November 23, 2021
Start-ups from the CRIF and Fondazione Golinelli I-Tech Innovation call accelerated by the G-Factor incubator are presented to an audience of over 100 innovation professionals, investors and leading companies from all over Italy
Investor Day today at Opificio Golinelli: six start-ups accelerated this year by G-Factor, the incubator-accelerator of Fondazione Golinelli, selected as part of the I-Tech Innovation 2021 call by CRIF and Fondazione Golinelli, and two businesses from previous batches, were presented to an audience of over 100 representatives from the world of finance and economics, innovation professionals, and business representatives from the reference sectors.
A further step aimed at nurturing and fostering the technological and scientific innovation generated by start-ups was also announced, namely the establishment of a new start-up community, which will be launched at the beginning of 2022, promoted by Fondazione Golinelli and CRIF. The community has been devised as an ecosystem where start-ups, mentors, companies, research institutions and investors will come together in search of new synergies to support young entrepreneurs and the world of innovation.
After the official welcome and speeches by Carlo Gherardi, CEO of CRIF, and Andrea Zanotti, President of Fondazione Golinelli, the teams presented their projects in the Life Sciences/Digital Health, FinTech/InsurTech and FoodTech/AgriTech sectors, and illustrated the significant business opportunities to leading industrial partners in Italy, and to investors representing investment funds, venture capital funds, business angels, and family offices.
“Investor Day is the conclusion of a nine-month process of accelerating the start-up businesses we chose to invest in as partners. The extraordinary participation of more than 100 established professionals from the world of finance, called upon to validate our choices and our work, is not only a great responsibility for us, but also very satisfying. This first step in our partnership with CRIF has led to very positive returns. That’s why we have recently decided to enter into a broad-ranging cooperation agreement, which will see us working side by side for the next three years. In anticipation of the next I-Tech Innovation 2022 program, we are planning to create a type of bridge to provide continuity to the support given to the start-ups, creating a community that will gradually open up on a national level, including to all those businesses – over 400 so far – that have participated in our calls in the past,” Andrea Zanotti, President of the Golinelli Foundation, sole member of G-Factor S.r.l.
“At a time characterized by the rapid transition toward new paradigms and increasingly advanced business models, it is fundamental to bring real added value to the reference markets, in whatever sector you operate in. In keeping with our strategy of continuous innovation, which has always been the foundation of CRIF’s DNA, the acceleration program that we launched together with Fondazione Golinelli represents a further key step in creating the conditions for entrepreneurial initiatives in the FinTech, InsurTech, FoodTech and AgriTech sectors to find fertile ground and the necessary support to grow and strengthen their business. Our hope is that this program can help start-ups that have participated in the acceleration program, consolidating their value proposition and innovative positioning, to reach the next level,” commented Carlo Gherardi, CEO of CRIF.
Life Sciences/Digital Health
BCI Biocompatibility Innovation
BC Biocompatibility Innovation is an innovative biomedical SME that specializes in the design, development and sale of industrial technologies and new biological and synthetic materials for the construction of implantable medical devices (IMDs). BCI, which took part in the G-force acceleration program in 2019, developed the TOPP (Technologically Operative Polyphenols Platform) technology platform from which it developed the FACTA (Functional Antigen Cross-linking Targeting Alpha-Gal) technology, an industrial process for the treatment of biological heart valves (BHV) to inhibit the immune response in humans after implantation. TOPP is also the basis for the development of a new biomaterial, a pericardial patch for congenital cardiac repair surgery, and is the basis for the development of new technologies to treat synthetic plastic materials used for the construction of catheters and IMDs. The FACTA technology has completed the trial phase and BCI is now in contact with the world’s leading manufacturers (US, EU and China) for the licensing or sale of the technology. The team members are Ugo Stefanelli, MD, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Director; Alessandro Gandaglia, MSc, PhD, MBA – CEO; Filippo Naso, BSc – Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, and Andrea Carpi, MSc, PhD – R&D Manager.
Drug Discovery & Clinic
University of Turin spin-off
Drug Discovery and Clinics s.r.l. was set up with the aim of conducting human trials for a new compound called DDC#1 for the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia and COVID-19.
The drug candidate, the result of high-quality research at the University of Turin in the pharmaceutical and clinical field, comes from a decade-long process and is positioned in a highly innovative market for both pathologies. For the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, of which there are about 2000 new diagnoses every year in Italy (19,000 in the USA), DDC#1 selectively causes the death of leukemia cells while saving healthy cells. On the other hand, for cells infected with viruses, such as SARS-COV-2 or its variants, the virus loses its ability to replicate in the presence of DDC#1. Essentially, the fact that the molecule can act as a broad-spectrum antiviral, and its high potency associated with its low toxicity, makes this drug candidate very competitive on the market. The start-up’s core team comprises Chairman Giuseppe Saglio (Emeritus Professor in Hematology); Marco Lucio Lolli (CEO and Lecturer in pharmaceutical chemistry); Donatella Boschi (Board Member - Competitive scenario analysis and Lecturer in pharmaceutical chemistry); Marta Giorgis (Board Member - Intellectual property and Researcher in pharmaceutical chemistry); Stefano Sainas (Board Member - Communication and researcher in pharmaceutical chemistry), and Paola Circosta (Board Member - Secretary and researcher in cellular biology), all co-founders.
