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February 22, 2022

Italian universities shape the entrepreneurs of the future: the data behind the 5th Bocconi for innovation Startup Call

Applications from students all over Italy show rising trends in Sustainability and STEM subjects, while female participation and international startups remain limited 

Interesting figures have emerged from the analysis of the applications for the fifth Bocconi for innovation Startup Call, and they reflect major trends in the field of professional education and entrepreneurship: on the one hand, a significant number of founders - especially for a business school - are represented by software developers (17.7%), which is good news considering the importance of tech skills within a digital company; on the other hand, startups seeing themselves as part of the sustainability vertical marked an astounding increase of 126% compared to last batch, which we link to the strong sensibility of the new generations of entrepreneurs towards this issue. As numbers grow so much, we hope the quality and impact of these projects will increase proportionally

batch 5 absolute numbers

Interest in the call was mainly expressed by young entrepreneurs: the average age of candidates is about 30, while female participation is still limited (20% of the total number of candidates).

In terms of total numbers, applications presented during the fifth Bocconi for innovation Startup Call exceeded those of the previous edition by 9%, for a total of 426, and recorded a 120% increase compared to the inaugural batch of B4i - Bocconi for innovation, two years ago. As for the fourth call, applications were not only addressed to students and Alumni of Bocconi University and its institutional partners, but also to aspiring entrepreneurs from all over Italy and the rest of the world.

Of the 787 founders who took part in the call, almost a third came from Bocconi, while 70% from 233 other schools and universities. In particular, Politecnico di Milano with 6,7% of applicants - roughly 50 entrepreneurs, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore with 4,6%, Università La Sapienza di Roma with 2,9%, University of Bologna with 2,5%, Politecnico di Torino, Università di Napoli Federico II and Università di Milano - Bicocca all tied at 1,9%.

university applicants batch 5

Aspiring entrepreneurs not hailing from Italy are also well represented: the fourth acceleration batch included, for example, two international startups, Chaptr Global and Tokitus. As for the other batches, the share of founders from Italy remains high at 87%, while other preeminent nationalities were India (1.7%), Germany (1.3%), France (0.8%), Turkey (0.6%) and Iran (0.6%).

Keep following us to find out which startups will be part of the fifth acceleration and pre-acceleration program of B4i.