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November 25, 2019

Business acceleration has a new name: Bocconi for innovation

A hub that will support companies from their entrepreneurial idea to corporate entrepreneurship has been created at the University. The first call for startups is open until 6 January 2020

With the creation of Bocconi for Innovation (B4i), Bocconi is now an important hub of services and support for entrepreneurial activities and a catalyst for the entire business ecosystem. Rector Gianmario Verona announced today the establishment of Bocconi for Innovation (B4i). This new platform will have the triple role of pre-accelerator, business accelerator and a place for the development of corporate entrepreneurship, i.e. entrepreneurship within companies.

Bocconi for Innovation, under the guidance of Dean for Innovation Markus Venzin and Operating Director Nico Valenti Gatto, can already count on important partnerships with the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Politecnico di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano, Citi Foundation and HenkelX.

B4i is thus the «center of aggregation of innovative entrepreneurial energies,» explains Bocconi Rector, Gianmario Verona.«It's a hub that promotes the right matching between managerial and business knowledge, specific to our vocation, with the technical skills that come from B4i partners. Thus, we want to help and support the entrepreneurial system so that it can compete ever more effectively at European and international levels.»

«The goal of Bocconi for Innovation is to create a hub in which entrepreneurship can develop, grow and compete with awareness in the market,» adds Markus Venzin. «We want to create a platform that provides services and support and whose work also contributes to stopping the drain of talent abroad.»

As a pre-accelerator, Bocconi for Innovation will welcome business ideas that are still in their infancy, supporting them until the so-called minimum viable product (MPV) phase.

As an accelerator, B4i will host up to 30 startups per year. To find the first 10 companies to be developed, the first Bocconi for Innovation Startup Call is already open, and will close on 6 January 2020.

To participate in the competition, startups must be made up of teams (of at least two people) in which at least one member of the Bocconi community is present (student, alumnus, faculty or staff member) or a student enrolled in Università degli Studi Milano or Politecnico or an IIT researcher (here is the registration page to participate and here is the complete call for the initiative).

Once the projects have been selected, based on the innovativeness of the entrepreneurial idea and the quality of the business model, the University will provide financial support of € 30,000 to each of them and admit them to a free four-month acceleration process: the goal is to allow entrepreneurs to compete on the market and connect with investors independently.

The accelerator is organized into three distinct specialization areas, depending on the core business of the businesses accepted: the area focused on digital-tech (entrepreneurial ideas with particularly promising innovation and technologies) will be coordinated by Massimo Della Ragione; the area dedicated to Made in Italy (manufacturing, fashion, food and other sectors with high symbolic value) will be coordinated by Gabriella Lojacono; and the area linked to sustainability will be coordinated by Stefano Pogutz.

Finally, Bocconi for Innovation will also focus on corporate entrepreneurship: through the Center for Corporate Entrepreneurship, it will help companies innovate and focus on business development by fostering the “contamination” of skills and opportunities between large companies and startups.