UniCredit Start Lab, the business platform dedicated to Italian start-ups, had a busy November, with the last lesson of the Startup Academy and the traditional Mentor Day dedicated to the creators of the best business projects supported this year.

2:00 min

Back to school

The “last bell” rang for the Startup Academy 2021, the managerial training course for 70 promising innovators selected by UniCredit Start Lab in the Life Science, Clean Tech, Digital, Innovative Made in Italy and Impact Innovation sectors.


This marks the end of a management training course, held virtually again this year, which has involved, since September, over 40 speakers including experts and professionals from the innovation ecosystem.

A launch event followed by 6 bi-weekly meetings to explore crucial issues for the development of start-ups during their life cycle, strengthen the founders’ managerial skills and create strong connections between the start-ups and the strategic partners of the UniCredit Start Lab business platform. There will also be 3 practical sessions to examine case studies, 3 in-depth meetings and individual consultations with experts on legal and tax issues, on how to access European funding and on web services for start-ups, as well as targeted presentations to the main Italian VCs and business angel networks.

During the last day of the Academy, the startups had the opportunity to meet a special guest, Magnus Scheving. Internationally renowened entrepreneur, as well as athlete, motivator and public speaker, Magnus created the children's TV series Lazy Town. Broadcast in 170 countries and watched by 500 million households, the series aims at guiding children towards a healthy lifestyle. The innovators have been inspired by the philosophy and beliefs of a successful leader who is able to build an ethical organisation that is not just focused on numbers. 

Finding the right leadership

Mentorship is one of the pillars of the support UniCredit Start Lab provides innovators with. Following a preliminary process of getting to know each other, start-ups are matched in a targeted and personalised way with mentors who can help them concretely with one or more technical or strategic issues that are important for their business project.

The 60 mentors involved in this edition are entrepreneurs and managers (including business angels and venture capitalists), mainly active in the innovation area of corporate companies, consultants (particularly in the area of strategy and innovation), professionals from law firms and accountants. 

During the Digital Mentor Day on 16 November the startups met with mentors in digital 1to1s - over 350 on the day. This however is only the beginning of the journey. We will soon announce, based on shared preferences, the chosen matchings of mentors and startups that will undertake over the next 12 months a customised mentorship path, tailored to the needs of the startup and the specialisation of its mentor.