SMAU San Francisco 2023, a great opportunity for the Italian startups
From May 22nd to 25th 2023 in San Francisco was organized the first edition of SMAU | Italy RestartsUp. Intesa Sanpaolo Group and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center were partners of the event, held at INNOVIT*, in collaboration with ITA - Italian Trade Agency and many other important corporates and local players.
The event aimed to develop open innovation projects, co-innovation activities, new commercial relations, industrial and financial partnerships creating a bridge between the Italian Innovation Ecosystem and the San Francisco and Bay Area Ecosystem.
An Exclusive Investors Session was organized by Intesa Sanpaolo and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center on May 23rd giving the opportunity to the five Italian startups (Flowtech – artificial empathy; LIOCREO – Low intensity freeze drying; REIWA Engine in robotics, AI and industrial automation, GREEN INDEPENDENCE - affordable & accessible green energy and clean water at source, Infinity ID - in the automatic identification sector) carefully selected by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center thanks to an Open Call launched by SMAU, to meet a selection of Corporates and investors from the US market.
Intesa Sanpaolo delegation was accompanied by Vincenzo Antonetti - International Network IMI Corporate & Investment Banking and Marianna Ronzoni - Head of Startup Evaluation & Acceleration at Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center. Together with them, 7 colleagues belonging to the Corporate & Investment Division attended the tour with the aim to explore new business opportunities, live an immersive experience into the Silicon Valley ecosystem and become ambassadors of the Open Innovation approach for the Division.
SMAU agenda consisted of a mix of Panels, Pitching sessions, matchmaking & networking moments, ending with site visits to the most important innovation players and enablers of the Silicon Valley. The purpose of the event, as Pierantonio Macola – President of SMAU, stated, was: “to introduce the innovative excellence of “Made In Italy” to San Francisco entrepreneurs, investors and managers invited to the exhibition, supporting at the same time the scale-ups of the best Italian tech-companies to the USA market”.
On May 22nd, the entire SMAU delegation attended the opening reception at Italian General Consulate in San Francisco (more than 150 people were present). The second day at INNOVIT was dedicated to the Conference Panels. Intesa Sanpaolo and its Innovation Center were represented by Vincenzo Antonetti at the “Smart Manufacturing: innovative solutions for the new Industrial revolution” panel, and to the match-making sessions where 44 Italian startups operating in Agrifood & Retail, Energy & Sustainability, Health & Wellness, Smart Manufacturing and Smart Mobility, had the chance to meet with USA investors, Corporates and international players.
The two last days were dedicated to the Silicon Valley site visits: the entire SMAU delegation had the opportunity to visit some of the most relevant R&D centers and tech-companies’ headquarters in the world, such as Apple, CISCO, Microsoft, Stanford University (which presented its research and development center dedicated to autonomous driving), 500 Global (a venture capital fund with over 2.7 billion AUM), Mind The Bridge (an Open Innovation platform which offers scale-up services and programs for international startups), SAP.IO (SAP San Francisco innovation center that promotes collaboration between startups and corporates), and Lyft (a top-class ride-sharing company, first competitor of Uber).
*Innovit - Italian Innovation and Culture Hub is promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation under the proposal of the Embassy of Italy in Washington and in collaboration with the Italian Consulate General in San Francisco and it is implemented thanks to the involvement of the ITA – Italian Trade Agency and the IIC – Italian Cultural Institute San Francisco. The innovation and startup services are entrusted to Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini and Entopan Innovation.