Up2Stars starts again, call dedicated to innovative startups in strategic sectors for Italy

4 May 2023
Innovation Center, Startup Development, Call, startup

The second edition will involve 40 startups in the WaterTech, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, AI for business transformation and IoT sectors

Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center invests in the future and supports innovation ecosystems to help the Country face the challenges of tomorrow. Pushing companies or startups to innovate is a crucial starting point to look to the future with optimism.

It is with these assumptions that the Innovation Center collaborated in the creation of the second edition of Up2Stars, a program created by Intesa Sanpaolo and dedicated to the enhancement and growth of innovative startups in Italy.

The Group represents a national point of reference for all those who want to innovate: the 32% market share of innovative startups shows a deep attention to this segment. Thanks to Up2Stars, the Group focuses its strategy on innovation and research applied to business, to encourage the technology transfer process towards SMEs.


Sectors with high potential and strategic partnerships

The initiative is aimed at SMEs and startups that bring innovation to high-potential sectors. The second edition of Up2Stars will focus on four new highly topical themes to which the related selection calls will be dedicated:

  • WaterTech
  • Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency
  • Artificial Intelligence for business transformation
  • IoT - Infrastructures and Mobility.

These are strategic sectors for the economy of the entire country, in which an ever greater innovative component is required, in terms of ideas and projects, but also of technological skills. For each of these areas, 10 participants have been selected, thus bringing the total number of subjects involved within the entire program to 40 that were presented on May 3rd during the presentation of the new edition (look at the pics at the bottom of the page).


Italian excellence is involved

The new edition will see the expansion of the partnerships and the collaboration network: subjects belonging to the academic and business world, the National Research Centers of Extended Partnerships and the 9 European Innovation Poles (EDIH) are involved, in a logic of application of the aims envisaged by the PNRR.

In particular, as part of the Up2Stars programme, the Research Center dedicated to Sustainable Mobility (led by the Milan Polytechnic), the Research Center dedicated to Quantum Computing (led by the University of Bologna), will be active partners in the selection of startups the Research Center dedicated to Agritech (led by the Federico II University of Naples), as well as the Nest partnership (led by the Bari Polytechnic) and dedicated to new energy technologies.

I protagonisti della seconda edizione del programma Up2Stars I protagonisti della seconda edizione del programma Up2Stars

An international program with prestigious partners

The second edition of Up2Stars starts with a great novelty: the program has an international scope, thanks to the internationalization structure of Intesa Sanpaolo and the collaboration with the Italian Innovation Center in San Francisco, set up at INNOVIT Italian Innovation and Culture Hub, a project promoted by the Directorate General for the Country System of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in collaboration with the Italian Embassy in Washington and with the Consulate General in San Francisco and managed with the support of ICE and the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco.

The activity will be managed through the Brodolini Foundation. Finally, the new partners of the 2023 edition also include Digite'd, a company specializing in higher education. The partners who have already contributed to the first edition, such as Microsoft, Elite and Cisco, continue on the path.

Interested startups will be able to submit their application by June 11th 2023 via the dedicated page on www.intesasanpaolo.com/it/business.html. The selected young entrepreneurial realities will be subjected to an acceleration path, at the end of which they will present their business and projects to an audience of investors and companies during a Demo Day.


A 3-step process with the contribution of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center

For each of the sectors of interest, Up2Stars foresees 3 stages:

  • Online collection of applications and selection of 10 finalist startups
  • Acceleration course with coaching and workshops with partners
  • Presentation of the 10 finalist startups to investors

Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center will play a central role throughout the program, supporting Intesa Sanpaolo in the creation of Up2Stars by identifying the best innovative high-tech companies on the Italian scene, in line with the Program target sectors. In particular, the Company based on the 31st floor will coordinate the phases of setup, technological scouting, assessment and selection of startups and the involvement of investors and players in the Italian innovative ecosystem.