A day in the Italian Countryside, at the heart of the italian startup ecosystem
Just 15 minutes from the Venice Airport, we have arrived with the Atalanta partners – the EC project to build bridges between european accelerators – in what is probably the most picturesque venture incubator.
H-FARM, founded in 2005 in Italy, is a Venture Incubator; its mission is to accelerate the development of Internet startups via a combination of seed investment and incubation services.
Set over 1300 hectares on a modern campus with massive coworking spaces, a huge produce farm (one startup is monitoring veggie growth), a fresh-foods cafeteria, huge transparent cubes and 4 main building host roughly 450 young.
H-Farm aims to keep italian talent in the motherland
Now in its tenth year, H-FARM is showing Italians that they too can be part of Europe’s self-starting culture of fast-growth, high-value tech businesses.
So far Italy’s technological lag has caused a need for departure, leading young, aspiring entrepreneurs out of the country and into emerging startup hubs across Europe where visibility and access to funding is higher.
But with a €20 million fund backed by international partners like DIESEL and Unicredit, H-Farm acts as both an incubator and investor: it provides startups with the capital required to commence operations while supplying a range of administrative, financial and commercial services.
A positive movement within the startup ecosystem
Recent Studies (source Italia Startup.it) have demonstrated that in 2013 the overall investment in High Tech startups grew by over 15%, to a value of 129 million. While this number is still fairly small when compared to France, UK or Germany, there are many other indicators that are showing a positive movement*.
In particular over the last year, there has been a growing number of innovative startups (up 120%), funded startups (up 74%) “institutional investors” (up 16%) and startup competitions (up 58%). There is also a re
ally positive dynamic of structures like H-Farm helping in the 3 phases of the life cycle of a startups, from its formation, to its development and finally to its exits.
* source Italiastartup.it
Start-ups in Fashion, Tourism, Food, Smart Home, Connected Object… This place might be for you!
Upon entering, we were greeted by the familiar co-working space setup of many desks packed into a large room with Business Model Canvases and sticky notes all over the white walls. In addition there were inspiration quotes all around, just in case the teams needed a bit of inspiration. We had the chance to sit down with a few of the companies and hear what they were up to.
H-Camp is focusing on strong sectors of Made in Italy: food, design, fashion and home. As an example of startups that is an excellent fit for the accelerator, we have met with the startup XYZE producing what they call a smart “wearable” measuring tape.
“We created a technology to take accurate body measurements easily with a user-friendly product and we connect your measurement with your size. Not only will it save time and money, but you will feel confident knowing your must-have purchase will fit when it arrives at your doorstep.”