San Francisco-born Innovit strategic hub turns one year old

Jan 10, 2024 793

INNOVIT, the strategic hub established in San Francisco to support and promote the Italian economic, scientific and cultural ecosystem in the United States, is celebrating its first year of operation. The activities of the Italian Innovation and Culture Center were entrusted in October 2022 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ICE Agency to Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Entopan Innovation, an incubator and accelerator of Harmonic Innovation Group.

INNOVIT has quickly positioned itself as a place for sharing and collaborating with the best in the Bay Area, offering startups and SMEs access to acceleration tracks alongside professionals from the world of innovation, and large corporations and institutions an outpost through which to build relationships and study what is happening in the Silicon Valley ecosystem.

In 2024, the Centro di Innovazione e Cultura Italiano's commitment alongside Italian companies will intensify. Already from today it is possible to apply for six new CALL4INNOVITs that, over the course of the year, will call for the country's best and most innovative ideas on Generative AI, Robotic, Hardware and Advanced Materials, Life Science and Digital Health, Green Energy, CleanTech, ClimateTech and AgriFoodTech, Fintech and Insurtech, and finally Space Economy. All calls are open at the same time: innovative startups and SMEs can apply now for the call most akin to their field.

The deadline for applications is cadenced to cover the entire 2024: the first deadline, specifically for the call in the area of Generative Artificial Intelligence, is set for January 12, 2024. When applications close, a selection will be made based on objective criteria of merit.

The top 40 startups and 25 SMEs that stand out in the ranking will enter a two-week online orientation and mentorship program. Then, the 15 most promising startups and 15 SMEs will have the opportunity to participate in an intensive course at INNOVIT's San Francisco headquarters at 710 Sansome Street in February. The program will include one week of activities for SMEs and two weeks for startups, offering insider interactions with the Bay Area's innovation ecosystem. This is a well-established program that, in its first 12 months of operation, has seen the Center act as a true bridge between Italy and Silicon Valley.

The four editions of CALL4INNOVIT have received a total of as many as 400 applications, with more than 200 realities selected for online pre-acceleration programs.

In San Francisco, INNOVIT's headquarters at 710 Sansome Street, hosted 170 young entrepreneurs, the expression of more than 100 startups and SMEs who participated in more than 180 discussion and training sessions organized thanks to the work of as many as 220 professionals from Big Tech (Google, X, Amazon, Apple, Meta, Bosch, Microsoft, Oracle and Unity), Silicon Valley venture capitalists, mentors and experts from prestigious universities such as Stanford University and UC Berkeley.

Startups and SMEs hosted at the center had the opportunity to establish business, funding and cross-fertilization relationships with one of the ecosystems that most contributes to defining global innovation trajectories. A program that also allowed them to sign local distribution agreements, acquire their first U.S. customer, and materialize funding rounds.

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