Italy, like a few other European countries, is way behind in the construction and creation of a “tech startup scene”. That being said, as of last Saturday there was almost no scene in Italy. Not because we lack the actual people, but because we do lack the sense of community and cluster of a place like, for instance London or Berlin.
There are different explanations for this.
The first and most obvious reason is that italian startups are small in number and in most cases are really, really young.
Secondly, networking is not seen as an important activity for an entrepreneur (which, in my opinion, should be). People here tend to see networking as a waste of time and would rather be working than attending tech-related events.
Third, no one actually was doing anything about it.
But last Sunday night, the guys at Mikamai organized the first ever Startup Night in Milan, practically creating a new tech scene from scratch. The event took place in their office for a while and saw more than 100 people attending. It was moved to a pizzeria later on, becoming a Startup Pizza Night.
It was a total success, with many entrepreneurs, geeks, enthusiasts, some investors and a few consultants. It surely wasn’t anything like London or SIlicon Valley events but it was a really great start where relationship, and hopefully friendships, were born.
That’s surely not enough though. That’s why we are working with the most involved people to create monthly networking events in Rome and Milan. We already have a Venture Camp in November and, you never know, a TechCrunch Europe event in Italy may well happen at some point ;-).