It’s not generally well known, but there is a large Italian-expat community in Silicon Valley. A lot of first-time entrepreneurs decided to move there for all the obvious reasons and the lack of opportunity in Italy. But, luckily, there is a section of that diaspora that has not forgotten those they left behind. Some of them are trying to help Italian startups move to the Valley and thus gain a global perspective and a cycle of companies coming back and forth.
One of the most interesting initiatives is the Mind The Bridge foundation. It is a non profit association, founded by Marco Marinucci, a senior executive at Google, and Fabrizio Capobianco, CEO of Funambol. Among all their activities one of the most interesting is the Business Plan competition they hold every year. The winners get mentoring and possibly a chance at a 3 month incubation in San Francisco’s Plug&Play Tech Center.
The deadline for applications is set on August 25th, finalists will be announced in September and winners will have the opportunity to fly to the Valley between December and April. Previous winners of the event include Zooppa, Eris4, and Econoetica.
It looks like a pretty unique opportunity to get a grasp of the Valley’s spirit and try to bring it back in Europe – possibly with some fresh capital in hand…