Innovation and sustainability: the winners of the GammaDonna 2023 Award

2 September 2023
Innovation Center, Innovation, Call, startup

Susanna Marcucci, founder and CEO of the Alisea benefit company, won the coveted recognition dedicated to female entrepreneurship. The Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center award for the most innovative startupper has been assigned to Cristiana Vignoli (CEO of Hemera Pharma), thanks to a biotech project that aims to treat spinal cord injuries.

In the setting of the OGR in Turin, Friday 29 September took place the final event of the 2023 GammaDonna Award: recognition dedicated to innovative female entrepreneurship established in 2004 by the non-profit association GammaDonna, which today is a true path of valorization and empowerment unique in Italy.

On the stage of the Italian Tech Week the seven finalists, generators of technology and revolutionary ideas that bet on new business models and governance “network”, creating real chains of sustainable innovation.

The winner of the 15th edition of the coveted award was Susanna Marcucci, founder and CEO of Alisea. A benefit company that since 1994 combines industrial waste, innovation of production processes and cutting-edge technologies to design and produce design objects, materials for construction and sustainable fashion, from supply chains designed exclusively in a circular economy,

The Prize was awarded by a Jury composed of innovation experts, representatives of the business world, investors and the winner of the last edition Claudia Persico. The jury also awarded three other prestigious awards: Women Startup powered by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, We for Sustainability powered by Cottino Social Impact Campus and Giuliana Bertin Communication by Valentina Communication.

The stage of GammaDonna 2023 awards The stage of GammaDonna 2023 awards

The recognition of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center for the most innovative startupper was awarded by Paola Rusconi, Director of the Business Area of Turin and Province of Intesa Sanpaolo, to Cristina Vignoli, CEO of Hemera Pharma (Verona), which developed the world’s first therapy for spinal cord injury. A biotech project of regenerative medicine and high Italian research conducted in partnership with the Universities of Verona and Milan, with the patented cell therapy REMAST which aims to respond to an unmet medical need on a global level global medical need (500,000 patients every year) with high social and health costs (on average 2 million euros per patient).

The winner, Cristina Vignoli, also won a Coaching & Advisory 1 to 1 session with experts from Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center about business plan and the optimization of the communication of her UVP. In addition, she will be a guest in one of the nearby Innovation Coffee.

An innovation of great ethical and social value, a theme of absolute centrality for our society”, explained Stefano Bruzzi, Head of Development of Innovation Network of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center. Adding how “in its mission to enhance talents and ideas with high potential, it rewarded Cristina Vignoli for her commitment and ambition to revolutionize the treatment of spinal cord injuries, restoring hope to patients who so far had none”.

The Giulia Bertini Award (creator of the Award) was awarded to Sabrina Fiorentino, CEO and founder of Sestre (Trinitapoli - BT) which has developed innovative nutraceutical solutions to treat diseases that compromise the fertility of women. The startup Sestre was a finalist in the first edition of Terra Next, the acceleration program dedicated to bioeconomy.

After the award ceremony that allowed the other 3 finalists - Raffaella Moro (Reair), Elisa Piscitelli (Futurely) and Dina Ravera (Destination Italia Group) - to present themselves and tell their entrepreneurial stories, the day continued with a networking cocktail reserved for Partners, Jurors and FAB50 (the 50 entrepreneurs who passed the first selections for the Award) at the 31° floor of the Skyscraper Intesa Sanpaolo in Turin, headquarter of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center.

An evening of innovation preceded by 1 to 1 meetings, in which the entrepreneurs had the opportunity to discuss with experts from Intesa Sanpaolo and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center about the opportunities offered to encourage growth, commercial development and internationalization.

After the institutional greetings of Valentina Parenti (President GammaDonna) and those of Viviana Bacigalupo (Head of the Coordination Area of Corporate Governance and Startup Growth of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center) who illustrated the Company’s mission and areas of activity, Francesca Culasso - Department of Management, University of Turin - presented an inspiring Speech entitledEntrepreneurship and female leadership: women in comparison”.

An overview of the persistent gender inequalities that hinder entrepreneurship and managerial (still growing) female roles in Europe, which highlighted that the gender gap still exists between the various member countries, with Italy and Greece taillights for employment rate and, from the entrepreneurial point of view, characterized by the prevalence of micro-enterprises less long-lived with net incomes and average turnover lower than the male ones.

Afterwards, Stefano Bruzzi presented to the female entrepreneurs the opportunities offered by the Women & Innovation Tech Tour organized by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center in the Israeli innovation ecosystem which will be held in December, leaving room for the final business networking cocktail that, in addition to allowing for female entrepreneurs to get in touch with potential partners and investors, was an opportunity to “make net”.