University of Bologna spin-off
InSimili brings to the market a device that makes the drug selection process faster and more effective through the creation, in the laboratory, of an environment that recreates some of the basic characteristics of human tissues and therefore close to the environment in which the drug is designed to act. The start-up project, which won the Emilia-Romagna Start Cup competition in 2019, uses a technology that overcomes some of the limitations of the pre-clinical trials of new drugs by using human tissue mimetic environments instead of the currently used in vitro models. The aim is to improve the drug selection process, making the entire process more efficient, and to limit the use of animal models in the pre-clinical phase and the testing of ineffective drugs on humans in the clinical phase. The team, with a strong academic background, currently consists of: Stefania Rapino, chemist-physicist and main inventor of the technology; Marco Malferrari, PhD in biology, expert in cell culture, R&D and technical support; Maila Becconi, expert in nanosciences and co-inventor of the technology; and two advisors, Francesco Zerbetto and Alessandro Grandi.
Polytechnic University of Milan spin-off
MgShell, a start-up from the 2019 G-Factor batch, aims to revolutionize the treatment approach in the ophthalmic field by proposing i3D, an intraocular drug delivery device for the treatment of maculopathy. Up to now, maculopathy patients have been treated with ocular injections and many abandon the treatment and lose their sight. The use of i3D will dramatically reduce the number of injections, increasing treatment adherence, reducing secondary healthcare costs, and creating business opportunities for pharmaceutical companies. The team comprises Marco Ferroni, CEO with a PhD in bioengineering and expert in ocular biomechanics and medical devices; Francesco De Gaetano, CTO with a PhD in bioengineering and expert in the design and assessment of medical devices; Matteo Cereda, clinical advisor and medical-surgical retina specialist; Federica Boschetti, scientific advisor, lecturer in biomechanics and expert in the use of biomaterials for drug delivery; and Margherita Pizzi, biomedical engineer and R&D. specialist.
EvenFi is a FinTech product factory for the real economy, a platform with more than 14,000 subscribers that connects businesses that can positively impact the economic fabric, such as start-ups and SMEs, to individuals or institutions interested in investing in their growth projects. EvenFi is an ideal solution for companies that need financing to implement their development plans, but is also an opportunity for investors looking for new investment opportunities. The start-up operates within the private credit market, offering solutions designed specifically for each type of company.
In the last year, it has become the best-performing platform in the European peer-to-business sector. After creating a network of business partners in Italy, Spain and Portugal, today it aims to expand further across Europe.
The CEO and founder of EvenFi is Diego Dal Cero, an entrepreneur with more than 26 years’ experience in the field of technological development for finance. The team members include: Mattia Rossi, CTO and co-founder; Federico Shaw, CFO; Matteo Rossi, Head of Marketing; Giuseppe Scapola, Head of Business Development; and Michele Colombi, Product Owner and Scrum Master.
Fintastico has long been known as one of the leading Italian web portals to search for innovative digital financial services, with more than 18,000 users and more than 70,000 visitors per month, and the only entirely FinTech-focused player in Europe. Through its services, Fintastico allows consumers to choose innovative financial services that best meet their needs and gives suppliers access to a unique distribution channel that allows them to contain purchasing costs. Leveraging its expertise in the FinTech sector and its customer base, the start-up is aiming to move from a portal to a financial market business model in order to offer consulting on remote onboarding services and financial products by 2022, and to integrate all-in-one personal financial management solutions by 2024. Fintastico is made up of managers and entrepreneurs with extensive experience in banking, finance and technology: Fabio Marras, co-founder and CEO; Fabrizio Villani, co-founder and Head of Sales; Fabio Brambilla, Chairman; and Daniele Marino, Business Analyst.
Biorfarm is the first digital agricultural community and is based on two pillars: small organic producers and end consumers. Adopt, follow, taste: this is the concept of the start-up, where people and businesses can adopt or gift trees, follow their growth online, then receive fresh produce at home or collect it from the farm, directly from farm to fork. In this way, the digital world creates a real relationship between producer and consumer. As well as adoption, Biorfarm also acts as a marketplace where you can purchase and receive organic produce right away. Thanks to the Biorfarm model, growers are paid a fair price, on average 70% higher than the traditional supply chain, as well as being guaranteed product placement and immediate liquidity. In fact, thanks to the adoption system, the grower knows in advance the quantity of product required for this sales channel and can request advance payment to meet the costs. The grower also benefits from other advantages, including real financial support in the case of unforeseeable events and the possibility of using network services. As well as enjoying a unique experience and natural products, users or companies who adopt trees are giving tangible support to growers and their local area, contributing to a sustainable economic and social system and to organic and eco-friendly farming. Biorfarm currently has 20 staff members divided into six teams and five external advisors.
Latitudo 40 srl
With the growing demand for food, the optimization of agricultural production is essential, and data is key to increasing production and reducing risks. However, it is difficult and not very cost effective to have the continuous availability on a large scale of frequently updated information with a high degree of accuracy. So, Latitudo 40 srl has developed a Data Analytics platform, integrating space technologies (images from Earth observation satellites) with innovative algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, to provide, in a simple and accessible way, information to support precision farming processes and create climate transition plans. In addition to the data coming from space, the platform also offers a comprehensive weather dataset for agriculture and connection to the latest generation agricultural machines to record operations and send action maps.
Latitudo 40’s solutions provide fundamental support for crop condition analysis, efficient irrigation management, yield prediction and the identification of CO2 capture capacity for use in Farm Management System platforms and for new financial and insurance solutions for the agricultural industry. All the data and information is accessible through APIs, GISs, and desktop applications. The project was launched last year and today the platform is used by a number of farmers in Italy and internationally, with over 48,000 hectares of land monitored. Today the Latitudo 40 team has 11 highly qualified team members, divided between Italy and Germany; the next step is the opening of a sales office in the United States.