this category was assigned to L’Orto di Jack, from Milan, a digitally enabled omnichannel player operating in the fruit and vegetable market, focused on 3 channels. B2B fruit and vegetable distribution to the HoReCa segment (core business), where the company has started a digital transformation process. B2C e-commerce, a subsidiary channel that will be scaled in a balanced and profitable way. Retail, where the roll-outp of the first Italian modern chain in the sector has been launched. The start-up won a grant of € 10,000.

"UniCredit Start Lab will be key to our growth after the recently concluded equity crowdfunding round. We're certain  we will have significant opportunities to develop our skills through the mentorship program, better relationships with banking institutions thanks to the award's reputation as well as unique networking opportunities with the business and investment community involved."

The second place went to the Milan-founded start-up Italianway, operating in the hospitality sector with over 2200 leased properties in 270 destinations throughout Italy. Founded in Milan, it is a leading short-term operator in Italy with over 130 partners, a structured operating model and integrated software, developed in-house, capable of managing and automating the entire holiday rental process. It offers owners a complete management service from tax management to reporting while guests can book the accommodation that best suits their needs on the italianway.house website.

"Growth in a scale-up approach has been our focus from the very beginning. Innovation in the accommodation industry is our goal and we have been coping with this ambitious target selecting and training talented people. Joining UniCredit Start Lab we expect to increase our ability to attract talents and develop our relationship network."

The third place went to Ono Exponential Farming, an agritech start-up from Verona, that has developed a VF Seed-to-Pack platform, for hydroponic growing. It is a 100% automated system for indoor vertical cultivation of vegetables, microalgaes and insects. The patented platform is assisted by artificial intelligence algorithms and the resulting ecosystem, in adherence to the principles of circular economy, eliminates waste and pollution, makes better use of water and uses alternative energy sources for its operation.

"UniCredit Start Lab is the ideal laboratory for creating the alchemy needed to unleash the growth potential of ONO/EF disruptive technology platform. The laboratory where we can access innovation-oriented networks, where capital meets valuable ideas and where we can learn useful  managerial skills that can help drive business growth."

Finally, a special mention goes to the Milanese start-up Storie degli Altri, that boasts  a community of seven-hundred thousand people across a range of social media channels.“Storie degli Altri" is a new digital publishing platform which develops original formats for corporate branded content, communicates ESG investments in innovative ways, provides a publishing and ghostwriting service for wannabe authors, and offers exclusive stories, podcasts and videos to subscribers.

"We expect support from UniCredit in entering a network of start-ups from which to learn and with which to compare ourselves, support in identifying those professionals who will fill the profiles currently missing in the team, and support in getting in touch with potential investors by identifying a useful investment solution to accelerate our development project".

Over the next weeks, we will continue to tell the stories of these young Italian excellences on One UniCredit. Keep following us to learn more about Impact Innovation projects in the last episode of this series.