Bologna (Italy), July 2021
Presentation of the 7 start-ups from the CRIF and Fondazione Golinelli I-Tech Innovation call accelerated by the G-Factor incubator
The 7 start-ups currently accelerated by G-Factor, the Fondazione Golinelli incubator-accelerator, selected from the CRIF and Fondazione Golinelli I-Tech Innovation 2021 call, were presented at Opificio Golinelli to an audience of over 160 representatives from the financial and business world, innovation professionals, and company representatives in the reference sectors, who attended in person or via live streaming from all over Italy.
The teams presented their innovative business proposals in the fields of Life Sciences/Digital Health, Fintech/Insurtech and FoodTech/Agritech to leading industrial partners in Italy and to an audience of investors comprising investment funds, venture capital funds, business angels and family offices, specially chosen for each start-up.
The event opened with a welcome from entrepreneur and philanthropist Marino Golinelli, founder and honorary president of Fondazione Golinelli, followed by presentations by Andrea Zanotti, President of Fondazione Golinelli, Antonio Danieli, Director General and Vice President of Fondazione Golinelli and sole administrator of G-Factor, Gian Bruno Mazzi, Board Member and CRIF Ratings Chairman, Loretta Chiusoli, CRIF HR Director, and Massimo Gentilini, CRIF IT Manager.
Demo Day concludes the first part of the G-Force incubation-acceleration program involving the 7 start-ups, which will culminate at the end of November with Investor Day, to be held in Bologna. The G-Factor acceleration program is one of a kind: it is not purely academic but rather a type of venture building process, working alongside the start-up, and it is designed and built around the specific characteristics and practical development needs of every single project and team.
“Innovation and economic development have no boundaries. Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna Region form a particularly dynamic area, but one which must be open to continuous national and international exchanges. There is a risk of stifling the socio-economic and cultural context in the medium term. The I-Tech Innovation program involves young companies (start-ups) all of which (apart from one) come from other cities. However, some of them will be developed here, while others will do so elsewhere, with our support, hopefully opening up their own markets at an international level as soon as possible,” commented Antonio Danieli, sole administrator of G-Factor. “It would be extremely short-sighted to think that start-ups located elsewhere are of less interest to our city. Contamination is fundamental, critical mass as well, and any part of Italy can be reached in less than a day. We must look to Europe at the very least,” added Danieli. “Today at Opificio Golinelli we have played host to more than 160 players from the national innovation ecosystem, in person and connected remotely: industrial partners, financial institutions, investors, experts, and innovators. This has been and will continue to be great for the start-ups we have decided to invest in, and also for Bologna, insofar as it has been good for the economy of the country as a whole.”
“In a rapidly evolving market context, the dramatic acceleration brought about by new demands arising from the pandemic on the one hand, and by technological innovation on the other, represents, in some ways, a point of no return. But this is also an extraordinary opportunity for growth, with plenty of scope for defining new projects that can make a tangible contribution to getting the country back on its feet. Our ambition is to become a point of reference for start-ups in the Fintech, Insurtech and Agritech sectors that want to embark on a structured growth path,” commented Carlo Gherardi,CEO of CRIF. “As part of I-Tech Innovation 2021, we gathered a huge number of brilliant ideas during the selection process, and it was very difficult to identify the innovation projects with the greatest potential to be really successful. Our role will be to help the selected start-ups express their full potential so they can find a place in the market.”
THE PRESENTED START-UPS
Life Sciences/Digital Health
Drug Discovery and Clinics s.r.l.
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.
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 similar to human tissues and therefore close to the environment in which the drug is designed to act. The start-up project, which uses a patented technology and which in 2019 won the Emilia-Romagna Start Cup competition, 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, reduce the time and costs of the entire process, and limit the use of animal models in the pre-clinical phase and the testing of ineffective drugs on humans in the clinical phase.
Novavido s.r.l. was established from a research project developed over a decade by the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in collaboration with IRCCS Sacro Cuore Don Calabria Hospital in Negrar (Verona) and the technological skills of Alfasigma. The project concerns the development of an injectable and biocompatible device, called “liquid retina”, which is based on the use of polymer retinal prostheses aimed at restoring at least partial sight. A new, potentially revolutionary treatment for retinal degeneration caused by diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration. The idea came from the work of two research centers of the Italian Institute of Technology, the Center for Nano Science and Technology in Milan (CNST-IIT) and the Center for Synaptic Neuroscience and Technology in Genoa (NSYN-IIT), which have transferred organic technology for solar power generation into the biostimulation field.
The project is supported by encouraging test results obtained during pre-clinical trials and the aim of the start-up is to further develop the product, to test it on humans, and ultimately market it.
CRIPTALIA is a blockchain-based platform that combines crowdlending as an alternative form of lending for small and medium-sized enterprises with an artificial intelligence-based robo-advisor solution to assist investors in project selection. Today, many companies struggle to finance their growth projects, and obtaining loans is often a long and laborious process. Using artificial intelligence, CRIPTALIA aims to immediately notify the person requesting the loan whether the loan will be accepted or not. How? The robo-advisor automatically downloads and analyzes the company’s accounts through artificial intelligence algorithms, which are then evaluated by a team of analysts in order to constantly improve the algorithm. The start-up operates as a MangoPay agent.
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.
Biorfarm is the first virtual agricultural community and is based on two pillars: small 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, directly from farm to table. 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 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. Users 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.
Latitudo 40 srl
With the growing demand for food, the optimization of agricultural production is essential, and so Latitudo 40 srl has created a fundamental working tool for the modern farmer: a unified, fully automated data analysis platform capable of automatically extracting information from satellite images. By removing technological barriers to using satellite data, the platform enables satellite images to be transformed into geospatial information, providing the data farmers need in a way that is simple to interpret. Through innovative machine learning and AI algorithms, AgriAlitycs monitors agricultural fields and supports precision farming by increasing production. The algorithms are used to predict the yield of each field, identify the need for nutrients or irrigation, and identify the condition of each specific crop or field. The data provided can also be imported into the farm management system and transferred directly to connected agricultural machinery to increase farm efficiency. The project was launched last year and today the platform is used by a number of farmers in Italy and internationally, with over 15,000 hectares of land monitored.