Fact: cash is very hard to get for Italian startups. This has been the major problem of the Italian innovation ecosystem since the dawn of time, there simply isn’t money. Investors prefer to rely on non-risky businesses such as constructions, pharmaceutical and clothing.
Web startups are facing a real hard time, but there might be hope. We already reported Google’s Italy country manager resignation to create a Venture Capital fund, but now there is a a new €55 Millions fund for startups.
The FIT (Technologic Innovation Fund / Fondo per l’Innovazione Tecnologica) is run by the Ministry for Economic Development and is geared towards hi-tech startups and will inject €35 million into the ecosystem, with other €20 Millions for specific regions of southern Italy, traditionally poorer. Biotech and clean tech will all benefit from the fund, but most importantly are its intentions to back startups based around the “internet of things”, “internet of services” and “internet of objects” – which shows they may be heading in the right directions.
Italy is trying to keep up, the scene is getting more vibrant every day, the community is starting to grow, new ideas keep flowing. Now the only problem is the money, this is a nice initiative but it’s not enough. On top of needing money Italy really lacks and desperately needs experienced VCs and angels that in addition to capital can also provide advice and feedback on the way entrepreneurs are running their companies. Admittedly this is a problem for most of Europe.
I really hope that this trend will get bigger with time and that private investors such as angels and VCs will put more focus (and money) into disruptive technologies that can change the way we live.